It’s not a Hollywood rip-off, and not about dancing around trees anymore. So stop calling it Bollywood, demand noted filmmakers on the occasion of 100 years of Indian Cinema. The latest to call for a ban on the term is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who directed acclaimed films such as Rang De Basanti and Delhi 6. “It makes me angry. We were never Bollywood. We have lost our identity. We are the Hindi film industry and I have a lot of pride in that,” says the filmmaker.
As a desperate attempt, Mehra is even making a documentary titled ‘Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.’ “I was getting fed up with the idea of being called Bollywood. The irony of the title is that I named the documentary Bollywood,” he said.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai supports him: “We must stop using this name — it sounds satirical. It’s best called Indian or Hindi cinema.” Director Vikram Bhatt agrees, “It’s high time!”
Actor Anupam Kher strongly feels the word has a colonial undertone. “It is a word coined by Westerners for their convenience. Fitrat mein ghulami hai.” Vicky Donor actor Ayushmann Khurana says, “‘Bollywood’ is very uncool. We have our own identity.”
This is not the first set of demands for scrapping the term. “Hollywood se bollywood naam nikla, this is nt the name of our industry. Don’t kno whr this ridiculous name has cm frm n got stuck. It makes us look like chamchas ... call it any thing but nt boll... (sic),” actor Salman Khan had tweeted earlier.
Many from the film fraternity even suggested alternatives. Amitabh Bachchan came up with FI: Film Industry, and InFI: Indian Film Industry, Riteish Deshmukh thought of “Hi-Fi, for Hindi Film industry,” and Saif Ali Khan said it should just be ‘Indian Film Industry’.
Others such as musician AR Rahman, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, actors Gul Panag and Dia Mirza also continue to stand against the term even as some argue that it has caught on and is not offensive in any way.
The anti-bollywood gang
* Salman Khan (left)
* Amitabh Bachchan
* Saif Ali Khan
* AR Rahman
* Imtiaz Ali
* Gul Panag
* Dia Mirza
* Ritesh Deshmukh
* Ayushmann Khurana
* Anupam Kher
* Vikram Bhatt
Origin of the term
The term ‘Bollywood’ first came into use the 1970s, when India overtook America as the world’s largest film producer. Credit for the term has been claimed by several people, including lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna, and journalist Bevinda Collaco. ‘Bollywood’ was inspired by ‘Tollywood’, the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal. Dating back to 1932, ‘Tollywood’ was the earliest Hollywood-inspired name.
With inputs from PTI and HTC