#Thread on the Vilification of Bollywood:

Of late, a pattern has emerged, where the Hindi film industry has relentlessly been under attack, accused of everything from 'nepotism' to being a 'drug mafia', with people holding Bollywood celebs more accountable than our politicians.
2/ Yes, the industry isn't perfect by any standards. It has a long way to go before it addresses the skeletons in its cupboards (and there are many). As does ANY other industry in India.

The difference is that Bollywood's many issues are a source of gossip for the larger public.
3/ And this gossip is the intoxicant that politicians and pliable news media have now recognised as most potent in keeping the public from questioning those in power.

We don't have data on migrant deaths, MSME closures, doctor deaths, but we know Rhea's entire Whatsapp history!
4/ So what if that means demonizing Bollywood, for, ironically, public entertainment?
A country built on 'sifaarish' screams about nepotism.
A country that intoxicates itself on Bhaang so often, sends Rhea to jail for weed.
And we character assassinate many others with impunity.
5/ Today, Anurag Kashyap, the outsider who launched a thousand careers, has been accused of sexual harassment in a tweet tagged to the PM(!).
A political mob joyously amplifies.
Those who targeted #MeToo ('why believe women') are tweeting #ArrestAnurag, calling others hypocrites.
6/ I do hope due procedure is followed in AK's case, just like it was followed against all those in power (wait..), and if AK is arrested, don't ask why he's the first one among *all*, because everyone standing up for him today knows this is a hit job on both dissent & feminism.
7/ But whatever does happen, it will matter for a news cycle only until the ratings fall, and then someone else will be felled, burnt at stake of an economy in shambles that no one questions about, high on the drug that is Bollywood gossip, while calling Bollywood 'drug mafia'..
8/ And yet, few speak for it, not realising how the 'escapism' that we call movies made by dreamers, helped many a young girl or boy dream themselves, and aspire to escape the patriarchal norms that ask every boy to be an engineer, every girl a homemaker, and every family sheep.
9/ For a country finding its place in the world, Bollywood gave us recognition internationally, helping us become a soft power, bringing people together across cultures, communities & countries. As we vilify it, we forget how there's not much else that connects us within either.
10/ Our news media is replacing reality TV.
Our textbooks are readjusting our story.
Our politicians are erasing history.
Our police jails students more than it does criminals.
All we have left is art, films, content.. if we don't speak up for it now, who will we be culturally?
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