Construction of Differences through Movies: A Case Study of Portrayal of Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Movies

By Abbas, Hafiz Qasir; Zohra, Fatima Tuz | Cross - Cultural Communication, November 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Construction of Differences through Movies: A Case Study of Portrayal of Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Movies


Abbas, Hafiz Qasir, Zohra, Fatima Tuz, Cross - Cultural Communication


Abstract

Indian movies are very popular in sub-continent and have equal rate of viewership in Pakistan as they have in India. On the other hand, movies have been known as the best tool for agenda setting since years. This had been experimented successfully at first in second world war and afterwards in USSR-Afghan war. This paper explores the portrayal of Kashmir's in Indian movies in the same context of agenda setting. The main objective of the study is to determine whether Kashmiri Muslims are positively or negatively portrayed in Indian movies and are given equal representation or not. The researcher has employed the survey research and content analysis method for the study. Three Indian movies involving Kashmiri characters have been selected for content analysis. For the survey purpose, students of University of Punjab have been selected as population and a sample size of 150 have been taken through simple random sampling. The results of the study show that Kashmiri Muslims are portrayed as rebels and terrorist, and, are given only negative characters to perform. The study explains this phenomenon with help of Agenda Setting Theory.

Key words: Agenda setting; Indian movies; Kashmiri; Muslims; Difference; Portrayal; Negative

INTRODUCTION

Cinema is a fascinating subject but Indian cinema popularly known as Bollywood is more so because of the peculiar traits of the people who watch it. Mass media especially cinema shaped our society and peoples' attitudes. They control all aspects of life which is related to the people, as how people think, what style of clothes are the most fashionable and how people should behave. The views enter a trance, a state of absorption, concentration, attention and engrossed by the story and the plight of character.

According to Ray Horn:

Movies, which made its birth in the late 1980's, are a major influence in the way most of humanity view the world. People usually go to movies to escape the real world but when they leaked the theater they leave with a permanent impression of images of people and situation they lack the expertise and knowledge of.

Historically Bollywood's long Kashmir obsession is thus an exploration of how this obsession fits into the contested political relationship between Kashmir and the Indian Union. There by, the impression of images produced bony Indian films with special reference to relations with Pakistan is of concern to many people who are apprehensive about indo-Pak relationship. The historically baggage and policy pursuits during the last 57 years did not facilitate peace and stability of the reign lack of peace and stability took a very tool in terms of human development.

Indian films are famous on the both side of the border. The wider spend popularity of DVDs, the cable T.V and the availability of literally thousands of films in every concern video store has greatly expanded the influence and accessibility of Indian films.

Films of 1960's made the Kashmir Valley the space for the expression of a new youthful modernity for urban Indians, especially through the technology of color. Pleasures of these films with the formation of a modem Indian subjectivity, contrasts these pleasures with the mounting political tensions within Kashmir.

From India's Independence in 1947 to the early 1980s, Indian-administered Kashmir remained stable and relatively free of violence compared to the rest of northern India. The ruling National Conference government ran a patronage based, one-party system heavily beholden to political leaders in Delhi. Yet despite corruption, miss-governance, curtailed freedoms of speech, and inordinate dependence on central largesse, the National Conference enjoyed a high degree of legitimacy and little popular opposition.

Ever since the Kashmiris asked for freedom, the Indian policy changed towards them, thus their portrayal in the Indian films. Bollywood movies made on the subject of Kashmiris are generally conflict based, based on the conflict between Kashmiris and Indian army, border disputes, cross border insurgency, Pak Indian relations, partition issues and Indian military in Kashmir. …

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