5 ways how Bollywood promotes misogyny

nature-3047449_1280Recently Bollywood superstar Salman Khan said that he felt like a raped woman during the shooting of his upcoming film Sultan. While this created quite an outrage, why are we surprised? Bollywood has been misogynistic in nature for decades and it has only got worse in multiplex age.

A look at how all this plays out…

1. Glorification of eve teasing: India is a strange country. First of all, the name “eve teasing” sounds so harmless and actually fun. The truth is that it should be called outright harassment or molestation. And eve teasing is glorified in Bollywood.

How many times has the hero indulged in eve teasing with a group of friends against the heroine and her group of friends? Then they get together and it’s all supposed to be OK. But what if they didn’t get together? Wouldn’t it be plain harassment?

Bollywood morality shows that it is OK to eve tease someone whom you intend to marry and it’s all supposed to be part of the wooing process. What the heroine thinks it totally irrelevant.

Another problem is that the hero also physically touches the heroine in inappropriate places during the wooing process and she’s just supposed to get angry and storm off instead of reporting the harasser/molester… sorry eve teaser to the police.

2. Saying that stalking for love is OK: Stalking is considered a serious crime in the West. It was a joke in Bollywood and India and it took only the horrific Nirbhaya rape case and the 2012 national anti-rape outrage to bring about a change in the laws.

The 2013 amendment saw stalking being a crime with a prison sentence of 1-3 years. What if we indulged in an imaginary exercise and applied this law retrospectively to Bollywood films down the ages?

How many Bollywood plots would go awry because the hero ended up in jail for stalking?

Take a recent music video sang by Bollywood singer Yo Yo Honey Singh featuring Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Sonam. In the video the two don’t know each other that well but they keep bumping into each other all the time.

In one scene Sonam enters his room and finds it full of her photographs clicked secretly over a period of time at many locations. In the video she is shown as quite thrilled but in the real world I suspect an average woman would find it creepy and freak out.

3. Really retrograde lyrics: The Bollywood eve teaser’s anthem should be “Tu Mere Agal Bagal” from the movie Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013). Sample some of its lyrics…

Khaali peeli khaali peeli rokne ka nahin,

Tera peechha karoon toh tokne ka nahin,

Haan tujhpe right mera,

Tu hai delight mera,

Tera raasta jo rokoon,

Chaukne ka nahin,

Tere doggy ko mujhpe bhaukne ka nahin,

Tera peechha karoon toh rokne ka nahin.

The song continues like this and to cut a long story short, the synopsis is that the hero says that he has a right (and even “delight”) to stalk and eve tease the heroine and she is not even supposed to protest it. She should in fact accept the stalking and teasing in full.

It is picturised on A-lister Shahid Kapoor and made by A-list director Rajkumar Santoshi who has been in the movie business for more than 30 years.

Even a superstar like fourth generation Bollywood dynast Kareena Kapoor did an item number with the lyrics…

Main to tandoori main to tandoori murgi hoon yaar,

Gatkale saiyan alcohol se oh yeah.

(I am a just a tandoori chicken in a tandoor yaar, just swallow me dear lover with alcohol oh yeah!)

The movie was Salman’s Dabangg 2 (2012).

The changing of Mandana Karimi’s lyrics from “Oh boy, oh boy, I’m your soft toy” to “Oh boy, oh boy, you’re my soft toy” by producer Ekta Kapoor was considered revolutionary by Bollywood standards.

The movie was Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2013).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the song “Dhoop main nikla na karo roop ki rani” would have been sung a million times in the last 30 years by random guys when they saw random girls on the road all across the country since the movie Geraftaar was released in 1985.

That movie had Amitabh Bachchan singing the lyrics and also featured Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Talking of Rajinikanth there is also a scene in Enthiran (2010) where Aishwarya Rai is almost molested by a coconut seller and later the hero and heroine just laugh it off and subsequently sing and dance. Crimes against Indian women are generally not taken that seriously by the Indian film industries.

4. Showcasing the alpha male vis-à-vis the heroine: World cinema has gone ahead, but most of our movies still show that the hero has to be an alpha male and he has to strut around wooing the heroine. We are yet to get out of the formula of romantic musicals.

Even if you keep churning out romantic musicals and show the hero and heroine on equal footing, it is OK. But even in 2016 it appears that it is the hero who has to woo the heroine and keep her away from harm and she just can’t take care of herself.

5. Trophy heroine for blockbusters in the multiplex age: This is a continuation of the above and the latest rage is the blockbuster where the Bollywood masala has been supersized with the prime example being Dabangg (2010). Most of the blockbusters are made keeping the hero in mind and the heroine is just a fill in the blanks kind of thing and anyone can be taken.

The heroine just has to look good with the hero. Like we have the concept of the “trophy wife”, you could say that Bollywood has mastered the art of the “trophy heroine”.

Taken all this together, you could say that Bollywood has a serious problem with the way it treats its women on the screen.

(This article appeared in Sify.com)

How fresh is Hollywood’s creativity?

A look at the Hollywood $1 Billion Dollar Club (worldwide box office gross) and the year in which the idea of the movie was created—that is the year when the event, the original first book of the series was published or when the original movie of the sequel/remake came out.

avatar-1738010_6401. 2009. Avatar.

2. 1912. Titanic.

3. 1977. Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

4. 1993. Jurassic World.

5. 1963. Marvel’s The Avengers.

6. 2001. Furious 7.

7. 1963. Avengers: Age of Ultron.

actor-1299629_6408. 1997. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

9. 2013. Frozen.

10. 1963. Iron Man 3.

11. 2015. Minions.

12. 1941. Captain America: Civil War.

13. 1984. Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

14. 1937. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

15. 1953. Skyfall.

16. 1984. Transformers: Age of Extinction.

17. 1939. The Dark Knight Rises.

jack-sparrow-496090_64018. 1967. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

19. 1995. Toy Story 3.

20. 1967. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

21. 1993. Jurassic Park.

22. 1977. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

23. 1865. Alice in Wonderland.

24. 2016. Zootopia.

25. 1937. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

26. 1939. The Dark Knight.

19th Century: 1.
1900-25: 1.
1926-50: 5.
1951-75: 6.
1976-2000: 8.
2001-16: 5.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

No matter how low Hillary sunks, they’ll attack Trump…

Obama: Bush is the establishment. I’m the anti-establishment.
Slogan: Yes we can.
Trump: Obama is the establishment. I’m the anti-establishment.
Slogan: Yes we can make America great again.

Even when the millionth scandal/revelation comes about Hillary, the mainstream media will still exclusively continue to attack Trump 24X7.

Democrats: We condemn Trump’s proposed wall to keep out Mexicans, but we’ve built a 4-mile fence at convention site to keep out Americans.

All Trump has to do is keep replaying Obama’s 2008 and Sanders’ 2016 campaigns against Hillary and sit back and enjoy the fun.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru


Cold Turkey: The abrupt cessation of a s̶u̶b̶s̶t̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ democratic dependence and the resulting unpleasant experience.

Had a coup actually taken place, then thousands would have been arrested, sacked, emergency declared, human rights convention suspended…
Oh wait…

If it takes 20 years to build a democracy, it takes just 20 days to annihilate the complete democratic infrastructure.
‪#‎Turkey‬ ‪#‎Pakistan‬

Erdogan’s slogan…
Yes we can…
…put as many people as we want in jail.

Famous last words…
This State of Emergency is to save the nation’s democracy.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

The vicious circle in Kashmir

The sheer hopelessness of the never-ending violence spiralling out of control in Kashmir…

Separatists: Hum eenth ka jawab pathar se denge.

Police: Hum pathar ka jawab pellet se denge.

Terrorist: Hum pellet ka jawab bullet se denge.

Army: Hum bullet ka jawab… Well you saw what happened to Burhan Wani.

And beyond that is all out war with Pakistan.

1947-48: Kashmir War.

1965: Rann of Kutch Conflict.

1965: Indo-Pak War.

1971: Bangladesh War.

1984: Siachen Conflict.

1990s: Militancy in Kashmir.

1999: Kargil War.

2000s: Terrorism in Kashmir.

2010s: Difficult to shake off the above mentioned legacy.

© Sunil Rajguru

If Pappu had to formally apply for the post of Indian Prime Minister…

Dear glorious citizens of India,

I would like to apply for the post of Prime Minister of India. First let me tell you a bit about myself.

Professional qualifications: I have studied something in some foreign universities and I did some work somewhere for some time, but please don’t ask anything more about all of it. I don’t like talking about all these experiences. You have to take my word for it.

Government experience: I have never been a central minister or Chief Minister or anything like that as it requires a lot of hard work. I have never been a bureaucrat. I have never been part of committees that did something ground-breaking. I inherited the constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and I have been hanging around in the
Lok Sabha (on and off) for a whopping 12 years now. But in my defence, that is far far more experience than any Nehru-Gandhi dynast had when he or she took over as Prime Minister.

Speeches: This is my biggest body of experience. I have made millions and millions of speeches in the length and breadth of this great land, in rural and urban centres and for Assembly and general elections. I believe I am already the most experienced speech giver in my party.

So what if I spout nonsense from time to time. So what if my speech writers appear to be imbeciles? So what if I’m met by empty venues at times? So what if none of my speeches can be converted to votes? So what if most of them are disastrous?

Please look at my immense body of work and honour it.

Social media presence: I have already become a legend in the social media circuit. If you combine all the word counts and images of all the Pappu jokes, spoofs and laughs on Twitter, Facebook and the like, then I have already surpassed the combined publicity of the entire Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty manifold.

Haven’t you heard of the phrase: There is no such thing as bad publicity! Even on YouTube, the 1 hour plus interview with Arnab Goswami making a fool of myself got a good 3.2 million views. The channel was really happy. In fact all media houses really adore me.

As it is most wise men are insisting that Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product. Think how much laughter and happiness I will be able to give to the country of India when I become Prime Minister!

My recent achievements: Our friend Kejriwal thrashed Modi in Delhi. The Mahagatbandhan thrashed Modi in Bihar. Modi got thrashed in Uttarakhand President’s Rule fiasco. Modi got thrashed in Arunachal Pradesh President’s Rule fiasco.

Even when Modi is not getting thrashed I am totally useless and Modi is doing so much work. Yet the media, intellectuals and liberals attack Modi far far more. That’s the power of my personality. If I become Prime Minister, I will have the entire mainstream media, intellectuals and liberals eating out of my hand. That hasn’t happened to Modi, has it?

My trump card: So why should I be made Prime Minister? It’s simple really.
1. My great grandfather was Prime Minister.
2. My grandmother was Prime Minister.
3. My uncle was de facto Prime Minister.
4. My father was Prime Minister.
5. My mother was de facto Prime Minister.

That’s five good reasons while the mean chaiwallah had none and still you made him Prime Minister! I am the system (at least I was till 2014) and therefore only I can really change the system.

Anyway, please do not worry as I am in no hurry. If things go wrong with the chaiwallah then I automatically win in 2019. If things go right then there’s always anti-incumbency in 2024. Even if that fails there’s always 2029 and 2034.

I can emulate Manmohan Singh chachaji. He became Prime Minister quite late. Come to think of it Morarji Desai first became Prime Minister at the age of 81! I will turn 81 in 2051. So that’s how long you have to bear me! Better to make me Prime Minister as early as possible and get it done with!

(P.S. When I finally become Prime Minister, I will require more than six months of vacation in a year. But I am very happy with the chaiwallah for setting precedence. I will simply try to break his foreign trips record. I can holiday for one month at a time and maybe have just a couple of chai meeting with foreign leaders to justify it! Chaiwallah zindabad! Actually come to think of it, I can simply take a vacation till 2019! Hmmm… how tempting!)

Yours in good earnest,


(In case you haven’t guessed it, this is a spoof about Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi)

© Sunil Rajguru