REINFORCING STEREOTYPES

We, Indians are always fascinated at the idea of Hollywood or English movies displaying India in its own understanding, thus misinterpreting most of the Indian reality. If we just take a glimpse of the English movies with Indian themes, the most recurrent idea would be an India that is poor, an India that cannot speak English, an India that still believes in snake charmers, an India that is lost in a circle of rites, religions and superstitions. A fixed image for certain parts of India is visible in most of these movies. For e.g. if they want to show Rajasthan, there would be use of bright colours and women clad in “ghoonghats”. For depicting Kerala, there would be display of the famous backwaters. It seems as if there is no other alternative to highlight these Indian jewels. Stereotypes in India circulate not only in the works within the country but even the makers of English Indian movies abroad find it interesting to use them as aids. For e.g. it is a common practice to portray a south Indian as a butt of every one’s joke. A typical south Indian accent is used by the character to achieve this motive. Even the characters name would be very typical like Subramanian or Iyer. Thus, we often across Indian stereotypes polished with a pinch of humour and ambiguity in some movies. It usually comes handy to them because constantly we, Indians publicize our strengths and weaknesses. They therefore are not to be blamed.

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