FRANKFURT : Bollywood may wear its multi-religious pluralism as a badge of honour, but for the angry young British Muslims of Pakistani denomination, it’s all a sham and therefore a matter of extreme discomfort.
As India’s oversized filmdom stampedes across the world winning accolades, a group of British Muslim youth is trashing the Bollywood genre, warning that the "cheesy second-rate imitation of Hollywood…is overrunning Pakistan and brainwashing musalmaans".
In a rap-video posted on youtube.com that is being widely circulated in Pakistani circles, the group reserves much of its venom for Bollywood’s reigning stars, many of who happen to be Muslims.
"What do you want to give your kids?/Is it Salman Khan or Islam?/Is it Shah Rukh Khan or Allah’s book?/ Is it Bobby Deol or save their souls?/ Is it Amir Khan or imaan?" intones a singer, preferring a hip-hop style to convey the message.
Hiphop is an African-American influenced musical and cultural movement that has itself attracted criticism for its language. YouTube is a social networking website that allows users to upload, view and share videoclips and it too has attracted criticism for encouraging violence and copyright infringement.
But for the extremist Brit-Pak brigade, Bollywood bashing comes first. "Everywhere you look/It’s that kufr Bollywood/Video stores selling whores/Semi-gay actors with Muslim sounding names/With Hindu propaganda designed to create chains," goes one rant
The unnamed group, which has produced the video from a collage of Hindi film clips and posters, says Bollywood movies are officially banned in Pakistan but it is freely available on video and DVD by piracy, which it says is "a conspiracy to allow Hindu culture thorough the backdoor."
Reports from Pakistan speak of the movie Fanaa being a big hit in the country’s underground circuit. Songs from Fanaa and other new Bollywood blockbusters are played openly in taxis and private transport.
The Pakistani elite and the ruling class lead the ranks of Bollywood aficionados, a fact that seems to rankle the British Pakistani youth who are in the limelight for their extremist views and fondness for madrassas.
"They kill Kashmiris but you still watch Mission Kashmir,” they admonish Pakistanis in one passage. Another rap passage wonders: "Bollywood Bollywood what’s the future hold/ As film by film you get ever so bold/ Stories of lesbianism enter the fold/ Now you have to heat it up as it starts going cold/ Topless movies or is it incest next/ All the time it is sex sex sex."