Kashmir, often referred to as the paradise on earth, has always been a source of inspiration for Bollywood filmmakers. The snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and breathtaking landscapes of the region have been a favorite destination for filmmakers since the early days of Indian cinema. However, the relationship between Bollywood and Kashmir is not limited to just scenic locations. The region’s political and social issues have also been a significant theme in Bollywood films over the years. Kashmir has been a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. The conflict has resulted in numerous military confrontations, border skirmishes, and terrorist activities in the region. The situation in Kashmir has been a cause of concern for India and has been a topic of discussion in the political and social circles of the country. Bollywood, being the reflection of Indian society, has also portrayed the Kashmir conflict in many films. Films like ‘Haider,’ ‘Roja,’ ‘Kabhi Kabhie,’ and ‘Fitoor’ have portrayed the Kashmiri people’s struggle and the conflict’s impact on their lives. These films have depicted the human cost of the conflict, the loss of lives, and the displacement of people from their homes. They have also highlighted the role of the armed forces in the region, the human rights violations, and the impact of the conflict on the psyche of the people.
However, the portrayal of Kashmir in Bollywood films has also been criticized by some for perpetuating stereotypes and romanticizing the conflict. Many critics have argued that the portrayal of Kashmir in Bollywood films is one-dimensional, and it only shows a narrow view of the conflict. They argue that the films do not provide a nuanced understanding of the conflict and the complexities involved. Bollywood has a significant role in perception management in India as well as abroad especially in countries with large South Asian diaspora populations. Bollywood films are known for their colorful and extravagant portrayal of Indian Culture, and they play a crucial role in shaping the way people perceive India and its people. The portrayal of Kashmir in Bollywood films on numerous occasions has been accused of promoting jingoistic nationalism. Many films have depicted the armed forces as saviors, and the local people as either victims or perpetrators of violence. Such portrayal of the conflict has been criticized for not providing a balanced view of the situation and perpetuating a narrative that serves the interests of the ruling government.
The locations are an indispensable element in movie shooting as it sets the scene for the story and helps to create the desired mood and atmosphere. The right location can enhance the movie’s visual impact, make it more realistic, and provide a sense of authenticity to the story. Apart from the political and social issues, Kashmir has also been a popular destination for filmmakers due to its scenic beauty. The region has been used as a backdrop for romantic films, such as ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.’ These films have showcased the region’s beauty, the people’s culture, and the warmth of their hospitality. However, the use of Kashmir as a mere backdrop for romantic films has also been criticized for ignoring the political and social realities of the region. Critics argue that such films while showcasing the region’s beauty, ignore the conflict’s human cost and do not contribute to the understanding of the situation.
In conclusion, the relationship between Bollywood and Kashmir is complex and multifaceted. While Bollywood films have portrayed the conflict in the region and highlighted the human cost of the conflict, they have also been accused of perpetuating stereotypes and promoting a one-dimensional view of the situation. Moreover, the use of the region as a mere backdrop for romantic films has also been criticized for ignoring the political and social realities of the region. Therefore, filmmakers must take a nuanced approach while portraying Kashmir in their films and contribute to a better understanding of the situation in the region.
Ideas, Opinions and Views expressed in articles are Writer’s own and may not be in accord with those of The Morn