Sunday, January 06, 2008
Bollywood: The Dark Side
By Sajawal Khan
Sunday, 14 September 2003
The Indian film industry is the second largest in the world producing about 300 movies a year. Not more than 5 or six movies hit the box office. One wonders why people keep on investing in an apparently money losing business. The reason is quite simple. The real function of "bollywood" is not to produce movies. It, in fact, is one of the largest money laundering operations in the world. According to CNN all the businesses in India have to give 25 per cent of their profits to the underworld to stay in business and "bollywood" is no exception. That money needs to be laundered.
Most of the movies are shot either in Europe or America so that money can be transferred abroad. Even the actors and actresses have to keep on bribing the underworld dons to stay in business, and also to stay alive. Rakesh Roshan, one of the noted producers and father of the famous "bollywood" idol, Hrithic Roshan was shot and injured because of his dispute with the underworld.
It is no coincidences that during this phase of Capitalism’s decay and degeneration, even cultural activities have been mired by greed and vulgarity. Culture basically is an expression of the aesthetic self of a certain community. It has been totally vulgarized under commercialism. It also lays bare the total degeneration and bankruptcy of the ruling class, as we all know that the ruling ideas, even in culture, are those of the ruling class.
Even an artist has become a tool used to produce and enhance the profits of those who own the means of production in this system. That is why art has lost all its beauty and depth in the face of ever growing commercialisation. As greed knows no bounds, culture and art is sinking into the bottomless pit of profitability. The present ruling class is even worse than the previous ones who at least had a better cultural level owing to historical reasons. The singers or artists in all fields compete with each other to win the advertising contracts of multinational companies. Commercial success has become the ultimate criterion and that is why now so-called "artists" bribe the journalists to keep themselves in the limelight. There is a constant vulgar and a petty race among the artists to be number one. They exchange cheap remarks about each other in the media. The actresses use the media to become the most expensive prostitutes, and so on.
Culture, like all other aspects of human life, cannot flourish under the yoke of finance capital. A genuine cultural renaissance can only be had through a socialist revolution by overthrowing this ruling class that has monopolized and enslaved culture and reduced art to a saleable commodity.