Indian films: an invasion of Pakistani Cinema or a welcome change?

A debate has been going on for several years that whether the exhibition of Hindi movies should be allowed in the local Pakistani cinemas. Now that Pakistan and India are moving towards a procession of peace, this question dwells in the minds of most Pakistanis. The Indian movie producers have been asking the Pakistani government that their movies should be allowed in the Pakistani cinemas, as it will help stop piracy, and it will also generate revenues for them.

Recently I perused an article about polls held by a newspaper to estimate whether people favour or disapprove the idea of showing Indian films in Cinemas. I came to know after reading the result that most people are convinced that exhibition of Indian films would cause catastrophic repercussions and consequences on our culture and society. I am afraid but I term these views irrational and hypocritical.

Merely half a century ago, the English had enslaved us for a period of more than hundred years. But this has not stopped many people to watch English movies in cinemas, which are unquestionably more obscene, lewd and indecent than the Indian ones. Are these movies not contributing to cultural loss?

We have been dwelling in this region since the arrival of Mohammad Bin Qasim. Fifty years of geographical isolation has not caused the cessation of celebration of Indian festivals such as 'Basant' and we can easily perceive the blend of its customs in our matrimonial ceremonies such as 'Mehndi' and 'Rukhsati'. It is a burning question "Have we got an Indian touch in our culture"?

I fail to understand that when Indian movies are so easily accessible in the form of video cassettes, DVDs, VCDs, on all cable channels and when we can easily find Indian songs, magazines and posters of Indian film stars, then how our culture would be influenced by displaying Indian movies in cinemas. Some people also reasoned that it might cause considerable damage to Lollywood. Majority accepts that Indian motion pictures are superior in technical and financial grounds. Likewise keeping in mind our tendency to import every better foreign commodity, showing partiality in this matter is baffling. Burgeoning of Indian movie shops testify the urge of people to entertain themselves by something which has better handling and higher quality treatment of fiction in everyday matters than what we get by their Pakistani counterpart. Therefore in my conviction Indian films should get approbation by concerned authorities cinema exhibitions.

[Note: This article was written in August 2005]


Red said…
You guys have been around before Muhammad bin Quasim. Arab traders settled in Gujarat, Sindh and Deccan much before the invasions. [:)].

Also, its not as if Pakistani's never watch Indian movies. In fact all our pirated films are made in Pakistan and shipped to Mumbai via Dubai. So there are many ads for Chintu Candy, Ding Dong Candy (with the Billi) and Omar Sharif plays.
mehmal said…
oops @ before Muhammad bin Qasim :D haan the piracy thing is what i am talking about, its hypocrisy on the establishment's part to not lift the ban when EVERONE has easy access to Indian movies *sigh*
Pareshaan said…
Have to agree with Red here, in fact if I am not wrong, most people who in habit what is today Pakistan, have little to do with Quasim. The sttlement of the lands of Pakistan is surely of an antiquity that precedes the presence of Islam.
And that brings me to a question that I am sure will be rather irritating to a Pakistani, but begs to be asked. Do you really believe that "Pakistani" culture and "Indian" culture are really that different. In fact till 1947 society in both India (certainly North India) and Pakistan was governed by the same cultural and social precepts. It is significant to note that large parts of India were under Islamic rule for a much longer part than they were under British rule. Delhi and the Northern Belt had the same rulers as Pakistan for 600 years before the advent of the British. I cannot see how in the past fifty years we have become so different as people. Pakistan may be an Islamic state today. India may be a nation with a domination of Hindus. India may have a alrge number of people who do not share the faith of the majority in Pakistan. But that in no way amputates them "culturally" from Pakistan. 50 years of engineered animosity is simply not enough to cause such a wide rift between our two nations. I think that the concept of cultural difference is rather imaginary and more of a political ruse than anything else. I am sorry, but that's the way I feel.
mehmal said…
Pareshaan, I agree that we are not that culturally different from each other. That is why I am all in favour of Indian movies in our cinemas :)
Zafar Iqbal said…
I like the way you described it and would like to see more from you. Indian Movies 194
Zafar Iqbal said…
Very Good Movie I Like It. Indian Movies

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