Monday, 6 July 2015

Are we creating Indian Stereotypes?

Hello again, I know this time’s title is a bit weird.. but all of my blog posts have such weird titles.. hehe.. so lets get started..

A couple of days back, I came across this video, where a bunch of Indians were asked to give their vishesh tipani (opinion) on how Indians as a nation are portrayed on American Television. And all they could do was to complain, how we are portrayed as stereotypes. In “The Big Bang Theory” one of our favourites, Rajesh Koothrapali, is always shown as someone who is desperate to fit in and not comfortable around women and he is daydreaming a Bollywood sequence with his brand new infatuation and him! Not to disappoint anyone, but Indians don’t burst in spontaneous dance routines.. and NO!! the strangers on the road, do not know the dance steps! 

Moving on, Slumdog Millionaire is just a movie, the entire Indian Population of 1.2 Billion does not stay in “Slums”, we don’t dance on the railway stations and we all aren’t a pack of goons! People need to remove their “3D Glasses of Slumdog Millionaire” and then look at Indians! And lastly, India is a land of more than 100 languages, most of us, do speak English.. but not everyone’s accent is like “Apu from Simpsons”

After watching that video, I was disappointed, with the fact that Indians are stereotyped! So I decided, to do a little more research to see, on what basis does the entire world, come up with these stereotypes! And to my surprise, we Indians stereotype ourselves more than anyone else!

Here, my only source for comparison was Bollywood, and the Hindi cinema. And my disappointment just grew worse! When I tried to search for latest movies, or songs, and I found horrifying stereotypes.

Most of the movies, need to have an item number present! Okay, so we don’t circle around trees anymore, the actress does not shy away from the actor, and we do not have many dance numbers, where the entire nation joins in! But we still have songs, where the couple is dancing.. in the middle of the desert!!!! I mean, how did you manage to leave your full time job!! Fly into a deserted land.. Change your attire.. get into an Aladdin look alike costume.. and do a dance sequence with 3 outfit changes! Fulfill your Disney dream and come back to reality, without wasting any time on it. Woaahh!! I had no idea the Bollywood actors had access to a time machine!!?!? So how do we expect Rajesh Koothrapali to be any different??

We have songs where an actor decides to call himself Superman, climb on top of the slums, and dance! In any of the Superman Movies or comic series, I have never come across Superman dancing! So if we are going to depict slums and people dancing on top of it, so why should Slumdog Millionaire be any different?

Day by day, the quality of Indian cinema is degrading! And we rely only on a handful of movies, to showcase the Indian talent! In my personal opinion, if India is going to rely on an average movie such as PK, to be the movie of the year.. we are just going to get more and more of such stereotypes! We loose out on our right to crib and complain!

Even this year, a movie like “Tanu weds Manu” has incorporated a song “Bano tera Swagger” I mean what is wrong with Bollywood! The very obvious and desperate need to include the English slang can be seen here! So then why can’t Rajesh Koothrapali be eager to fit in..??

Our movies, just shows us as goons or the bad guys (tevar, gunday, wanted, khiladi 786, Don, etc).. or as cops! (Rowdy rathore, dabbang, etc ) As if there is no other profession in India! In that case, if Rajesh is a scientist or Apu has a grocery store.. is something good.. away from the Indian made stereotypes at least!

This is just the comparison.. But what about the damage we do to our own image! The stereotypes that we create..!! Every movie needs to have a song by yo yo Honey Singh or any other “tom dick and harry” who knows how to rap! Now.. I do not mean to be offensive! Rapping requires, talent and patience and certain uniqueness.. so I am not disgracing the art! But the raps Indians create are totally rubbish! With a few exceptions.. If your songs are just going to talk about parties, alcohol (char bottal vodka??!?! Not even humanly possible!), “murga teetar”, sutta (cigarettes) and wooing your ladylove (More like ladylove for the night, if it’s a Honey Singh song!), then I am sorry to say.. you are a pathetic rapper! And you have no right to even compare or call yourself “The Eminem of India” Instead, you should be ashamed of your horrible writing, I don’t think so, “aunty next time police bola legi.. she might just murder you!”

Our music is also degrading at an exponential rate, how can we have songs like “Phatte tak nach”?? I really wanted to get into the video and ask the girl dancing.. “Bhenji aapko kya phadna hai?” I mean that’s just the height of being ridiculous! 

If we create and initialize the stereotypes, I don’t think we can complain about how we are depicted in American movies or television. What do you all think about this? I would love to hear from you, whether you agree with today’s blogpost or not! Are we providing preposterous and absurd examples to the world, to represent us in that fashion? Any comments or suggestions for my next blog post are welcome!You can now even subscribe to get the latest updates on my latest blog posts!


  1. sure we are, compare stephen sackur of hard talk on bbc with arnab goswami on times now....yes nice blog this.