Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Pakistani cinema never had any attractiveness for Indians - not even in the age of YouTube - for a very strong reason

In this BBC interview, published on 20 Dec. 2017, Pakistan film-star Shaan asks for "utni hi market" in India for Pakistani cinema "jitni" Pakistan supposedly has for Indian films -- and he addresses his demand to the "government" of India!!

He talks as if "markets" such as that of cinema's are created by "governments"!

He talks as if it's the government of Pakistan that's somehow responsible for creating Pakistani market for Indian cinema -- as if this market will just disappear if the government of Pakistan were to disallow exhibition of Indian films in Pakistan!

Shaan also pretends as if Indian audience is as receptive to Pakistani cinema as Pakistani audience has long been to Indian films!

I am a 43-year-old Indian from Hindi-speaking region (who stopped watching cinema long ago but who has been reasonably clued-up about cinematic happenings) and I have never known any Indian in person ever discussing any Pakistani film or a Pakistani film star other than those who get to act in Bollywood productions.

(Until I chanced upon this BBC interview, I had never heard of Pakistani film-star Shaan. The only Shaan I knew was Indian singer by the same name.)

I don't know a single Indian in person ever showing any enthusiasm for a Pakistani film or even a Pakistani film song -- even in this age of YouTube.

And I am pretty sure if you were to randomly stop some Indian in the Hindi-speaking region going about her/his daily business and ask her/him to name three recently released or exhibited Pakistani films or three popular playback singers who sang in Pakistani films, you will draw a blank.

Shaan and other Pakistani cinema worriers need to realize something very important.

What is now called Pakistan used once to be a subset of larger Indian cultural matrix, but post Partition the fraudsters in Pakistan have left no stone unturned to devalue or damage or wipe out the Indianness of their society -- with degrees of success.

This Indianness is nothing but the diversity, syncretism and inclusion that's so characteristic of Indic ethnosphere -- and is also evident in India's cinematic culture.

That's what contributes so handsomely to the attractiveness of Indian cinema.

Pakistani cinema never had that attractiveness; it lost it the moment it was made to be labelled 'Pakistani cinema' as something separate from the life-force called Indian cinema.

Difficult to imagine a film goer in Delhi or Mumbai or Bhopal showing any great enthusiasm for a "Pakistani film" with the entire star cast, lyricists, playback singers, and production team with Islamic-Arabic names with actors speaking a pretty heavily Arabized-Persianized Hindi (which Pakistanis call "Urdu") and singing songs in similarly Arabized-Persianized lingo!

What diversity!

So despite common origins, the so called Pakistani cinema has never had even a tiny fraction of all those characteristics that contribute to the heady Indian cinematic cocktail.

The following is the Web-link used in this post.

(BBC correspondent Henna Saeed talks to Pakistani film-star Shaan Shahid about his upcoming film 'Arth' and his reluctance to do films in India, unlike Pakistani actors Fawad, Mahira and Ali Zafar who have quite notably acted in Bollywood productions.)

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