How Bollywood Movies Are Becoming ‘Pakistan Friendly’ despite Strained India-Pakistan Ties

Bollywood in Pakistan has earned a new respect for itself. Despite uncordial India-Pakistan relations, Bollywood seems to have digressed from putting Pakistan in a bad light. The India-Pakistan tensions have escalated in recent times, but the Indian film industry is trying to avoid offending Pakistan. India-Pakistan diplomatic ties are as good as suspended at present, but art has always been a constant bridge that has somehow saved India-Pakistan relations from crumbling completely. But why are Bollywood Movies becoming Pakistan Friendly? Analysis by EurAsian Times. 

For very long, the commercial Indian cinema plotted around patriotism had Pakistan painted as evil by default. A sense of patriotism always correlated with a hatred for Pakistan and there was a great complacency about it in Bollywood. For this, Bollywood in Pakistan was hated to some extent, and it only severed the India-Pakistan relations. For instance, the movie Phantom whose plot was centered on avenging the 26/11 attacks exhibited Pakistan as a perpetrator of the terror. The movie was in fact, banned in Pakistan. This is only a recent example of Indian movies that fancied bashing Pakistan.

The Love for Bollywood Movies in Pakistan

So, someone had to break the ice and put an end to a long tradition that garnered no commercial success. Bajrangi Bhaijan which featured Salman Khan was among the first movies of the Indian film industry that showed Pakistan in a good light. For a pleasant change, Pakistan was not a villain in this plot. The movie was not just loved in India but also in Pakistan, for its plot to shun hatred and portray love.

The film was appreciated even by the Pakistan box office. A new precedent of Bollywood in Pakistan earned INR 6 million in the first week in just Karachi and Islamabad as stated by the Indian Express. The movie created a new atmosphere of cordiality. It might not have done anything big in terms of India-Pakistan relations but it gave a reason to people across the border to look at each other with a smile. Everyone loved how this movie performed the subtle art of damage repair between the two nations and Bollywood in Pakistan was seen from a purview of love.

Raazi: A Story of Patriotism

The latest Bollywood Movie in the list is Raazi, a brilliant movie directed by Meghna Gulzar. It shows robust patriotism and a strong emotion of love for the nation which is put before everything else. Even in the plot, despite a long list of characters playing Pakistan nationalists, there is no villain. The movie has every emotion of a staunch patriotism and the willingness to die for the nation, but not at the cost of putting Pakistan in a bad light. Raazi might have been barred from releasing in Pakistan, but this movie too was about a different precedent amid strained India-Pakistan relations.

What Experts Say?

Various experts cite different reasons for Bollywood going soft on Pakistan. One reason is that Bollywood movies are much loved and admired in Pakistan, and an anti-Pakistan film is bound to get banned, which results in substantial revenue loss for the film makers. Secondly, experts state that Indian actors and film-makers are staunchly against hurting the sentiments of their fans across the border. Experts claim that Bollywood Movies have a strong influence in Pakistan, besides other nations, and India would not want to lose their soft power by portraying any country in a bad light.

Read More at EurAsian Times