India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, spoke out against the “boycott culture” targeting the Indian film industry at the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival in Mumbai on 27 January. raised. Thakur said such a trend “sends the wrong message and spoils the atmosphere at a time when Indian cinema is making waves around the world.”
“If someone has a complaint, they can bring it up to the department. It gets brought up to the producers and directors involved. I have something to comment on. It causes losses. It should. It won’t happen,” Thakur said.
His remarks come on the back of the historic box office success of Shah Rukh Khan’s film ‘Pathaan’. The film was released earlier this week despite a ban on the film and calls for a boycott from the Hindutva organization.
Additionally, the social media trend calling for a movie boycott went viral throughout 2022 and continued to thrive despite advance ticket sales for the film beginning earlier this week.
What is #BoycottBollywood?
Over the past few years, several Bollywood movies and actors have been the subject of boycott calls, with hashtags like #BoycottBollywood trending on platforms such as Twitter.
Although no definitive link has been shown between such trends and the commercial performance of the film, it has received protests from several members of the industry.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a meeting with members of the film industry in Mumbai earlier this month, during which actor Sunil Shetty expressed concern over the boycott trend and voiced his opposition to Adityanat. I urged him to rise.
In 2022 alone, several major releases were subject to this “boycott culture.”
‘Lal Singh Chadda’ starring Aamir Khan, ‘Brahmastra’ starring Ranbir Kapoor and ‘Pattern’ were targeted in a sustained boycott campaign. As reported by BOOM in 2022. In recent years, widespread use of disinformation has been made to promote these trends.
Khan is not new to such backlash. Calls to boycott him and the brands he supports have become ubiquitous on the internet after a luxury cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai drew attention and his son Aaryan Khan was detained.
His “Pathaan” co-star Deepika Padukone has also been a consistent target of boycott culture. Her 2018 film ‘Padmavat’ sparked massive protests by Hindu and Rajput organizations who claimed their emotions were hurt by the film.
Calls for a boycott of Padukone’s film Chapak surged in January 2020 when Padukone visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to express solidarity with students who were attacked by masked individuals. spread to This was during mass anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests across the country and on JNU campuses.
In August 2021, actor Radhika Apte was also targeted by right-wing social media users, including members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, for her role in Reena Yadav’s film Parched, which was released six years ago. I was.
However, recent calls to boycott Bollywood films have come mainly from right-leaning Hindutva organizations and their members, who have become a vital constituency for Thakur’s political party, the BJP.
Reasons for Calling for Boycott of Patterns
BJP members themselves have been complicit in many of these trends, including calls to boycott the ‘pattern’.
In December 2022, BJP workers gathered in Playagraj to protest the release of the film. They attributed Hinduism to the fact that one of his songs from the film released before the film, “Besharam Rang,” shows a dancing padukone in a saffron bikini, which is closely associated with the Hindutva movement. claimed to have hurt the feelings of
A similar protest took place in Madhya Pradesh, where Hindutva costumes burned statues of Khan and Padukone and called for a boycott of the film. Several of his BJP leaders, including Interior Minister Narotam Mishra, joined the anger. Mishra had warned that the film would be banned in the state if the scene in the song was not changed. ‘ and the saffron and green outfit she’s wearing in the song, or I’ll make a decision on whether or not to do so.” Whether the movie will be shown in MP. ”
Also read:#BoycottPathan trends, MPs see protest: What led to outrage over ‘Besharam Rang’ song?
But the #BoycottPathan trend started long before this song was released. BOOM has fact-checked several false claims against Khan and movies containing this hashtag since 2020.
Despite these efforts, as of January 27, “Pathaan” Collected more than rupees.219 million worldwide According to Yash Raj Films, the film has been a huge commercial success.