Boycott Bollywood: Reality or Exaggeration

The Asian Articles
3 min readApr 2, 2021

written by Sanjana Gudivada and edited by Anvitha Reddy

Growing up, Bollywood movies were a staple for my family and me. When someone mentions India, most of the time the Bollywood industry is the first thing that comes to their mind. But there are many ugly truths in this famed industry that a lot of people overlook. After famous Bollywood actor Sushanth Singh Rajput’s suicide, the Indian public started to question the industry and asked whether they really should be supporting an industry with so much nepotism and favoritism in it. People chose to boycott Bollywood entirely. But is boycotting an industry that is one of India’s biggest representations feasible?

In 2016, the Bollywood industry brought $4.5 billion to India’s economy (Amadeo, 2020) and continues to bring a lot of profit to India’s GDP. Furthermore, Bollywood music and movies have existed in India since the 1930s (Britannica, 2020) So, abruptly boycotting an industry that has remained for almost 100 years is close to impossible and would take years to achieve. Though a loud minority is up for boycotting Bollywood, there are many who are against it as the culture holds sentimental value to them. So, why exactly are people so adamant about uprooting this century-old industry?

Nepotism or favoritism is granted to relatives or friends of influential or powerful individuals is prevalent in Bollywood and has prevented a lot of rising stars from gaining success. Sushanth Singh Rajput was one of the people negatively affected by nepotism. He didn’t have any connections and his success was organic (Marandi, 2020). This is the reason why many were shocked at his sudden death. Many also believed that the reason for his death was the constant bullying and sabotage he received from the higher-ups in the industry and many speculated this was because he wasn’t a product of nepotism (Marandi, 2020). His death aggravated a lot of the public and led some to accuse famous Bollywood figures including Salman Khan and Karan Johar who posted condolences to his family after his death.

Rajput’s death was definitely an eye-opening event, revealing the hierarchy system within the Bollywood industry. However, whether it is enough to get a majority of Indians or people outside of India who are fans of Bollywood movies to start boycotting it. Being one of India’s staples and main representations of its culture, Bollywood culture doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon as more movies rise to popularity. While many institutions around the world are built upon malice, not all of them can be uprooted.

Sources:

Cover Photo by pavan gupta on Unsplash

  1. Marandi, R. (2020, September 30). Star’s death Reignites BOLLYWOOD Nepotism debate. https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Tea-Leaves/Star-s-death-reignites-Bollywood-nepotism-debate.
  2. Amadeo, K. (2020, August 31). Bollywood Is More Popular Than Hollywood: India’s Opportunities. The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/india-s-economy-3306348.
  3. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2020, May 13). Bollywood. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bollywood-film-industry-India.

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