Salem'sarrest has brought out the seamier side of Bollywood. It is not just about how the underworld has been extorting money from the producers and film stars but the way the films have been influenced by the bhais in Dubai. Have you ever noticed that the films, barring Ram Gopal Varma'sCompany and John Mathew Mathan'sSarfarosh, have all projected underworld dons and Islamic terrorists as victims of circumstances? The dons and jihadis have been, the films will tell you, pitched against discrimination due to their religion, poverty, political mechanisations, etc. It is never shown that these underworld jihadis have taken to the lure of easy money of extortion, their arrogance, insolence and violent behaviour conducive to the ways of the underworld; and importantly, their miasma would cow most law-abiding citizens. If that were so why is the Mumbai underworld dominated by Muslims? Why, are the Hindus all rich and immune to political mechanisation? Further, the movies, as well as the media, have this penchant to find all the fault with the political class. In Vaastav Sanjay Dutt'sportrayal has been only to ridicule the politicians who have been the cause of all the strife in the society. The underworld represented by Sanjay Dutt is all innocent, na?ve and beguiled by the politician'smechanisation.
If the film producers in their various media revelations have said that the storyline of their films have to be changed because the bhias in Dubai have found the films projecting them (including the jihadis) in a dim light, then it is a matter that needs serious state intervention. If films affect and influence public perception the consequences for the society could be grave.
Sanjay Dutt, who is a prime accused in the Mumbai serial bomb blast case, is getting his comeuppance. But his campaigning for Congress candidate Priya Dutt'selections has not made any flutter in the media. How can the Congress, which makes so much about its determination to fight terrorism and bring all the rioters in Gujarat to justice, and a government led by the Congress which tells General Musharraf to shut down terrorists training camps in Pakistan, even allow the prime accused in Mumbai serial bomb blasts Sanjay Dutt to be a star campaigner in its election rallies? Is it that secularism demands such political ploys to defeat a ?communal? party like Shiv Sena in north-west Mumbai constituency. The end, according to the Congress, justifies the means.