Bollywood’s tug-of-war over Article 370
Aug 8, 2019
New Delhi: Bollywood sees a great cinematic tale in the end of Article 370, and that’s making film production houses rush to register titles related to the government’s historic step. But not all will be given the green signal.
The week started with the government altering the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, film producers have been thronging the offices of entertainment bodies like Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), Producers Guild of India and Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC) in Mumbai to register titles relating to the abrogation of Article 370.
“Since the time the decision was announced, we are getting five to six applications every day,” Mehul Kumar, senior vice president of the IMPPA, told IANS.
On Monday morning, Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the government has decided to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision also took away with it Article 35A.
Movie business analyst Atul Mohan shared a list of some of the titles submitted for registration.
“Film producers associations are getting flooded with applications to register the following titles for their films: ‘Article 370’, ‘Article 370 Scrapped’, ‘Article 35 A’, ‘Article 370 Abolished’, ‘Article35A Scrapped’, ‘Kashmir Mein Tiranga’, ‘Kashmir Hamara Hai’ and ‘370 Article’,” Mohan tweeted.
The applications will be reviewed by IMPPA for approval during a meeting, expected to be held later this month. Mehul says very few will be granted the title.
“We will take a call during the title registration meeting, and only one or two will be approved. After the Pulwama attacks, we got more than 30-40 title applications, and they were almost the same with just some addition in front or at the back.
“But the story and the incident on which the movie is based will remain the same, irrespective of the title. At that time, we decided that we will approve the one which came in the beginning. The same thing has happened this time with many submitting applications. And we will follow what we followed at the time of Pulwama title registration,” Mehul said.
According to Mehul, Anand Pandit’s production house has applied for titles on both — Article 370 and Article 35A.
“That’s why we are not taking any more applications,” Mehul added.
Bollywood’s attempt to cash in on the topical political events and historical turning point of the nation is not new. At the time of Pulwama attack, producers had lined up to register movie titles with an aim to give a cinematic spin to the real-life incident.
And the success of movies running high on patriotism instills confidence in them to tread the same path. “Kesari”, “Raazi” “Uri: The Surgical Strike” and “Article 15” being testimony to it.
Trade expert Rajesh Thadani feels a movie on the death of Article 370 will be “interesting” because of the India-Pakistan connect with the spotlight on Kashmir.
“And that is the reason everyone wants to register the title and be one up. The producers feel it will make a good story as it is very topical. There have been similar films which have worked well. Everyone wants to capitalise on that and make a film as soon as they can. They are registering all the titles, so that they can start the movie as soon as they have a script,” Thadani told IANS, adding: “They might have started hunting for stars for the movie as well”.
But film and trade expert Girish Johar feels content decides the fate of the film, not title.
“It doesn’t matter what the title of the film is. Audience is very smart — they know what film they want. Whatever the title is, the story has to be good. Blocking the title is just a herd mentality. I don’t see any sense in doing that,” Johar told IANS.