Indian directors explore ways to promote peace via movies


MUMBAI: SAVE (Sisters Against Violent Extremism) held a roundtable discussion, themed Bollywood and Terror in Mumbai recently. The roundtable brought together leading figures from Bollywood, to explore the contribution the Indian film industry has made, to discussion on international terrorism.


Among the panelists were: Vani Tripathi, Salim Arif, Atul Tewari, Kamlesh Pandey, Kunal Kohli, Sudhir Mishra and Madhushree Dutta.


SAVE president Archana Kapoor said, “Indian cinema is a mirror image of society. It is a powerful medium that can influence and impact the masses. How can we forget what Rang De Basanti did? It brought the youth together to ensure that the assassin of Jessica lal does not go scot free. This dialogue would help us redefine the responsibility of Bollywood in providing direction to today’s youth.”


Tripathi said, “There cannot be a one size fits all for the portrayal of terror acts. We also need to remember that each act in the recent past has been unique and even more heinous than the others.”


Arif said, “Cinema being the most accessible and effective medium can play a major role in creating an atmosphere where sensitive issues can be addressed in social spheres.”


Tewari said, “Bollywood loves terrorism- on screen of course – but does it understand terrorism? Its contours, complexity, contradiction? The purpose of this roundtable is to understand how Bollywood is promoting cultural and religious pluralism and thus fomenting extremist trends in a multi religious society. It also aims to understand how Bollywood can play a further role in fighting violent extremism.”


Pandey said, “The so-called terrorists are a mere symptom, not the real disease. The real terrorists are not the ones hiding in the mountains but the ones sitting in all the capitals of the world and the places of worship.”


SAVE founder Dr Edit Schlaffer said, “Earlier Bollywood was all about music and dancing around trees. But now it is reflecting our personal journeys through darkness on account of violent extremism. Our effort through this dialogue is to create a new platform for inspiration and change.”