Convenient Stereotyping

One of the things that I fail to understand, and I have asked myself this a few times, is that why is Goa shown in a light so different than what it really is, by the Bombay Film Industry? Before you jump to conclusions, let me say that I did not mean that the movies show Goa in a bad light, I said that they show what is not true at all, most of the times.

It seems people from Goa have been a victim of stereotyping, something that Bollywood does often. Goans are not the only ones which are generalised. The film industry time and again has given in to the temptations of generalisation. A Goan Catholic will be a drunkard, a sardar would eat chicken with a patiala peg everyday and would be ready to break into a bhangara jig at the slightest of excuse, a muslim man would speak impeccable urdu which would be so much different than Hindustani, which we commonly speak in India (sprinkled generously with English of course) and a Tamil Brahman (if you find one in a Hindi movie), would end every line with a “jee” and exclaim “aiyo!” after every couple of sentences.

So if the latest bollywood film claims that Women are cheaper than liquor in Goa, I would say that this is nothing much but an extension of Bollywood’s convenient stereotyping. Bollywood’s relation with Goa goes beyond stereotyping the typical Goan Roman Catholic to a drunkard. Hindi movies give Goa it’s rightful place as a holiday destination. But not all people go to a holiday to get drunk. Not all people go to Goa and get drunk. There are teetotallers in Goa (I am one, though I am not a Goan but hey I have home there). Bollywood takes it’s actors to Mauritius, shows bikini clad women and clear water on the shore, the lead actors get cosy in a song and that’s all packaged in a 15 minute sequence and sold as Goa. Whats more, the audience is naive enough to believe that Goan women are easy, roam around in bikinis while their men booze all day.

I honestly don’t see much in Basu’s dialogue. As I said, it is basically something they have tried to build up on an already existing platform that has been made by generalising Goa over the years. When they have repeatedly marked cheap liquor and drug peddling as Goan brands, could prostitution be too far behind? For them, it’s a complete package. The pity is, there is a section of naive audience out there, who’d believe it.

Bollywood’s breaking free of this convenient stereotyping would help, though.

5 thoughts on “Convenient Stereotyping

  1. What you are highlighting is so true, and this issue’s raised in today’s goa times of india too..infact i am happy that you wrote about this. Josh,golmaal series, all the best, are some of the sordid ones

  2. rite said &well written dude!! C d whole point iz dat al of dis happens much againts d wish of goans(rather pppl livin in Goa)all d domestic tourists dat visit dis place have a pre-concieved notion abt d people here…much lyk d ones these flick potray……alas we hv 2 bear d brunt n dose looks by our sisters.mothers n frenz!!!
    Sad really!!

  3. True!till the time I was not married to a Goan, I had a similar perception. Right from having Tulsi in the Angaan, having amazing temples, well knitted family and neighbours are few things which have been missed. Infact there was only one paragraph in my History book about Goan Freedom Movement.
    Indeed it feels bad.

  4. Well, Adi.. its a movie !! Instead of we putting a cap on the creativity(or non-creativity), of Bollywood or any medium out there. How about putting some energy in introducing to the audience – What Goa is really all about..

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