Cultural Bias

It appears that the Bollywood film industry is nursing some kind of discrimination against its South Indian actors, a fact which is evident if the old and even recent trends are anything to go by. All through the history of Hindi film industry, South Indian actresses like Padmini, Vyjayanthimala, Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi, Jayaprada and recently Asin have fruitfully transferred to Mumbai but the same cannot be said for Southern actors.

Although top South Indian actors managers to gain temporary success, they never could establish themselves in the Bollywood. Leading examples include top south Indian superstars of the 1980s such as Kamal Haasan (Ek Duje Ke Liye- 1981), Rajinikanth (Andha Kanoon- 1983) and Chiranjeevi (Aaj Ka Goonda Raj- 1992).

Choreographer-turned-director Prabhu Deva accounts this phenomenon to culture bias saying that it ‘has a lot to do with the culture and milieu.’ “Just like south Indian’s love their rice, Idly, Dosa, the north Indians prefer Dal and Roti. I may be doing remakes of south Indian films, but my hero will be a regular Hindi hero to reach across to the masses in Hindi speaking heartland,” says Prabhu Deva.

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