India has an intense nationalism, is a greatest country on earth! India is multi cultural, pluralistic Nation. She has to arrive in economic, agriculture, social, educational, health and hygiene next to China. But, in reality corruption, religious chauvinism, pseudo politics, ignored minorities, industries employing not even one percent of the population is disturbing. Amity India strives to expose India’s anti secularist force , being detrimental to India’s progress and to the social justice.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Beyond Bahu Begum
» FRIDAY REVIEW
March 2, 2012
study on the representation of Awadhi culture in Bollywood. Shafey Kidwai
“Despite ubiquitous presence of women in the
public space, existence of the courtesan still denotes an aura of unfamiliarity
and it continues to prompt the filmmakers to fashion a gripping narrative
around courtesans,” said Muntazir Qaimi whose doctoral thesis on
“Representation of Awadhi Culture in Indian Film”, has appeared as a book
Visibly upset with the pedantic
academics who consider films unworthy of serious academic attention, Muntazir
decided to zero in on some famous Urdu texts that are translated into films.
“Even for natty filmmakers, Awadh, the wellspring of North Indian Muslim
culture, betrays a kind of reverie induced by erotic dance sequences and
sweet-toned lyrics. It nourishes a sense of cultural sensibility for those who
think longingly of a hoary institution.
The producers try to depict the
sophisticated Muslim culture through the prism of a prostitute or dancing
girl,” he added.
Analysing 12 hugely popular
films, “Chaudvin Ka Chand” (1960), “Mere Mehboob” (1963), “Bahu Begum” (1967),
“Paalki” (1967), “Pakeezah” (1971), “Shatranj Ke Khilari” (1977), “Mere Huzoor”
(1978), “Gaman” (1979), “Mehboob Ki Mehndi” (1981), “Nikaah” (1982) and “Umrao
Jan” (1982) in the contours of cultural studies with admirable thoroughness,
the author asserts that most films portray a mirror image of the past where
courtesan emerged as a central metaphor. Frequent visits of persons from all
walks of life to her place exposes people's insecurities and the potential for
Divided into five chapters the
book makes it clear that the Awadh culture had never looked down upon the
prostitutes as moral canker, but allowed them to flourish as a spur to poetry,
love, joy, pain and oblivion.
The author raises a pertinent
question about the existence of the courtesans as their cultural and alien
identity put a question mark on the underpinning of the society. The author
assiduously delineates all that constitutes Awadhi culture: Mannerism, modus
vivendi, language, literature, poetry, dance, music, painting and other forms
of fine arts, convivial parties and other sources of entertainment.
Muntazir Qami also traces the
impact of dandy culture on the films and the centrality of the courtesan,
emergence of new female identity in Awadh and complex relationship between
woman and courtesan. Noted academic Professor Imtiaz Ahmad has pointed out that
Dr. Qaumi has aptly discussed the emergence of women, the growing role of the
religious rituals and the slow process by which women begin to emerge on the
Women from aristocratic families
were for a long time confined to the zenana and only women from poor and lowly
classes and dancing girls were visible in the public space.
The book is to look at the
tripartite relationship between literature, and films on the one hand and
literature, films and culture on the other.
With the perceptive and focused
analysis of several films, the last chapter objectively showcases the essential
unity of Hindu and Muslims. The author took pains in explaining as to how films
try to harmonise the heterogenic elements of the great and little traditions of
Hinduism and Islam. The author concluded that the values propagated by the
films gain currency in the society but it is not as simplistic as it looked to
be religions intolerance, always handed out brickbats by the films, has been
continuously gaining grounds.
Notwithstanding this, the book appears to be
destined to blaze a new trail in fil studies.