Recently, Congress MP Shantaram Naik expressed his concern in the Rajya Sabha, about Bollywood filmmakers depicting Goa in an exaggerated and imaginary form as a ‘hub’ for drug addiction.
The release of the film “Udta Punjab” which starred Shahid Kapoor, focused on the issue of drug addiction in Punjab. The Congress MP is worried about the misleading projection of Goa and cited the example of the popular Hindi film ‘Dum Maro Dum,’ which showcased the controversial drug mafia in the state.
“When Hindi movie ‘Dum Maro Dum’ was about to be released, we made a personal representation to the then Union Information and Broadcasting Minister. She expressed her helplessness with the Film Certification Board as the provision of revisional powers, vested in the Government, were struck down by the Supreme Court,” Naik said.
Naik hopes to see Bollywood strike a balance between freedom of expression and freedom of depiction while portraying an issue and that the audience do not swallow all that the stories portray through visual media as they are half truths.
The Goa MP further stated in the Rajya Sabha, “Law enforcement agencies also find themselves in an embarrassing situation when children beg them not to disclose to their parents their drug addiction.”
As an avid film goer, I realize, movies play an important role in our life. Goa has been projected in various Bollywood blockbusters. Our prized Chapora fort is well known as “The Dil Chahta Hai Fort” by numerous Indian tourists. The Goa tourism department made a soaring Rs. 30 crore profit with the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ campaign. Our tour guides also acknowlege, that many tourists flock to this state based on the visuals they see in these movies.
The movies also create a deep psychological impact on the audience. Therefore, when Goa or Goans are depicted negatively, it can have exponential ramifications. As audience, we are aware that films are mostly fictional stories told through fascinating moving pictures and audio. Yet subconsciously, our minds are slowly being conditioned into creating negative stereo-types, which eventually get played out in real life.