13.7 C
Washington D.C.

Could Bollywood be the missing link that finally brings Pakistan and India together?

Examples of Pakistani brands with large fanbases abroad: Fawad Khan

Published:

- Advertisement -

Pakistani fans love Bollywood stars, despite the intense political antagonism between the neighboring states. What drives its popularity? Provincial boards in Pakistan censor films that violate social and cultural standards.

Pakistani cinemas have not exhibited Bollywood films since 2019.

The Sindh censor board prohibited the screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in Karachi’s upscale DHA neighborhood in January 2023. Due to the Kashmir conflict, Pakistan and India have had tense relations.

However, many Pakistani moviegoers love Bollywood and its stars. After Shah Rukh Khan, the “King of Bollywood,” launched his latest comedy-drama Dunki earlier this month, Pakistani fans loved Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Ranbir Kapoor.

Action- and technology-driven movies from southern India or directed by southern Indians have been popular in Pakistan in recent years.

Hindi adds to Bollywood’s popularity over the border. Hindi is comparable to Urdu, the dominant language in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Some Bollywood actors and technicians are Muslim.

Bollywood: content or marketing?

Despite state-level conflicts, India and Pakistan share cultural traits, especially in film and music. I heard a TV host discuss it recently. He believed we made comparable films in undivided India before 1947, actor Mohib Mirza told DW.

Our warriors sang in valleys and among trees. I think influence is different. Bollywood has various influences from different countries, Mirza remarked. “Our audiences watch Indian films because they’market’ their stuff,” Mirza said. “No matter what, we will get India news.”

Journalist Ghazi Salahuddin disagrees. We lack quality and content; thus, Bollywood has a lot of influence in Pakistan,” Salahuddin told the publication. They’ve adapted to technology, too, Salahuddin said. “They can experiment and spend a lot of money on screen projects because of their large international market. India’s economic success also contributes.”

Shoaib Sultan, whose directorial debut Gunjal opened on December 15, said both Indian and Pakistani films feature song and dance moments. The industry is huge. Our viewers watch because it’s engaging and big.” Pakistan lacks a substantial film industry; thus, movie distributors and cinema owners rely on Hollywood movies to survive.

Pakistani movies’ box office

“Until we [in Pakistan] start making movies, people will keep watching Bollywood,” distributor and exhibitor Nadeem Mandviwalla added. According to him, these are the only two countries that make movies with identical song-and-dance scenes, clothing, language, etc. “They call it Hindi; we call it Urdu. Hindi has 80% Urdu words.”

Salahuddin said peace campaigners on both sides aim to lower political heat. “Indians and Pakistanis travel a lot and have large diasporas, so they meet outside South Asia.”

Mandviwalla stressed Indian films’ importance in Pakistan. “Our people know so much about India because of its films,” the distributor remarked. He continued, “For the last 40 years, the Pakistani public has been watching Indian content.” Since Pakistan banned Indian movies in 2019, exhibitors and distributors have struggled.

“We [exhibitors] tell our government that there are only two choices: allow Indian content or make at least 100 to 150 movies a year to help the Pakistani film industry,” Mandviwalla remarked. Can Bollywood unite India and Pakistan?

Examples of Pakistani brands with large fanbases abroad: Fawad Khan


Pakistani fans love Bollywood stars, despite the intense political antagonism between the neighboring states. What drives its popularity? Provincial boards in Pakistan censor films that violate social and cultural standards.

Pakistani cinemas have not exhibited Bollywood films since 2019.

The Sindh censor board prohibited the screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in Karachi’s upscale DHA neighborhood in January 2023. Due to the Kashmir conflict, Pakistan and India have had tense relations.

However, many Pakistani moviegoers love Bollywood and its stars. After Shah Rukh Khan, the “King of Bollywood,” launched his latest comedy-drama Dunki earlier this month, Pakistani fans loved Aamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Ranbir Kapoor.

Action- and technology-driven movies from southern India or directed by southern Indians have been popular in Pakistan in recent years.

Hindi adds to Bollywood’s popularity over the border. Hindi is comparable to Urdu, the dominant language in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Some Bollywood actors and technicians are Muslim.

Bollywood: content or marketing?

Despite state-level conflicts, India and Pakistan share cultural traits, especially in film and music. I heard a TV host discuss it recently. He believed we made comparable films in undivided India before 1947, actor Mohib Mirza told DW.

Our warriors sang in valleys and among trees. I think influence is different. Bollywood has various influences from different countries, Mirza remarked. “Our audiences watch Indian films because they’market’ their stuff,” Mirza said. “No matter what, we will get India news.”

Journalist Ghazi Salahuddin disagrees. We lack quality and content; thus, Bollywood has a lot of influence in Pakistan,” Salahuddin told the publication. They’ve adapted to technology, too, Salahuddin said. “They can experiment and spend a lot of money on screen projects because of their large international market. India’s economic success also contributes.”

Shoaib Sultan, whose directorial debut Gunjal opened on December 15, said both Indian and Pakistani films feature song and dance moments. The industry is huge. Our viewers watch because it’s engaging and big.” Pakistan lacks a substantial film industry; thus, movie distributors and cinema owners rely on Hollywood movies to survive.

Pakistani movies’ box office

“Until we [in Pakistan] start making movies, people will keep watching Bollywood,” distributor and exhibitor Nadeem Mandviwalla added. According to him, these are the only two countries that make movies with identical song-and-dance scenes, clothing, language, etc. “They call it Hindi; we call it Urdu. Hindi has 80% Urdu words.”

Salahuddin said peace campaigners on both sides aim to lower political heat. “Indians and Pakistanis travel a lot and have large diasporas, so they meet outside South Asia.”

Mandviwalla stressed Indian films’ importance in Pakistan. “Our people know so much about India because of its films,” the distributor remarked. He continued, “For the last 40 years, the Pakistani public has been watching Indian content.” Since Pakistan banned Indian movies in 2019, exhibitors and distributors have struggled.

“We [exhibitors] tell our government that there are only two choices: allow Indian content or make at least 100 to 150 movies a year to help the Pakistani film industry,” Mandviwalla remarked.

- Advertisement -

Related articles

Recent articles