An Open Letter to Bollywood Actress Neetu Chandra

Dear Neetu Chandra,

It was quite a daring step from your side while writing an open letter to actress Allia Bhatt and director Abhishek Chaubey for stereotyping Biharis in soon-to-be-released film Udta Punjab. This is not the first time that a particular community has been stereotyped in a Bollywood film – this is something which is continuing for a long period of time. There is no need for stereotyping a community but Bollywood films just do that to add masala. It’s high time to say enough is enough!

Bihar has a far more vibrant past than what’s being portrayed in Bollywood movies. It was the melting pot of three famous religions; Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. It also happened to be the economical and political hub of Mauryan Empire. Nalanda University was the most ancient seat of learning where people across the globe came to study. Not to forget Aryabhatt’s contribution to astronomy and cosmic science several thousand years back when the rest of the world was oblivious about the subject.

An Open Letter to Bollywood Actress Neetu Chandra
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However, stereotyping a particular community is not just limited to Bihar alone. Several communities are stereotyped in Bollywood films every now and then. It is often showed in Bollywood movies that South Indians speaking pidgin Hindi though many from the southern states can speak frequent and better Hindi than us. Likewise, Bengalis are frequently shown as more talkative, traditional and mellow people – which isn’t always true. Punjabis are almost repeatedly depicted as brave, party people and some time silly too. Honestly, this doesn’t amuse either the viewers or any proud Indian. It must be remembered that what is amusing for somebody might be offending to another. A perfect balance has to be maintained so as not to hurt the sentiments of any of one of us.

So, Bollywood films must work harder towards bringing in more interesting, logical and issue oriented movies rather than stereotyping a particular community as a whole without any rationale. If Scripts differ from films to films, then why do the Bollywood films keep stereotyping people? It must be stopped.

Albeit, it’s heartening to see that finally someone from the Bollywood itself has raised her voice on this issue. You also made every one of us proud by winning the National Award for Mithila Makhaan, a Maithali language film, and eventually becoming the first female producer from the country to win the coveted honor.

We are proud of you Neetu Chandra. Keep rocking.

Sincerely Your’s

A Proud Indian

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