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'The word B'wood is derogatory'


Posted: Jul 03, 2007 at 0903 hrs IST

India's two versatile actors Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri have vehemently protested against the term 'Bollywood' used to describe Indian film industry, known for producing the largest number of films in the world.

Both the award-winning actors, who would turn 57 this year, were speaking at a function 'Life and Times in Indian Cinema' at the Nehru Centre organised by the UK-based film organisation India-EU Film Initiative, to honour them.

Lord Meghnad Desai, renowned economist and film buff, honoured Shah and Puri with Roman Atticus trophies.

Jagmohan Mundhra, noted film director, presided over the function, which was a packed gathering.

Attacking the western media for calling them 'Bollywood actors' they said Indian film industry was not happy with the term Bollywood as it was perceived to be derogatory and humiliating.

They said they hate to be called Bollywood actors. They also urged the film community to take notice of the issue.

"The term Bollywood was used to mock us by the western press. And it's just an indication of our own idiocy that we still use it," said Naseeruddin Shah, a winner of several national and international awards.

Om Puri, who received an Order of British Empire (OBE) for his acting talent from the British Queen, said, "Bollywood, whenever western people refer to it, they mean Hindi films, they say 'Oh those song and dance films'. So it is a derogatory term. These terms are created by media." Shah also urged the Indian media not to use the term 'Bollywood'.

"Now Bombay film industry refers to itself as Bollywood. It's like being called an idiot all your life and then making it your name," he said, adding "If you want to be a good citizen, first start stopping at the red light."

In India 'Bollywood' is generally used to refer to the Hindi cinema that originates from India's commercial capital Mumbai, formerly Bombay.

In the western world the whole Indian film industry is clubbed together as 'Bollywood', rhyming with 'Hollywood'.

The Director of India-EU Film Initiative Pervaiz Alam, who interviewed the actors on stage later said, "This is the reason we've started distancing from the term 'Bollywood' as more and more film-makers and actors from India are telling us not to use the term 'Bollywood'.

"Also, the term Bollywood has caused much consternation among the film-makers who produce cinema in India's other languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Bengali."

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