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Hindi films, English posters, What a paradox!

November 25, 2009 4:50:29 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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It indeed is one of the most amusing news that could come out from the world of Hindi films where Amitabh Bachchan was being given the dialogues to be read out on the sets of RANN, in English and even the teleprompter was also prompting him in English. Big B decided to take matter in his own hands and asked that his dialogues be given in Hindi. Another related matter on the subject is that though the films that are being released in Hindi have increased phenomenally in numbers, suddenly but surely the title of the films being displayed in Hindi has started going out of vogue.

Saif Ali Khan on the eve of release of KURBAAN had lamented that the titles of Hindi films also had the reference in Urdu as well, but Urdu has indeed become a discounted commodity. Is the process of title making also heading for the same future in Hindi language as well? At least in the metropolitan cities it has become the norm that the posters do not display the names of the film in Hindi in the same prominence as the title is displayed with all the fanfare in English.

The paradigm shift that is being experienced in the world of Hindi cinema has indeed ominous portents. We are slowly moving away from our language and adapting English as the medium of communication for Hindi films. Though the idea of doing it may be to make it universally accepted, the manner in which it is being done might catch the attention of some language fanatics and it turn out to be an emotional issue.

The moot point is that even in South India though the title of the films may be in English, the prominence to the regional language is also given in the same quantum on all the publicity materials. Or for that matter, the films made in Chinese language. They also have not forgotten their mother tongue.

The identity of Hindi cinema is derived from the Hindi language and posters and other publicity material are the first telltale signs to convey this message. It is only a small minority that speaks English and the titles cannot be read by the large percentage of population if it is only in English. Therefore the need of the hour is, to give this aspect a serious thought and not let Hindi as a language drop out of the publicity material, or else Hindi cinema would lose its distinct flavour.

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