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Priyanka Chopra

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Every now and then, a conversation will flare up in which people lament at how bad Bollywood films are and how depressing it is that the commercial Hindi film industry is either a platform or a punching bag used by one and all. Cast whatever stones of criticism you will, but the fact remains that nothing else in India shines as bright a light upon those issues that usually languish in the darkness of neglect. Take, for example, the matter of Manipur's Revolutionary People's Front banning Hindi films in the Northeastern state. With the upcoming<em> Mary Kom</em> not getting a <a href=http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/stop-whining-manipur-has-banned-all-hindi-films-not-just-mary-kom-1670321.html>Manipur release</a>, the ban is suddenly a trending topic. The unfairness of the situation -- a film on Mary Kom, a Manipuri, won't be seen in Manipur! -- has struck a chord, it seems. That Bollywood films can't be shown in Manipur is now news. Except, unless you think something that happened 14 years ago qualifies as news, it isn't anything of the sort. All the way till 2000, Bollywood ruled the roost in Manipur. Songs from commercial Hindi films made up the soundtrack to parties and celebrations. From Shammi Kapoor to Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood stars offered comfort and entertainment to generations of Manipuris, just as they did in so many other parts of India. Then along came the separatist group RPF's ban on all things Hindi, in September 2000. Contrary to what the reports pegged to <em>Mary Kom</em>'s non-release in Manipur may suggest, it isn't this film that is suffering a special fate. The RPF objected to Bollywood, accusing it of Indianising Manipur and eroding local culture. The radio no longer had the songs that everyone had once sung along to; barring Doordarshan, all television channels with Hindi programming disappeared from the airwaves. By 2002, Hindi had been driven out of the state. This whole drive against the Indianisation of Manipur is particularly ironic since RPF members were reportedly trained by China.

Every now and then, a conversation will flare up in which people lament at how bad Bollywood films are and how depressing it is that the commercial Hindi film industry is either a platform or a punching bag used by one and all. Cast whatever stones of criticism you will, but the fact remains that nothing else in India shines as bright a light upon those issues that usually languish in the darkness of neglect. Take, for example, the matter of Manipur\'s Revolutionary People\'s Front banning Hindi films in the Northeastern state. With the upcoming<em> Mary Kom</em> not getting a <a href=http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/stop-whining-manipur-has-banned-all-hindi-films-not-just-mary-kom-1670321.html>Manipur release</a>, the ban is suddenly a trending topic. The unfairness of the situation -- a film on Mary Kom, a Manipuri, won\'t be seen in Manipur! -- has struck a chord, it seems. That Bollywood films can\'t be shown in Manipur is now news. Except, unless you think something that happened 14 years ago qualifies as news, it isn\'t anything of the sort. All the way till 2000, Bollywood ruled the roost in Manipur. Songs from commercial Hindi films made up the soundtrack to parties and celebrations. From Shammi Kapoor to Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood stars offered comfort and entertainment to generations of Manipuris, just as they did in so many other parts of India. Then along came the separatist group RPF\'s ban on all things Hindi, in September 2000. Contrary to what the reports pegged to <em>Mary Kom</em>\'s non-release in Manipur may suggest, it isn\'t this film that is suffering a special fate. The RPF objected to Bollywood, accusing it of Indianising Manipur and eroding local culture. The radio no longer had the songs that everyone had once sung along to; barring Doordarshan, all television channels with Hindi programming disappeared from the airwaves. By 2002, Hindi had been driven out of the state. This whole drive against the Indianisation of Manipur is particularly ironic since RPF members were reportedly trained by China. [caption id=attachment_1671285 align=alignleft width=380 View full gallery