Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hollywood Vs. Bollywood

Actors (from hollywood and bollywood) have vast impact on general public. The influence can be both positive and negative, and it does not just stem from the way actors portray their characters in films, but also how the actors lead their lives. For once let me talk about all positive impressions these actors have on common man. What I want to present in this post is try and juxtapose the philanthropic nature of hollywood and bollywood actors.

Keeping aside how woebegone the personal lives of hollywood actors are, in all honesty I feel that they bequeath to the humane society more than their counter parts in India. Do not get me wrong, I love Hindi movies as much as I love English movies besides the fact that both industries compete in producing second-rate movies. Bollywood produces more movies than Hollywood and more people watch bollywood movies than hollywood movies. And it is only fair to say actors from bollywood have more influence on Indians than hollywood actors on Americans.

Hollywood uses its power to up-hold social justice around the globe where as bollywood uses its potential for self-indulgent pleasures. Hollywood actors not only donate their money but also their time. Oscar winning actor, Sean Penn, spent almost a year in Haiti looking after people who are the victims of earthquake and try to bring some solace in their lives. You name any successful hollywood actor, he/she surely is associated with philanthropy. Even 16-year-old pop singer Justin Bieber is known for his charity work. You rarely find such a gesture from bollywood actors. Our very famous Khan-trio are seldom in news for their philanthropic acts. It may not be fair to universalize as there are few philanthropists in bollywood, but in general philanthropy is off the wall in bollywood.

While Hollywood actors care about the whole world, Indian actors would not even look after their own fellow citizens. Angelina Jolie is not in lime light just for her kinship with Brad Pitt or for her lesbian past but equally reputable for her humanitarian efforts. She is UNHCR good-will ambassador. In 2006 alone, 8.5 million dollars was donated by Brangelina. I am making no bones about it in saying not even one bollywood actor come close to her humanitarian accomplishments.

Actors have engaged themselves politically in both film industries, more so in India. While Hollywood actors proved themselves to be good public servants, our very own actors are making a mint. For example, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proven to be a great politician, and our very own member of parliament Govinda did not even care to attend parliamentary proceedings 10% of the time. Govinda spoke only twice in parliament for less than 2 minutes in his entire political career. Again it’s hard for me to compare Indian politicians and bollywood actors; I simply can’t choose lesser of two evils.

It is not just actors, it’s also businessmen, sports person contribute positively to the world in the west where as in India sadly but truly philanthropy has fallen byway side. When we compare Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to our businessmen, they have done nothing for common Indian, let alone whole world.

I understand cinema is the only source of entertainment to our middle and poor classes in India. But I think bollywood actors are given undue importance. They only take and don’t give back. And I also completely understand how one is not obliged to do charity or philanthropy. My argument is they should be treated just for what they are. But in our country we build temples for those selfish morons and treat them like demigods. In totality we Indians lack community consciousness.

P.S. Having said all I am sure there are benevolent bollywood actors and people from other arenas strive for common good, I respect them, but lot more should be done from our communities for the love they receive from us.