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Ponniyin Selvan 2 director Mani Ratnam calls for retirement of term 'Bollywood' for Hindi film industry

Ponniyin Selvan 2 director Mani Ratnam has opposed using the term "Bollywood" for the Hindi film industry. 

Ponniyin Selvan 2 director Mani Ratnam calls for retirement of term 'Bollywood' for Hindi film industry
Filmmakers Vetrimaaran and Mani Ratnam at CII Dakshin. (Photo: Twitter/CII Dakshin)
  • Manoj Kumar R

Last Updated: 12.55 PM, Apr 19, 2023

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Filmmaker Mani Ratnam has called for the retirement of the term "Bollywood" to refer to the Hindi film industry ecosystem. Speaking at a panel discussion at the 2-day media summit, CII Dakshin, Mani Ratnam on Wednesday expressed his opposition to the term, arguing that it is often misunderstood and does not accurately reflect the diversity of the Indian film industry.

Mani Ratnam argued that calling Hindi films "Indian films" would be a more appropriate way of identifying them and that the change would begin when everyone rejects the term Bollywood. "I think Hindi films should stop calling themselves Bollywood. We should call our films Indian films. Why call it, of all things, Bollywood?" said the Ponniyin Selvan director. 

He was joined by filmmaker Vetrimaaran , who noted that many foreigners have a hard time comprehending the sheer diversity of the Indian film industry and choose to remain "content with this misinformation."

While many titans of the Hindi film industry, including legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, have expressed similar opposition to the term Bollywood, it has over the years become synonymous with the industry. The term was first used by a tabloid in a derogatory manner, calling the industry "a poor version of Hollywood."

The impact of the term has been such that even successful Telugu films like SS Rajamouli's RRR, which gained unprecedented global fame and was a phenomenal hit at the US box office, have been mistakenly referred to as "Bollywood movies." Despite Rajamouli's best efforts to establish that RRR was a Telugu-language Indian film, popular American TV host Jimmy Kimmel made the blunder of calling it a "Bollywood movie" at the Oscars.

As the conversation around the use of the term Bollywood continues, it remains to be seen whether it will become more widely rejected in the future. 

Mani Ratnam, meanwhile, is now busy promoting Ponniyin Selvan 2, which is due in cinemas on April 28.