In the southern states, along with the attachment to their language, the animosity towards Hindi is not hidden from anyone. From politicians to the intelligentsia, she has been caught up in the politics of language. In recent times, due to the popularity of Southern films in North India, language pressure from the South has re-emerged. The first Kannada movie star Kiccha Sudeep and now the Telugu movie superstar Chiranjeevi have stopped thinking in Hindi. Chiranjeevi says that ‘Earlier Hindi cinema was considered to be Indian cinema. Southern actors don’t get as much respect as Bollywood actors used to, so they were once very sad.
Telugu actor Chiranjeevi’s movie ‘Acharya’ opened in theaters on April 29.
Chiranjeevi, referring to a 33-year-old incident, said: In 1989, his Telugu film ‘Rudraveeni’ was named at the award ceremony held in Delhi to honor him with the prestigious ‘Nargis Dutt Award’. A party was organized for the celebrities before the ceremony. When I arrived at the party venue, I saw that the history of Indian cinema is told on a wall. There are photos of great Bollywood actors, but no name of South Cinema. I kept walking to see about movies from the South. But there was only the photo of Jayalalithaa-MGR and Prem Nazir. He gave it the title of Cine del Sur. I felt very bad at that moment, it was nothing less than an insult to me. It only showed Hindi cinema as Indian cinema. While other films were distributed as regional films. There was no response even after I spoke about it.
Alongside this, the megastar also said that she is very proud that Sur’s actors, directors, and writers are being discussed across the country. Movies like ‘Bahubali’, ‘RRR’, ‘Pushpa’ and ‘KGF’ are doing well at the box office.
Watch the video in which Chiranjeevi tells her story…
As the language debate continues, Telugu star Chiranjeevi recalled the time South Indian cinema was sidelined at an awards show… pic.twitter.com/sMALFJTldl
— Brut India (@BrutIndia) May 1, 2022
Analysis of Chiranjeevi’s words:
The paradox of Chiranjeevi’s story: There is a tremendous contradiction in Chiranjeevi’s story. He also accepts that his film in Telugu received a National Award and on the contrary, he also says that South’s cinema was not respected. Chiranjeevi gained fame outside the Telugu-speaking area through his Hindi films. His famous Hindi movies include ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ (2019), ‘Bajrang’ (2006), ‘The Gentleman’ (1994), ‘Aaj Ka Gundaraj’ (1992), ‘Aadmi Aur Apsara’ (1991), ‘ Prabandhan ‘ ‘ (1990), ‘Zulm Ki Zanjeer’ (1984), ‘Taqtwala’ (1984), and ‘Dushman Ka Dushman’ (1984).
Regional Cinema Question: Chiranjeevi is saying that the cinema of the South was considered as regional cinema, so the question is why not believe it? Can you watch telugu movies in telugu language only in tamilnadu? Can you watch Kannada movies in Kannada only in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or Kerala? If Telugu movies are seen only in Andhra-Telangana and Kannada movies only in Karnataka, then it is regional cinema. Because the expansion of its audience has been limited to a particular region for linguistic reasons.
Is Hindi cinema national cinema? The regional expansion of the Hindi language is very interesting. There are many states in North India where there are many regional dialects. But, in all these states, the language that is commonly understood is Hindi. Hindi cinema benefits from this. Which is understood by a person who speaks Haryanvi to Bhojpuri, Maithili speaks Bihari. That even the linguistic provinces of northern India, such as Gujarat and Punjab, consider their cinema without hesitation. That is why Bollywood makes a lot of movies with Sikh characters like Singh is King, Son of Sardar. What is bigger than this? Bollywood, the heartland of Hindi cinema, has flourished in Mumbai, the capital of the Marathi-speaking state of Maharashtra. In general, what South Indians consider to be a Hindi belt is actually a multilingual area that understands Hindi without hesitation. Despite having different dialects of their own.
Has the cinema of the south, or the language of the south, become national? Chiranjeevi says that movies like Bahubali, RRR and Pushpa have broken the language barrier. But, in fact, he is completely wrong. Bahubali, RRR and Pushpa have been seen by the Hindi-speaking audience only in Hindi. Not in Telugu, Tamil or Kannada. Due to these movies, the trend of learning South Indian languages has not registered among the Hindi-speaking audience. Rather, the opposite has happened: Ramcharan and Jr NTR have learned Hindi, and the Hindi version of RRR has been recorded with their own voices. When Yash and Allu Arjun promoted their films in Mumbai, they were seen addressing the Hindi-language press to win the hearts of the Hindi-speaking audience. Dhanush has already spoken Hindi in his movies. Chiranjeevi himself knows Hindi very well. So the reality is that South Indian movie stars happily adopt Hindi to get a foothold in the North Indian market. But, when they reach their ‘regional’ audience, the negativity towards Hindi begins to spill over. He believes that South’s films are doing well at the box office. South artists have now become pan-Indian heroes. But these artists should rethink if it is because of their language. They have gained recognition throughout the country thanks to Hindi, because Hindi may not be the national language, but it is definitely the connecting language that unites the entire country.
Understand the power of Hindi from the difference between Acharya and RRR:
Creating unnecessary controversies in the name of movie promotion is not in the best interest of a great artist like Chiranjeevi. His movie ‘Acharya’, which opened on 29th April at the Telugu box office, did not get the success that his son Ram Charan’s movie ‘RRR’ did. ‘Acharya’ earned 73 million rupees in five days, while ‘RRR’ earned 133 million rupees on the opening day. The difference between the earnings of ‘RRR’ and ‘Acharya’ indicates that if you want to become famous across the country or earn a bumper, you must release your film in Hindi.
Is Bollywood fighting for the weakness of Hindi?
Kicha Sudeep had said in his statement that “Bollywood movies are struggling, which means Hindi is no longer the national language.” As for the recent struggle in Hindi cinema, the reason lies within Bollywood. South Indian storytellers must understand that the struggle of Hindi cinema is not due to the strength of Southern cinema or South Indian languages and the weakness of the Hindi language. There is no doubt that the South Cinema filmmakers are working harder on their films. Make good movies with the help of new content and technology. But, it is equally true that nothing stops Bollywood from doing it. South Indian actors who demean Hindi should think that if they don’t release their movies in Hindi they will get the popularity and money they have. Southern cinema has had to shoot many papads to carve out a place for itself in the hearts of the Hindi-speaking audience. Three decades is a long time. First the Hindi dub, then the remake and now through Pan India, windfall profits are being made across the country.
When this success has come in the South Cinema part, then they should work with some patience. If they get into the language supremacy debate, then the Hindi-speaking audience that has made them sit on their heads will also take them off their heads. You should take the advice of the Bollywood abbots on this.