‘Bhojpuri film industry won’t shift from Mumbai under threat’November 5th, 2008 - 1:56 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Nov 5 (IANS) The Bhojpuri film industry, which is based in Mumbai, will not shift out despite the threat posed by the anti-north tirade of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists, asserts popular Bhojpuri star Dineshlal Yadav, alias ‘Nirhua’.Members of the Bhojpuri filmdom, including superstar Manoj Tiwari, had earlier suggested that the movie industry be moved to either Uttar Pradesh or New Delhi in the tension-filled scenario.
“I support the initiative taken by some of my colleagues to have the Bhojpuri film industry’s base in the Hindi heartland. But I will not flee from Mumbai under threat from the MNS activists,” Yadav, who is also a filmmaker and singer, told IANS.
He said that nobody from the Bhojpuri film industry would succumb to such humiliation.
“We should not talk about re-locating the industry elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar at this stage just because it has come under threat from the MNS in Maharashtra. We have every right to make our living anywhere in the country,” the star said.
He asserted that the law will finally get to those who are harassing the Hindi-speaking people in Mumbai.
But the actor, who featured in films like “Chalat Musafir Moh Liyo Re”, “Kasam Dharti Maiya Ki” and “Nirhua Rikshawala”, admits it is difficult to work under fear.
“If some of my colleagues are talking about shifting base of the Bhojpuri film industry out of Mumbai, I fully sympathise with their feelings. Because nobody can work well in an atmosphere of insecurity,” Yadav said.
Mumbai has seen a spurt in violence against non-Maharashtrians, especially people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. A youth from Bihar was killed a fortnight ago when MNS activists disrupted a railway recruitment examination in Mumbai. Last week, suspected MNS activists lynched a labourer from Uttar Pradesh on a train.
These attacks had led to a number of Bhojpuri filmmakers and stars, including Ravi Kishen and Manoj Tiwari, advocating shifting the Bhojpuri film industry out of Mumbai.
“We have given a proposal to the Uttar Pradesh government through its Culture Minister Subhash Pandey for setting up the industry in Lucknow. Besides, we are also counting on some other options like Delhi, Noida and Patna,” said Tiwari.
On an average, 75 Bhojpuri movies are made annually to cater to a target audience of over 250 million. Of these, over 90 percent are made in Mumbai, where as many as 50 production banners have their registered offices.
A few corporate entertainment houses have also started investing in Bhojpuri movies - “Hum Hain Bahubali” produced by Mumbai Mantra, the entertainment arm of automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra, was released last month in as many as 150 cinemas, a first for a Bhojpuri movie.
Though Bhojpuri films are yet to become multiplex successes, the box-office returns from the single-screen cinemas are almost assured even for an average production.
The budget of a Ravi Kishen, Dineshlal Yadav or a Manoj Tiwari starrer may vary between Rs.10 million and Rs.30 million, but there are instances of movies starring any of these Bhojpuri superstars earning Rs.150 million from the box-office alone.
This success is thanks to the metamorphosis Bhojpuri movies have gone through in terms of looks and content in the last decade.
In Mumbai, the industry provides employment to over 1,000 skilled and semi-skilled cine workers, most of whom are Maharashtrians.
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