This article was published online on June 10, 2021 and updated at 10:15 a.m. ET on June 11, 2021. T he Bandra-Worli Sea Link connects central Mumbai with neighborhoods to the north. If you're driving from downtown, the bridge brings you into the orbit of Bollywood, the Hindi-language segment of India's vast movie industry. Actors, makeup artists, special-effects people—they cluster in a handful of seaside neighborhoods. The superstars live in great bungalows, with devoted crowds stationed outside. Bollywood has been central to the creation of India's national myth. Its movies are full of dance and song, but their genius lies in the ability to weave serious issues—social justice, women's rights, gay rights, interreligious marriage—into entertainment. Bollywood films are at once commercial and political. They epitomize the pluralism of India. And in today's political climate, that makes them a target. In ways reminiscent of the old Hollywood blacklist, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using powerful tools to curtail the creative freedom of Bollywood—in particular the influence of Muslims, who have an outsize presence in the industry. The measures pushed by the Modi government include indiscriminate tax investigations , trumped-up accusations against… Read full this story
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