Image of Religious Minorities in Bollywood Cinema: A Content and Cinematic Analysis


  • Imtiaz Hussain, Prof. Dr. Shahzad Al


Image, framing, Cinematography, religious minorities, politics of representation.


Bollywood films are fashionable for hundreds of thousands in India and Pakistan as well as within the West. The research explored the image of religious minority characters in Bollywood Movies with a quantitative and qualitative approach. Thirty movies were
chosen randomly which have leading religious minority characters Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs. Theoretically, this research interconnected with Politics of Representation by Stuart Hall, framing theory and Cinematography. The content analysis of the study evidently showed that the religious minorities was painted as unfavorable slant. Unfavorable slant by Muslims minorities which was 54.4% while, 52.5% Christian community and 46.1% Sikhs characters. Whereas favorable slant was highlighted that
Sikh community which was 42.7% similarly, Muslim minority was 33.5% and Christians minority 36.1% counted Moreover, Muslims minority were painted as dishonest 68.4%, thoughtless 67.4%, ugly 56.3%, unfair 54.5%, cowardly 47% and bad 44% whereas
Christian minority character were portrayed more intelligent 62.1%, mature 42.7% and attractive 41.8% while, Sikh minority character were painted as comedian 61.9%, unsuccessful 50%, religious 45% and brave 43.5%. Qualitatively, Cinema Depicted
Muslims image as psychologically militant dreadful individuals, and fear-based oppressors, deceivers, traitorous, and horrible. Hindi films have wrongfully portrayed the Muslims Minority either as non-modern feudal characters or as anti-national, terrorist,
villain, or anti-social characters. A Sikh is known for his strength and valor, comedians while Christian minority female represented as erotic object.