Oxford meaning of Prostitution: A person who misuses his talent or who sacrifice their self respect for the sake of personal or financial gains.
How many times have you noticed those nondescript, unattractive, bright colored posters of Bhojpuri films stuck on boundaries of parks in Andheri in Mumbai or market-side near Minto Road in New Delhi or Exhibition Road in Patna? May be, as an educated Bhojpuri speaking, you either don't associate with them or just scoff and move ahead. Next time you pass through such an image, see it carefully. You will for sure see, a cleavage exhibiting lady, a blood bathed hero/villain (you can't guess who is who), a gun-toting man and several other faces with all unrealistic facial expression. A visual treatment which was quite popular with C grade film makers in '80s and '90s, now even B Grade Hindi films look better than "A-Grade" Bhojpuri films.
The names of these films are something I really cannot discuss. The resurrection of Bhojpuri cinema started with "Sasura Bada Paisaa Waala" and then Bhojpuri movie makers never stopped going to the bank. Latest ones being, "Tahaar naikhe jod tu bejod baadu ho", "devra bada satavelaa", "bhagjogni", "saat saheliyaan", etc.
Names are not much of a problem but content and the aesthetic sensibilities are. Am I sounding like an elite Bihari? No, I am just a concerned Bhojpurian, a hard core Bihari who can see the wreckage Bhojpuri cinema is doing to the very fabric of Bhojpuri society.
It's all about money. Isn't it? So there you are.
A language is just not a spoken tool, used script or facility of communication but it represents the people who converse in it. It represents the whole culture, upbringing, socio-economic class of those people. It represents the history and civilization of those people. Bhojpuri is one of the widely spoken languages across the nation and internationally too to some extent.
What are films? Moving images, right? They are one of the strongest forms of mass communication. Something like Munnabhai becomes cult overnight. A film like Rang De Basanti starts a movement of sorts in this country. Impact of films is quite known through Neo-Italian Realism Cinemas, French New Wave, Noir Films, etc and in many cultures and countries globally.
Now coming back to our own Bhojpuri cinema (No matter you don't personally associate with it, they tell your story). What kind of impact it has on our image as a Bhojpuri speaking or a Bihari? Let me tell you, even though we have other great languages like Maithili, Angika, Vajjika, Magahi in Bihar, the identity of Bhojpuri is mainly from Bihar. Bhojpuri films gain maximum from Bihar. Bhojpuri cinema tells about Bihar and the Biharis in the most regressive and clichéd manner through their repulsive lyrics of item numbers and abominable visuals. Even though things are not factual, I am talking about image. What image it draws in the minds of non-Biharis seeing these posters and visuals?
Not a single Bihari fellow studying in Delhi University, working in Gurgaon or in Pune, Mumbai go to see these films but let me assure you, these Bhojpuri films are telling our story. They are degrading Bhojpuri as a language and the people. It is killing and threatening sensibilities of its target audience so much that in coming years, things will never be the same. A single click on youtube.com can give you access to Bhojpuri songs which boast to be hit but then as a sane person you have to hear the lyrics. Here are a few, "Tani dheere daala, seal baa...", "lahanga uthaa deb remote se..."dheere dheere daala dukhaata... ", "saiyyan leke bahiyaan mein marelan kacha kach..kacha kach" "laga deen choliyaa ke hook raja ji...", etc. I can endlessly go on telling about it.
Who are these people?
They all are Bhojpuri speaking demented people who reside anywhere from Mumbai to Ara to Buxar, etc. A 12 year old singer from Buxar is a new rage in Bhojpuri for his songs like "saket hota raja ji...", "lagaa deen choliyaa ke hook raja ji..." and many such pieces of shame and disgrace. The major players in this business are Biharis who are just minting money on the cost of selling this language, culture, people and their souls.
Let's delve a little in the glorious history of Bhojpuri cinemas, Vishwanath Shahabadi in 1961 made "Ganga Maiyya Tohre Piyari Chadahibo". Other films like 'Jekra Charanwa mein lagal paranwa', 'Lage Nahi Chhute Ram, 'Bhauji', 'Bidesia', and 'Loha Singh' made place in Bhojpuri speaking population. Songs were sung by non other than maestros like Md. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. Chitragupt Ji was at his best in music. That was a golden period of Bhojpuri cinema.
However, today contemporaries of Bhojpuri in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Bangla, Marathi are far ahead in sensibilities, aesthetics, content, story, performances, visual treatment and presentation, when compared to Bhojpuri films. Marathi films like Shwaas, Tingya, Valu, Ghabricha Paus, Harishchandra chi factory are of international fame. People like Umesh Kulkarni in Marathi, Shekhar Kamulla in Telugu, Bala in Tamil, Adoor Gopalakrishnan in Malayalam, Rituparno Ghosh in Bangla are making mark in National and International film circuit. They are not only bringing personal accolades but same time taking their culture, language and society to whole new height.
What has happened to Bhojpuri film makers? I, as a Bihari, go and watch Marathi films in theatre but I dare not go and watch a Bhojpuri film in Mumbai or Patna. Is it a mindset problem? No, it's not even though I have watched films in Elphinston, Uma, and one in Mumbai. I bet it's a challenge to sanity watching this nonsensical, abhorrent, phlegmatic piece of audio visual. I am really bothered because neither local nor national media is talking about it. It's time we rise and help our language which is disgraced and sold just for the sake of money.