By Justice Markandey Katju
I never met Dilip Kumar, who died recently, and I saw only one of his films, Mughal-e-Azam.
What I want to write about is not Dilip Kumar but about bollywood movies.
It is said that religion is the opium of the masses. In India, however, one opium is not sufficient to keep poor people drugged. Since most people live in India in horrible conditions, several drugs have to be administered to them so that they remain quiet, and do not rise up in revolt.
So apart from religion, they are given Bollywood, cricket, TV shows ( which are mostly humbug ), cheap local alcohol ( due to which some of them die ), drugs ( which even school children are taking nowadays ), petty politics ( which has gone down to the lowest level ), etc.
What do most Bollywood movies do? They drug the onlooker for 2 hours or so by taking him into a land of make-believe. For those 2 hours, the person forgets his miserable plight, and it is a form of escapism for him, like eating bhaang or ganja.
The Roman Emperors used to say “ If you cannot give the people bread, give them circuses ”. Bollywood is a form of circus in India.