Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia explains, Bollywood movies and videos appeal to young men and women in Muslim and Arab countries because they dramatize the sorts of tensions between traditional and modern ways of living. "Who should decide who one should marry - is it the parents or is it the boy and girls themselves?" asks the Indian-born and raised Dalmia. "In the West, in Hollywood movies, it's not even an issue. But it's a huge issue in that part of the world and all of Bollywood movies deal with that one central question."
True. However, the next point is not correct:
Dalmia also notes that Muslims are among the most popular - and sexually suggestive - performers in Bollywood productions. "When you have Muslims succeeding in Bollywood as Muslims, it makes them feel, well, we don't have to give up our religion in order to be modern," observes Dalmia.
Seriously? Look at Saudi Arabia and Iran. That's Islam. How exactly does one merge that 7th-century oppression with modernity?
There have been some amazing Muslim performers over the years in Indian cinema. Yusuf Khan being the greatest. Yet, they couldn't possibly have succeeded under Islamic rules. They couldn't have been superstars under sharia. They call themselves Muslim but they discarded the core prescriptions of Islam to achieve fame and accumulate wealth. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)
By the way, Malaika Arora Khan is not bad in Munni Badnaam Hui but her best work will forever remain the song on top of a train.