Warner Todd Huston
When Indians are better cowboys than the cowboys
By Warner Todd Huston
March 19, 2010

Last week an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal that gave me pause even as it evoked outrage. It proved that the India has more backbone than America does where it concerns portraying Islamic terror in films.

The article was penned by Arun Venugopal. The writer is a young Indian-born, American-raised reporter who has knocked about in both Bollywood and the American film communities, and his piece is an eye opener.

Venugopal's piece should enrage anyone who comes to realize that India's Bollywood film industry is able to portray Muslims as the evil villain of its films while America's Hollywood shrinks from such common sense portrayals. And if you'll forgive the somewhat mixed metaphor of my title, it's all because the cowboys of the American west don't have the spine to buck PCism while the Indians of the east don't seem to have the slightest qualms about telling it like it is.

Venugopal notes that the Indian film industry does not shy away from a "full throttle" portrayal of Islamic terror in its films.

    ...terrorism narratives are pursued full throttle, and where Islamic radicalism and the suffering it causes come together in extravagant form. Whereas Hollywood focuses on bumptious American bureaucrats and politicians ("Syriana," "Lions for Lambs"), troubled soldiers ("Stop-Loss") and ruthlessly efficient superagents, India makes movies about actual terrorists, based on its long, painful history of domestic extremism.

And what of America? Have we not lost countless soldiers to Islamic terror and thousands of our civilians as well? Certainly we haven't lost as many as India, nor have we suffered from Islamic terror for the many decades that they have, but have we not be been bled?

Of course we have. But it isn't for lack of harm that our film industry is so reticent to portray Muslims as terrorists. No, it is because we suffer from the west's penchant to political correctness, a foolish, self-destructive tendency from which the Indian people do not suffer.

Sadly, India's film traditions are so alien to America that few of their films will ever gain much notice in America and the lesson that they could teach us in the case of Islamic terror will go unseen by most Americans. It's a shame, too, because it is a lesson we need to inculcate.

Certainly not all Muslims are terrorists, but in this day and age, most terrorists are Muslim. It really is just that simple and it is a simplicity that our PC attitudes prevent us from learning at our own peril.

The Indians understand this lesson well. Unfortunately, the America under Barack Obama is hiding her head in the sand and pretending not to see the truth that stares her in the face.

If it takes a few seemingly silly movies with weird dance numbers and kisses implied but always unseen on screen to bring that lesson home, then crank up the sitars, will you?

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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