Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui criticized the “Bollywood film industry” for valuing the English language and ignoring Hindi in carrying out the necessary actions.
He spoke at the special session entitled “Aspiration to Action” at the Times Network India Economic Conclave on April 23.
“The directors and producers shoot the film in Hindi but prefer to communicate in English on set. Even the screenwriters, costume designers, production designers and screenwriters speak English. Sometimes they all tend to discuss the same character but don’t understand each other’s point of view. The actor is confused too. Performance will be affected,” he said, emphasizing the need for using the Hindi language on film sets.
Video of the incident went viral on social media on Tuesday, where the actor was seen stressing the importance of clear communication for great results. When asked what aspects he would like to change in the “Bollywood film industry”, he said that the first and most important thing everyone must do is call it a “Hindi film industry”. “What’s the use of making a Hindi film if nobody actually speaks Hindi,” he reiterated.
“Aap hindi my film bana rahe ho lekin director bhi assistance bhi saare english mein baatein kar rahe ho” #NawazuddinSiddiqui
Courtesy of TimesNow NavBharat pic.twitter.com/E94N3wrltr
– Bollywoodirect (@Bollywoodirect) April 25, 2022
Comparing the Hindi film industry to the Tamil or Kannada film industry, he said that “these films perform best as they all proudly speak a local language”. “The directors, producers, make-up artists, screenwriters, actors all speak the language in which the film is made. This will help everyone working on this project to understand every little detail. Undoubtedly, these films work well on the creativity graphs,” he added.
Scripts must be in Devanagari
Siddiqui explained that while the films are shot in Hindi, the scripts given to the actors are printed in “Latin characters”. He added that he would rather read scriptures written in Devanagari, which is the common script for so many Indian languages.
Siddiqui also explained that many of the talented actors who emerge from the theaters are not from the ritzy urban backgrounds and are not comfortable with spoken modern English. He added that if everyone on the set communicated in Hindi, it would be really easy for the actor to understand what is required of him in terms of performance.
Siddiqui, meanwhile, also commented on whether or not films have become a novel political tool. “Film is film. All kinds of movies have been filmed in the past, are being filmed and will be filmed in the future. It depends on the audience how they perceive it, how they take it,” he said. He also said he’s disappointed with the kind of films that have been successful at the box office lately.
It is important to note that Home Secretary Amit Shah did the same pressed on using Hindi over English on April 9th. “People from different countries should communicate with each other in Hindi and not in English. Now it is time to make the official language an important part of the country’s unity. When citizens of countries speaking other languages communicate with each other, it should be in the language of India,” he had said.
He had also clarified that Hindi should only be accepted as an alternative to English and not local languages. “Hindi should be made more flexible by accepting words from other national languages,” he had suggested.