The best Hindi movies of all time are for the entertainment of a diverse audience. Although the movies are not for educational purposes, they teach a lot about the culture, technology, trends, and more. However, some stereotypical portray South Indians betraying ignorance. Although the North-South divide is artificial, there is a clear deficit in understanding the peninsular people.
The Madarasi culture of the best Hindi movies of all time
Some of the best Hindi movies of all time take the blame for promoting the so-called Madarasi stereotype.They are usually Tamilian and Hindu. Some get offended by the offensive portrayals and monotonous characterization, while others take such caricatures as light humor. Sometimes South Indian movies give befitting responses like the funny “chapatti song” as a reaction to the “lungi dance.” Let us look at the top 8 Madarasi stereotypes imposed by the best Hindi movies of all time.
The South Indian food shown in the best Hindi movies of all times
Food plays a significant role in differentiating or highlighting a culture. Moviemakers exploit this aspect of society for their gain. Even the best writers cannot resist the culinary categorization due to visual appeal. It is easy to show a main or side character gorging on idlis, vada, and sambar to show the difference in culture.
Yes, in Hindi movies, the South Indian dishes comprise mainly of breakfast items. Comical situations always pick dosa, chutney, rice, and rasam. Such a portrayal also highlights the misconception that South Indians are all vegetarian. Of course, the thali gets replaced by a large, green banana leaf.
Although not incorrect, there are other food items that are emblematic dishes of the south. People in the south enjoy meat dishes, and although the banana leaf is a festive way to consume meals, it is not a strict rule.
The offensive accent shown even in the best Hindi movies of all times
Since all South Indians are Madarasis (another stereotype), they all speak Hindi like Tamil. And they do so in a very thick and obvious accent. The emphasis is usually on a likable Anna or a traditional Tamil Brahmin accent. Their dress, demeanor, and dialect are primary tools to arouse deprecating laughs.
A consummate comedian like Johnny Lever made a career out of this stereotype. In addition to the appearance, the South character also speaks funny. He or she overacts like Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express. And there is always a healthy sprinkling of words like “Ayyo,” “Amma,” “Appa,” “Muruga,” etc. South Indians do not take a particular liking to such characterization. Some even get bored due to the repetitiveness.
The southern skin color that never seems to change in the best Hindi movies of all times
Hollywood is well-known for showing southern actors with black faces and minstrels. Even some of the best Hindi movies of all time are equally guilty. Even an occasional moviegoer can figure out the makers’ agenda. The lack of knowledge, superficial observation skills, and naughty mindset are quite obvious.
The South Indian is typically either scrawny or big and bulky. But his skin color is always a little too dark for comfort. Such compartmentalization is mainly due to an obsession with fair skin tone. The main culprits are a rigid identification of beauty with white skin and related racial undertones.
South Indians are all not Bharatanatyam fans like in the best Hindi movies of all times
Movies made in any Indian language have song and dance sequences. And since the beginning of the Hindi cinema, South Indian dance always meant Bharatanatyam. Of course, the presence of popular Tamil dancers in this genre was the obvious reason. However, the stereotype continued for way too long. Movies that show recitals or stage performances in South India always showed this dance.
Modern viewers are well aware of diverse South Indian dance forms. They include Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, folk dances, etc. It is high time Hindi movie choreographers explored other such dance forms, apart from Bharatanatyam.
The lack of fashion among South Indian characters
In Hindi movies, the guy from the south is either nerdy or evil. The costumes also matched this pigeon-holing to the tee. The villainous Anna or comical Thambi is always shown wearing a Lungi. And it has to be either sparkling white or colorfully chequered to catch the viewer’s eye.
South women characters are not exempt from such over-the-top dress choices. They are always shown wearing heavy silk saris, with flowers and lots of ornaments. You don’t even have to be a discerning viewer to catch the nose stud, earrings, and bindi, while the male sports a large, red, or white tilak on the forehead.
South Indians seems to have only a couple of names
South India includes Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, AP, and Tamil Nadu. People here speak diverse languages and follow unique customs. But the best Hindi movies of all time are not very keen on these subtleties. The South Indian character always has the same, few boring names.
He is Srinivasan, Iyer, Venkataswamy, or Subramanium. The characters are also mockingly addressed by these names. This stereotype is to arouse derision, anger, dislike, or some other negative emotion. Such naming conventions are not only silly but also very juvenile.
The obsession with Rajnikanth
According to Hindi movies, a South Indian who does not like Rajnikanth is an anomaly. The Tamil characters always have the Superstar photo, and they imitate his peculiar mannerisms, dress, and hairstyles. Sometimes, Rajni gets even worshipped alongside other Hindu deities.
The famous movie star does commend an unprecedented fan following. But such stereotypes in movies are not very realistic. There are other south Indian stars with equal followers, and not every South India is delusional to worship movie stars.
The nerd South Indian
As India progressed economically, the Southerner also evolved in Hindi movies. The characterization graduated from a minion or lackey to a full-fledged educated youth. The southern guy is academically brilliant, very intelligent, and cute and lovable because of his shyness and other nerdy traits.
Typecasting and compartmentalizing people are an age-old trick in show business. But these lazy stereotypes also show the moviemakers in a bad light. They betray a distinct lack of application, research, and professionalism.
Having a good laugh at others’ expense is not always a healthy habit. Ignorance can destroy amity and create unhealthy and avoidable circumstances. South Indian movies do show stereotypical north characters who love chewing pan, sporting turban, praying to Durga, Mumbai-dweller, and unexplainably white.