Imphal/August 16, 2023 (SPN) | A recent incident involving the supposed screening of Bollywood movies in Manipur has raised doubts about the accuracy and fact-checking practices of these media houses.
In a surprising turn of events, the credibility of prominent national media outlets has once again been thrust into the spotlight.
The claims of a decades-long absence were debunked by “Senapati Today,” a Facebook page that categorically stated that Hindi films are screened at the Senapati Cinema hall every weekday. This is in response to a news report falsely stating that Vicky Kaushal’s “Uri” was the first Hindi film to be shown in Manipur in 23 years.
The Senapati Today Facebook page wrote, “This is a lie. Hindi film is shown in Senapati Cinema hall every weekday.”
The news of Bollywood movies gracing Manipur’s screens after a purported two-decade hiatus initially captured attention. Headlines from respected sources like The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Times of India, and NDTV suggested that Manipur’s tribals were defying a ban on Indian cinema. However, a closer look reveals a different narrative.
These media houses have seemingly fallen prey to misleading narratives propagated by Kuki Zo groups.
They have published headlines that suggest Manipur’s tribals are defying a supposed “ban” on Indian cinema, with reports like “With Bollywood hits, Manipur tribals defy ‘ban’ on Indianisation,” “Hindi film screened in Manipur, first time in more than two decades,” and “Tribal defy ban, screen Hindi movies in Manipur after 23 years.”
CNN-News 18 even made a poster dividing the Manipur state, “Vicky Kaushal’s Uri Becomes First Hindi Film to Be Shown in Manipur in 23 years at Lamka Khopi Near Manipur”.
Is Lamka Khopi outside the Manipur state? Such journalism clearly shows how some sections of the media have been playing with fire and helping to burn the State all these days.
However, these reports have been found to be inaccurate, highlighting a lack of fact-checking on the part of these media organizations. To generate sensational news, they overlooked the reality that Bollywood movies are being screened daily in Manipur, particularly in the hill districts.
Upon scrutiny, it has come to light that these media reports were far from accurate. Sensationalism seemed to have overshadowed the truth, as Bollywood movies have, in fact, been screened regularly in Manipur, particularly in its hill districts.
Renowned Meitei actor Bijou Thaangjam weighed in, emphasizing that Hindi films have a history of being showcased in Manipur’s proper theaters. Specific instances, like the screening of SRK’s “Pathaan” at the Mazui Multitheatre in Ukhrul, add weight to his argument.
The Mazui Theatre & Multipurpose Hall’s confirmation of regularly showing the Hindi blockbuster “Pathaan” further discredits the misleading reports.
The exposure of such misleading narratives raises concerns about the accuracy of media coverage of the ongoing Manipur violence. The biased and potentially unverified reports concerning victims and justifications are now seen in a new light, thanks to the debunking of the Bollywood screening misinformation.
While the controversy simmers, the Hmar Students’ Association (HSA) has made a bold statement. As an act of defiance against decades of oppression by terror groups, the HSA has announced plans to publicly screen a Hindi film on August 15th. This symbolic gesture reflects the resilience of tribal communities in Manipur.
Tracing back to the ban on Bollywood, the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), a Meitei-based armed group, enforced a ban on screening Hindi films back in September 2000.