Indian culture

If South Indian culture was accepted in Family Man, why not North East? asks the actor from Manipuri


“Mary Kom” director Omung Kumar has once again defended himself against renewed criticism from his cast of Priyanka Chopra in the title role. Amitabh played Anthony without being a Christian, the director reasoned

Lin Laishram, model and actor from Manipur, has rekindled the debate over inclusivity in Bollywood and why actors in the Northeast cannot play the performers in the Northeast. This debate has been revived again because of the Olympic triumphs of Mirabai Chanu. Photo: Instagram

Can Bollywood actors be successful when it comes to trying out the role of Manipuri boxers? Or, would an actor from Manipuri do the trick to step into the ring and put on the boxing gloves? This debate has been revived following the Olympic triumph of Mirabai Chanu (Bollywood moguls have already had to beat a track to her home) and the fact that model actor Lin Laishram recently lashed out at the ” non-inclusiveness ”of Indian films.

Lin Laishram, who starred in the Bollywood film “Mary Kom”, in which Priyanka Chopra starred, said in an interview with the Free Press Journal that while she admired Priyanka for her hard work looking like Mary Kom, she felt it was “heartbreaking” that a girl from Manipur or the northeast was not chosen to represent them.

Stating that she believes in authenticity and inclusiveness, Laishram said: “When it comes to playing a player from the Northeast, a non-Northeast person is chosen as seen in” Mary Kom “On the other hand, why not consider the people of the North East as normal Indians in all walks of life that we are.

A report from the Hindustan Times on Saturday, August 7, has now carried a rebuttal given to a daily by Omung Kumar, director of Mary Kom, to all those criticisms rekindled for its culturally inauthentic cast. Kumar defended himself by stating that any actor can “mold himself” into any character and that’s what Priyanka Chopra did wonderfully, which ultimately made her film so “effective.” By Priyanka and Darshan Kumaar.


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According to him, people confused Haryanavi Darshan Kumaar, who had played Mary Kom’s husband as Manipuri and if the actors were suitable for the role, he felt that they could play any role. “Amitabh Bachchan played Anthony Gonsalves without being a Christian,” he stressed, adding that while there is a character from South India in the film, there is no hard and fast rule that says we have to choose a South Indian actor only in the role.

However, Lin had spoken about the concept of inclusiveness that was gaining traction in the film industry, citing the example of “The Family Man-2”. “On the show, people are from Tamil Nadu and speak Tamil, representing their local culture and ethnicity, and it was so widely accepted and appreciated. So if the culture of South India can be accepted, then why not that of the North East? Asked the actor, who had appeared in Shah Rukh Khan’s “Om Shanti Om” in a cameo role, in “Umrika” opposite Prateik Babbar, “Rangoon” (2017) and “Axone” in 2019.

“Mary Kom” traces the journey of Mary, the daughter of a rice farmer from Manipur, who became five times world boxing champion. In the film, Jamshedpur-born Chopra played the Manipuri boxer, while Haryana-born Darshan Kumaar played her husband, Onler.

Also earlier, Bollywood actor Vidya Balan came under fire for playing the tragic mermaid of the south, Silk Smitha. Many criticized her for not tackling Tamil culture, which has been shown more as a parody. But, let’s not forget, Mahatma Gandhi was played by none other than a British actor, Ben Kingsley. A cast that prompted the brilliant and meticulous actor Naseeruddin Shah, who had auditioned for the role, to say that he could never have matched Kingsley’s portrayal of the great Mahatma.