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India separatists nix Hindi pix screening

Groups cite 'invasion of hybrid Indian culture'

Separatist groups in India’s northeastern states are about to pull the plug on the screening of Hindi films in cinemas and pay TV stations in the region, saying Bollywood’s influence is eroding traditional tribal ways.

In a joint statement, 11 outlawed rebel groups said the ban would come into effect Nov. 15. “The immediate and dangerous threat to our sociocultural values, and ultimately to our national life, is the invasion of hybrid Indian culture through their Hindi films,” the statement said.

“The erotic song and dance sequences in Hindi films have produced an imitation culture among our younger generations and have completely disoriented their mind.”

A ban has already been in place since 2001 in one of the seven northeastern states, Manipur, where cinema owners, fearing reprisals from the militants, have unanimously obeyed the dictate.

At least 30 rebel groups are active in the northeast with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.