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The Portrayal of Tawaifs or Courtesans in Bollywood


Indian movies often show Courtesans as women who sing and dance. But these portrayals aren’t always accurate. Let’s talk about the portrayal of Courtesans, also known as Tawaifs, in these movies. You might have seen them as characters who sing and dance, but there’s more to their story.

How is Bollywood Portraying them?

Courtesans were women who were skilled in arts like singing and dancing. But in movies, they are often shown in a limited way. They are either portrayed as victims or as characters with questionable morals. This is not fair because Courtesans were actually strong and talented women who played a big role in Indian society.

In the past, Courtesans were respected for their talents. They performed for kings and queens, and their art was appreciated. But things changed over time. During British rule, Courtesans were looked down upon, and their image was tarnished. This affected how they were shown in movies too.

Some movies show Courtesans as helpless women who need saving. Others depict them as immoral or bad people. But in reality, Courtesans were independent and empowered. They earned their own money and had a say in their lives.

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Let’s look at some movies that have shown Courtesans. In “Umrao Jaan,” the main character is a Courtesan who falls in love with a nobleman. But society doesn’t accept their love because she is seen as a Courtesan. This shows how society looked down upon these women.

Movies like “Devdas,” “Gangubai,” and “Heeramandi” make Courtesans look glamorous, but they don’t show the struggles these women faced. Similarly, in other movies like “Uttar-phalguni” and “Benarasi,” Courtesans are shown as characters who want to leave their past behind and live a normal life. But society doesn’t let them forget their past, and they face many challenges.

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Source: NDTV

These movies might entertain us, but they also shape our views. When Courtesans are shown in a certain way, it affects how we see them in real life too. We need to remember that movies are not always accurate. They might show only one side of the story.

The portrayal of Courtesans in Indian movies is often unfair. These women were talented and independent, but movies often show them in a negative light. It’s important to question these stereotypes and see the real story behind Courtesans in Indian society.

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