So while a few may talk about Donald Trump's win, I don't think anything else really matters to India today more than the ban of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. In fact, a leading columnist of our portal Indu Mirani has texted us that she won't be sending in her column until tomorrow because there's so much happening around her that she can barely concentrate. Fair enough, and now let's go over to the million-dollar question: Will the ban on these notes affect Bollywood and Tellywood?
Leading fashion designer Anna Singh says, "The fact that Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are two of the highest tax-payers in our country says a lot about Bollywood. We are a completely clean fraternity."
Image Source: bharatstudent & alchetron
However, Mukesh Bhatt does not deny that black money was a large part of the film industry in 80s and 90s. "But please understand that we were then subjected to a very high income tax, nearly to the tune of 85 per cent. Today, everyone in the film industry is paid in cheque. Black money? When did I hear it last?"
Producers Ramesh Taurani and Tanuj Garg too say that the film fraternity will not meet with any hiccups, while Rakesh Roshan goes a step ahead to respond to SpotboyE.com with a text that reads: "A brilliant move by our PM to curb black money. Bravo. Maybe inconvenient it would be for a few initially, but better in the long run.Watch the economy boom."Image Source: bharatstudent & alchetron
However, a leading distributor-exhibitor (on request of anonymity) had a different opinion. "I think Bollywood will be affected. The Studio culture has collapsed, so there were many unknown names especially from Delhi who were making inroads into producing films. Their money was not essentially white, but now those will be wiped out."
Kahaani producer Jayantilal Gada adds, "Yes those outside people who wanted to make hay after the Studios collapsed may be wiped out, but then did they matter? Do they have any idea of cinema? What difference would it make if they have been stopped in their tracks? In fact, isn't that a blessing in disguise."Image Source: alchetron & imagearcade
So who cleaned it up all? Says an indsider, "The advent of Studios brought in a lot of transparency on how much the cast and crew took home." And now with the breakdown of Studios? Says trade analyst Amod Mehra, "It won't reverse. Things have got streamlined. Mostly it's cheques, whether it's a star's acting fee or even his/her share of profit. Even the satellite rights are properly accounted for."
Ramesh Taurani's brother Kumar Taurani had a pragmatic answer: "Production, distribution and marketing won't get affected at all, but films releasing this week and for the next 2-3 weeks may suffer as many people buy tickets by doing cash payment.
The maverick filmmaker however does not seem to feel that it's a Win-Win situation. Sitting slightly on the other side of the fence, he responded saying: "It will affect those who need to affected and will not affect those who don't have a reason to be affected." Image Source: bharatstudent & alchetron
The TV industry too, by and large, feels likewise. Senior producer Manish Goswami (Parampara, Daraar, Kittie Party) says, "No, the TV industry will not be affected. Petty cash exchanges might be hit, but that will settle down within 1-2 weeks. Nothing to panic about. Besides, like Bollywood, today TV stars are also paid by cheque."
Another senior producer J D Majethia (of Khichdi fame, who is now also the Co-Chairman of Indian Film and TV Producers Council) endorses, "Thoda bahut decoration, khaana-peena aur lights ke daily kharche ka problem hoga thoda din. But I have told all the workers to either take a cheque of 7-days work together, either in advance or post. None of them are grumbling, unka money bhi saara white hokar rahega."
Thumbnail Image Source: theindiantalks, theunrealtimes, alibaba, & Manav Manglani