The Dharma Productions head honcho downplays the needless comparisons, in stead stresses on the need for Indian cinema to grow as one entity.
By Our Correspondent
It started with a Twitter conversation between Ajay Devgn and Kannada super star Sudeep over the perceived theory of Hindi being the national language. Since then, its snowballed into a major talking point at many press interactions. It has since changed colour turning into a South cinema vs Hindi cinema or South vs Bollywood debate.
Other big names have weighed in. We recently saw a video of Telugu super star Chiranjeevi where in he recalled some bitter experience of step-motherly treatment to South cinema in the past at an event in North India. Producer Karan Johar was subtly asked about the ongoing debate at the trailer launch of his next JugJugg Jeeyo .
Johar, who himself presented the dubbed Hindi version of Telugu blockbuster Baahubali franchise, refused to be drawn into any South vs Hindi debate. He emphasized on the need to unify and be hailed as Indian cinema.
“We can proudly say that we are part of Hindustani cinema. When Pushpa , RRR , K.G.F: Chapter 2  have done such fantastic business, we can (proudly) say it is Indian cinema. They have elevated the status of Indian cinema. Prashanth Neel, Rajamouli sir, Sukumar, have told us that we can raise our standards,” said Johar.
The Dharma Productions head honcho cited recent example of other regional successful films, and downplayed any comparisons. A seasoned journalist then asked Johar whether he doesn’t believe in any competition between South and Bollywood?
“Not at all,” Johar said strongly before adding, “If you remember many years ago, I presented Baahubali. I had huge faith in the power of cinema. There can be no competition between the same industry. We grow together. To compete would be completely not servicing the requirements of entertainment in the industry. We have to be one collective unit. Rajamouli sir has said it many times, we should be one cinema.”
As opposed to the past, the recent history suggests that the different cultures are beginning to assimilate into each other. Johar shed light on this saying, ” I think the best crossover is the crossover that has happened recently when the South has done such expansive business in the North. That is crossover. Going to any festival, winning an Oscar doesn’t matter to us. We want to grow as Indian cinema.”
Varun Dhawan chipped in saying that that such crossover unites the country even more.
Hopefully, this is the last when we have heard on this South vs Bollywood debate.