Weekday Squib: No item-numbers please, we’re Somalians

Promoting virtue and banning vice…in Africa

Vikram Arumilli directs us to witness the latest actions of the militiamen of Somalia’s Union of Islamic Courts, who have raided a studio and apprehended five people found indulging in the vice-filled activity of dubbing Bollywood movies into Somali. This activity has joined drug dealing, bootlegging, and kidnapping as some of the things that the Union of Islamic Courts have decided that Somalia can do without.

Bewildered crowds looked on as the militia stormed the building housing Al-Fiqi studios in Hamarweyne district.

Studio chairman Abdihakim Mohamed Haji said no official business was being conducted at the time of the raid and that those taken away were not actors or translators.

But he said televisions were destroyed in the assault and that large amounts of money were also taken.

Chairman of the Union of the Islamic Courts, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, told reporters that he and his colleagues were very proud to have closed down the operations of the biggest movie-dubbing firm in the capital, adding that these people had defied the court’s orders. [‘BBC’]

Those lucky Somalians don’t know how close they came to permanent moral corruption.

One thought on “Weekday Squib: No item-numbers please, we’re Somalians”

  1. I’m of the inclination that ideologies like the one on display in Somalia in this instance fully realize that Bollywood has a subversive potential (given the “official” ideologies in play)– witness Pakistan, where everyone who can get their hands on a video/VCD/DVD watches Hindi films, yet the government won’t allow them in the theaters (with the result that Hindi film-viewing is consigned to upper-middle class and affluent viewers). They are right to be scared: traditionally (a tradition contemporary Hindi filmmakers seem determined to slight for the most part), Bollywood cinema, with its divas, item numbers, sati savitris, kindly and sick gangsters, pelvic thrusts, loathsome politicians, copiously teared mothers, honest and corrupt cops, wet sari sequences, every-Muslim-is-a-Shiite-when-dying worldview, and sheer ADDICTIVENESS, can potentially overflow and exceed the rigid borderlines set up by the identity police. What could be more threatening to the minders of the pure and the impure?

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