World’s No.1 film industry, Mumbai-based Bollywood though not Jewish like Hollywood, but does have Jewish roots. The claim was made by Jewish Tablet magazine on June 29, 2009, saying: “Rose Ezra. Ruby Myers. Farhat Ezekiel Nadira (photo above). From the earliest years of Bollywood, these and other Jewish actresses garnered starring roles. And while they may have looked somewhat exotic to moviegoers, they came from Baghdadi Jewish families who had been living in India for decades.”
Danny Ben-Moshe’s Shalom Bollywood was screen in Toronto in April 2014.
Author David Livingstone commented on the movie: “Given the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the recent war drums with China & Pakistan and also India’s close ties to Israel, it is important to note the importance that films had and will have in manufacturing public opinion, degrading and demoralizing society in exactly the same way as was done in the West, as a means of changing it into a pliable nation willing to do whatever organized Zionist interests want. Cinema is a very powerful medium and in this age of asymmetrical warfare a very close eye has to be kept for similar patterns on every aspect touching people’s lives.”
The Shalom Bollywood movie reminds me Dr. Vijay Parshad’s 2003 book, Namaste Sharon which addresses the close relationship between India and Israel based on the common hatred toward Muslims.
Sulochana Devi (1907 – 1983) was the first Indian-born Jewish woman (Ruby Meyers) who worked in Hindi silent movies. She received 1973 Dada Saheb Phalke Award for lifetime contributions to Indian cinema.
The first woman who introduced British India to the West’s “sexual exploitation” was Jewish Pramila (1911-2006), born Esther Victoria Abraham into an Arab Jewish family from Baghdad, Iraq. She became first Miss India in 1947. She married a Muslim actor Syed Hassan Ali and had four sons and one daughter from Ali, who migrated to Pakistan in 1963. Pramila refused to accompany her husband and later developed relationship with Parsi filmmaker Nari Gadhali. Following her mother’s footsteps, her daughter Naqi Jahan was chosen Miss India in 1967.
Some Jewish bloggers have claimed that famous Bangladeshi Nazural Sangeet singer Firoza Begum (1930-2014) was born as Susan Solomon (Jewish). She married Kamal Dasgupta (Hindu) in Dhakka (East Pakistan) in 1955. Her only surviving child is Shafin Ahmed.
Ramala Devi (born Rachel Cohen) is another Jewish Indian actress whose best movie was 1948 Hum Bhi Inssan Hain, in which she acted against Hindu Dev Anand who was born in Lahore (Pakistan). Anand studied at Government College before his family migrated to India in 1947.
One of my favorite character actors, David (1908-1981) was a native Indian Jew. He was born David Abraham Cheulkar and refused to become a ‘crypto Jew’ like other Jew performers. After he retired from acting, he migrated to Israel where he died.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927-2013), India’s only Academy Award winning screenwriter, was born into a German Jewish family. She lived in New Delhi for 24 years before she migrated to New York in 1975.
Pearl Padamsee (1931-2000) was another Jewish stage actress and filmmaker. She married Alyque Padamsee who played Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah role in Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Hindu propaganda movie Gandhi.
I remember Nadira (1932-2006) for her excellent performance in Mehboob Khan’s epic movie AAN, in which she played opposite India’s legendary film-star Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan). Watch the movie below. Nadira twice married to Muslims; first to Urdu poet Naqshab and then to an Arab Sheikh. Read more here.
Earlier I posted about Gandhi’s secret love for Jews. Gandhi’s personal physician Dr. Erulkar was also Jewish.
Some readers may be interested to know that Jewish families of Rothschild and Sassoon controlled illicit drug trade in India even before some Jews “inspired” Bollywood.