Indian cinema and society

​Indian Cinema has grown leaps and bounds in popularity from the days of its inception, that it is no more an entertainment industry catering to our free time entertainment need but is a part and parcel of our life. The spread of dish TV from 1990’s has been prime reason for such rise in demand for Indian cinema. The huge popularity enjoyed by movie stars, not only domestically but also abroad, is a proof in itself about importance ascribed to cinema.

Cinema has, in many ways, been a driving force of Indian society, reflecting not only the culture but also the moods of society. Any ‘art’ will have that energy to lead the society in better way than it is going, so ‘cinema’ with such a huge popularity can certainly influence the society in positive or negative way.

Indian cinema is definitely not only Bollywood which produces largest number of movies in India, but also the regional cinema – four Southern movie industries, and Bhojpuri, Manipuri, Odiya, Marathi etc. that has been influential in projecting the cultures of different regions. Some regional cinema is also enjoying huge popularity at national level and because of dish TV showcasing the regional movies dubbed versions (mostly Southern movies), regional cultures are also becoming popular, breaking the stereotypes about people of different regions.

After Independence, in the hefty task of binding the people of nation and spreading nationalism, Indian cinema played its part too. Apart from reflecting the cultures & moods of society, cinema started showcasing the realistic political scenario, sometimes criticising the policies of Government too, but mostly helped in spreading nationalism. It was after the failure of ‘Janata Experiment’ after emergency period, frustration of the society was reflected in ‘Angry young man’ movies criticising the ‘system’ and discrimination & inequality in society.

There is no doubt in saying that cinema has popularised several Indian festivals, throughout the country, which were earlier celebrated in only few pockets. “Ganesh utsav” of Maharashtra is one such festival that is now celebrated with great pomp & fervour in large parts of India. Even ‘Dandia’ dance of Gujarat has gained prominence in several states, thanks to several songs of Dandia and Garbha in movies.

But it has to be noted that cinema has largely failed to either reflect or shape the culture of minorities. In terms of cultural minorities, it is not just religious minorities, but includes the linguistic, caste and regional minorities too. For example, the Northeast region culture is not uniform but has several varied cultures with minor differences, but Indian cinema (except Manipuri regional movies) has failed in showcasing such cultures like Bihu, Cheraw, Manipuri dances, or the local festivals of these states. Not only the cultures of Northeast, but the tribal cultures of states like Chattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. also was not favoured much by the cinema. Some critics argue that the innate caste discrimination of Indian society has stopped the Indian cinema from adopting the cultures of all castes and regions.

Indian cinema has, but all of its criticisms, been a devout social activist questioning the evils of society and making strong statements on social conflicts, indicating a modern, liberal outlook which will enable the society to be closer to egalitarianism. More than a decade ago, movie “Aame”(Telugu) questioned the patriarchy in Indian society and recently ‘Queen’ (Hindi) has done the same in a lighter tone, strikingly both the movies have garnered huge success at box office. So is the case with ‘Yennai Arindhal’ (Tamil blockbuster) in which the protagonist (superstar Ajit) marries a divorced woman who already has a child, it is certainly rare to see even in reality in Indian society which is most often male dominated. With the gap between the mainstream movies and realistic cinema narrowing fast, such movies dealing with social conflicts are not rare anymore. ‘PK’ (Hindi) questioning the role of religion & dominance of God-men in Indian society, ‘Fandry’ (Marathi), ‘Sairat’ (Marathi) showcasing the harsh caste discrimination, are more such examples.

Indian cinema has certainly done much more than just entertaining the people. It has been a platform to popular culture of the nation, not only popularising it in different regions of India but also in several nations. Despite of its several shortcomings and few narrow-minded filmmakers, Indian cinema has also successfully shown the society a new direction and is doing so even now..

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(Arts) Happy birthday

It’s made for my little niece on her birthday.

It’s pencil on A4 paper. Took nearly 4 hours, really long….

I tried my best to bring the candle light feel in the portrait, I could have done better.

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55F: The Proposal

“I can’t bear if she rejects, I can’t show my face to her again in life”.

“How can any girl reject a lovely guy like you, only devil she is if she does so” said one of the girl from the gang sitting around him.

He took a deep breath and said, “I love you”.

Note: Click here to know more about 55Fiction.

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A natural turn

Last night, just lying on the bed, unable to sleep, I was contemplating on how rugged life has been becoming and where exactly it is going to take me now. Soon my last few years of life have flown in front of my eyes and I couldn’t stop but noticing how wonderfully life has unrolled itself from living in different cities to working in varied jobs and meeting several interesting people, getting to know different cultures and traditions, and still at the end of it I remain the same confused man as I was then. How much things have changed in last decade, some for good and some may not, that I reckon all these changes have made me a different man than what I was both physically and psychologically, albeit not gaining enough strength to command life yet.

CHANGE is a nature of life and without any change with time there is no meaning to life. In fact it’s not just with me but the whole world is moving ahead in fast forward motion and I’m just like a small cog in the wheel that is rolling along.

Now, why am I rumbling on this topic of “Change in Life” all of a sudden? Because it’s very fascinating when we actually observe and analyse those little changes in our surroundings and its effect on us directly or indirectly. Just like the monsoon showers after a hot summer season and a warm Sun shine after a cold winter which would be a welcome relief.

The biggest change that happened in India which got world attention was the change in government. The proud democracy of India has deposed the incumbent government of UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and gave a thumping majority to NDA (National Democratic Alliance) paving way for a strong government at centre led by a man who has given hopes of building a strong nation. The newly elected government seems to be going by the famous demands of public, in vogue for last couple of years, to deliver a corruption-free governance, public security and economic stability if not development. After all, for a common citizen it hardly matters who is in power as long as he can make his life comfortable and secure. So what are the changes that this new government was able to bring in this short span is hard to say but it certainly succeeded in keeping those hopes of people alive that it can bring that CHANGE what majority people want to see in India. Yet there is large scale scepticism which is associated with right wing politics in India for last few decades.

Now if we go beyond Indian boundaries and observe the world, there is lot of drama unfolding which future generations might find interesting to read but as of now I’d describe it as “highly sensitive” situation. Most significant of all is the Crimea crisis which is threatening the world with a consequence of “Cold War 2.0” and war is something that no nation in today’s complex interdependence would really be able to afford. Apart from this, there are new governments in several nations like Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar etc., some elected, some re-elected, some military coups, but everyone has a common agenda to come out of the turmoil and bring in stability for which several other nations are ready to help, as they realise civil wars are like wild fires that can spread fast beyond national boundaries.

Sometimes, what may happen, certain things remain as bad as they are. One such issue which seems to have moved from bad to worse all over the world, especially in Asian countries, is the situation of security to women. In India, after 16th Dec 2012 NIRBHAYA incident, there were country-wide protests which resulted in some new laws and amendments aimed for the security of women and protection against sexual assaults but these could not bring any change in situation as the ideology of patriarchal society seems to be unrelentingly against the freedom from women. The recent shameful Badaun (Uttar Pradesh) case in which two innocent girls lost their lives reiterates how grave the situation is. The new government’s action to appoint a woman M.P (Member of Parliament) as Union Minister of Women & Child Development seems to be not enough to handle the problem and it needs a better and comprehensive action to uproot this evil and make India a safer place for women.

There are some more shocking incidents happening in the world which when I read about has shaken ground beneath my feet. One is in our own neighbour Pakistan where a women was stoned and killed for marrying a man of her choice, even disgraceful is that all accused are her family members who, it is said, have killed her for their HONOUR. Now it is beyond my comprehension as to what honour is there in killing and when an adult person has a right to elect the Prime Minister of nation then why they are being murdered for choosing their life partner. If media reports are to be believed, India is not so far behind our neighbours in this devil of HONOUR killings. There are many more like kidnapping of 200 young girls in Nigeria (by BOKO HARAM, a banned organisation), sexual assault of women near Tahir square, Egypt when the nation was celebrating a change in government etc. which are few of those shameful incidents happening around us.

In last 14 years of 21st Century INDIA has evolved itself into a modern and technically advanced nation, growing fast and catching up with the developed nations, and so does many other developing nations too. For whatever has changed in all these years, hope all will be for good and we will see a new dawn soon where all people, men and women alike, will be treated at par.

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[Arts] River Side

A simple village setting on the river side. I liked the scene with tress lined up on the river bank and women working in the front.

Time taken  : 3 hours

Material Used  : HB, 2H Pencils on A4 paper

Village

Let me know your precious feedback.

 

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[Arts] Nayanatara

Nayanatara is an Indian actress who acted in several South Indian films. I’ve tried to draw her grey scale portrait, it is not completely satisfactory but that was the best I was able to get.

Time taken  : 4 hours

Material Used  : HB, 10B, 2H Pencils on A4 paper

Nayanatara

Please let me know how you like it.

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[Arts] Misty Morning

A natural scenery but unlike usual mornings of rising sun, I tried to depict the misty morning at dawn. It was very tough to get the misty look, not completely satisfied with the output I got here.

Time taken  : 3 hours

Material Used  : HB, 10B, 2H Pencils and a cotton cloth (for shading) on A4 paper

Misty_Morning

I hope you all like it. Please let me know your feedback.

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