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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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random thoughts on dharma

Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah!

Parwatisingari's Weblog

dharmachakraDharmasya charnam shreyah

Dharmajnam tu dushkrama.

The good and righteous follow the dharma but it is difficult to know what the dharma is.

The keeper of dharma tend to become self righteous  such men are known as dharmadwaja these people on the face of it are vociferous keepers of dharma but their rigidity gives rise to the rebels.

Dharma is essential is a way living that allows everyone to be safe and grow. The dharma that is applied to the society at large is samajika dharma; this could vary with needs of the society.

Then is vaiyaktika dharma or the personal code of conduct. This is the choice of the individual.

I found some very interesting stuff here.

Marriage is left to the vaiyaktika dharma, to marry or not, the right age for marriage  this choice was extended to both the men and women. If child marriage made sense in…

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Few reasons for being [Anti] Social Networking

Please don’t conclude by seeing the title that it is gonna be another boring lecture on anti-social networking by some orthodox. I know how much social networking has encroached into our lives today that we forgot to talk to people offline, in fact some people have completely forgot to live offline, so I can’t dare to go against it.

As a matter of fact I too have accounts in almost all social networking sites like FACEBOOK etc and I too use it for many reasons. So what’s this all about you may ask, here I’ve listed out something which mystified me about the social networking maniacs..

  •  One day I’ve seen one of my old friend posting few birthday party photos celebrated pretty grand and the link was titled “My Dog’s Birthday“. I was happy to see people started loving animals so much but was it really worthy to celebrate a dog’s birthday with a 500 bucks cake and boast it online. I wish she had used half of that money to help someone in need; they would bless her dog to live 100 years and the doggie would LIKE it 😉
  •  I never understood why people spend so much time “Growing Farms” and harvesting crops online. If they had used a little time to grow plants offline too, earth would have been a much greener and safer place to live. Recently people are catching criminals solving cases in Facebook, I suggest they join Police and help the nation too. 😛
  •  I was talking to a friend at home, HAAATTCCHHHH… he sneezed, immediately he pulled out his blackberry to update in FaceBook/Twitter “I sneezed”. Do we really need to update even trifle matters of life in our profile for the whole world to know??
  •  I find many friend requests every time I open my account in FaceBook, or any other social networking site, and it’s no surprise that most of them I’ve never met in life n I don’t think I will. Most of them (not all I say) send a request just to boast a large Number of friends they have or to peep into others life. Oh God! Why people are so much interested in others lives than their own?
  •  While stuck in traffic I saw something strange written on a bike “Don’t follow me now, follow me here – twitter/“. What a creativity 😛
  •  When someone asks “Shall we play something?” I’ll ask Indoor or outdoor, now-a-days when I ask “Shall we play something?” people ask me “Online or offline??”

By social networking I met some of my old friends with whom I lost contact long back, I’m very thankful to social networking without which it’d have been nearly impossible to meet them again. On the contrary I hate it so much because I’m losing friends in real world as many are happy to be friends online but never have time for friends in real world.

P.S: This post is just to say what I gained n lost by some websites, no offense intended. It is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental 😀

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