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January 30, 2017

Essay - Indian Cinema and its Social Responsibility

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Indian Cinema and its Social Responsibility

Overview
  • Cinema, the most powerful media. 
  • Cinema affects the illiterate and the youth largely.
  • Indian cinema developed through different stages of society. 
  • Mostly lost its educative and social aspects.
  • Negative influence of movies.
  • Positive aspect includes encouraging attitude.
  • Film marker must have social responsibility. 
  • Inspiring films encourage masses.
The cinema has remained the most powerful media for mass communication in India. It has the ability to combine entertainment with communication of ideas. Cinema has touched peoples,
characters through many productions. It breaks the monotony and boredom of life and rejuvenates us from the everyday chores of life. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that cinema is like a mirror reflecting the hopes, aspirations, frustrations and contradictions of the society which leads to an attachment of social responsibility to it. It becomes important to avoid such stories which may lead to erosion of social morals and values.


The influence of cinema cannot be underestimated as it plays a very important role in our educational, social, political and moral life. Thus, what is seen on the cinema screen is automatically absorbed by the viewers. Our fashion sense, reactions, even manner and habits are influenced by cinema.

From the 30s, right through the 60s, Indian cinema had developed in focusing different aspects of Indian life. It has not only presented but tackled many sensitive issues like freedom to unemployment, from dowry to women's emancipation, from poverty to exploitation, from social conflict to national integration and so on. With the transformation of the society, the issue confronting it kept on changing and so also themes adopted for film making.

It is worthy to mention some of the Indian films that have sensually touched the audience and the society through its messages. Indian cinema talked about upliftment of untouchables in `Acchut Kanya' (1936); fought against marriage of young girls with old persons (Duniya Na Mane, 1937), highlighted the problem of alcohol in 'Brandi Chi Bath' (1939), raised the issue of dowry in `Dahej' (1950).

Films like 'Aurat', 'Do Bigha Zamin', 'Mother India' and 'Mujhe Jeene Do' focused on the socio-economic causes of the very Indian problem.

However, over the years cinema has lost its educative and social aspects. Film producers and financers are merely concerned for the commercial value of the films and thus pack the films with the ingredients like sex, violence, item number etc. Such scenes has a great impact on the minds of children who are seen using abusive language oftenly. Apart from this, women in cinema are portrayed as an object of entertainment.

But the story has its other side too. With the passage of time, there were movies made to have positive influence. Movies like 'Rang De Basanti' encouraged people to take up things in their own hands, Taare Zameen Par' and 'Three Idiots' helped parents accept their children as they are; Swades' portrayed the problem of brain drain in the country, `Aarakshan' was based on controversial policy of caste-based reservations in Indian Government jobs and educational institutions and 'My brother Nikhil' dealt with the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

This deviation of Indian cinema from its social responsibility is a matter of great concern. This growing tendency of the film industry to exploit sex and violence must be firmly curbed. In developing country like India, the cinema has a major role to play due to the high percentage of poverty and illiteracy.

Cinema has the ability to inform and educate apart from entertaining. Hence, this ability of the cinema should be ensured by laying down guidelines for the people involved in its making and there must be provision of stringent action against those who violate them. Instead of presenting life as it is and as it should be in a country such as India, our film producers creates false values, generally present stories of affluent classes, of life in bungalows and palaces, gorgeous dresses and elaborate costumes and artificial situations far from the actualities of the life of people in India.

Hence, for film makers it is important to understand that they too have social responsibility and they must not forget their duty towards society in their craze for making profits by all popular techniques. To conclude, we may say that the cinema has the power to influence the people in several ways. It has changed the society and social trends and has rather introduced new fashions in the society. Films can go a long way towards arousing national consciousness and also in utilising the energies of the youth in social reconstruction and nation-building.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Monotony lack of variety and interest
  • Rejuvenates to give new strength or energy to (something)
  • Chores a small or odd job; routine task
  • Emancipation to free something from restraint, influence or the like
  • Stigma a mark of disgrace a stain or reproach, as on ones' reputation
  • Curbed anything that restrains or control; a restraint; check
  • Stringent rigorously binding or exacting; strict; severe
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani

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