Hindi cinema holds significant importance in Indian cinema. Right from the rich to the common man, cinema rules over them all. Nobody can deny their contribution to providing direction to society, although primarily it aims at providing entertainment. The film Border, based on Pakistan’s attack on India in 1971, showcased the immense courage shown by the Indian Army which touched the hearts of the viewers more than a book on the same incident would have. This film took the valour of the Indian soldiers to the viewer, while simultaneously instilling a sense of pride for the nation. Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan television series generated an ideal before society, in India and abroad as well, by presenting the necessary great human values that one should have in life. Many imbibed ethical values through these series and lived meaningful lives. These are the best examples showing how a film or series can provide the right direction to society.
During the initial phases, Hindi cinema provided such direction and spread an appropriate message in society. Films that have biographical or historical themes are value-based. The film industry tried to hold on to values and give society a message even when making romantic or underworld-themed films. Films produced till the ’90s decade showed some awareness of their social responsibility, but after that, they slid down the slippery slope of immorality. Instead of concentrating on a strong storyline and acting, the Hindi film industry fell prey to vulgarity, ‘bold scenes’, and commercialism.
The Hindi film industry’s drug connection was dragged into the limelight in the aftermath of actor Sushant Singh’s death in 2020. The inquiry exposed the shocking truth that even new and upcoming actors were addicted to drugs.
Currently, the success (or failure) of any film depends on how many crores it earns. It is but natural in today’s cutthroat world. But when one sees the promotion of obscenity, wantonness, and addictions, it appears as though the Hindi film industry is no longer a place for ethical people.
A film industry only interested in minting money!
The young generation imitates the actors and actresses. For example, an actor’s style of caressing his beard in ‘Pushpa’ is being imitated by millions, even children. Another film, The Kashmir Files, made every nook and cranny of the nation aware of the horrifying tortures meted on Kashmiri Hindus by Muslim bigots. That shows how much impact the scenes of a film can create on the human mind. Hence, care should be taken so that a film does not create an adverse impact on the mind of the viewers. However, the obscenity, adultery, boldness, and violent scenes in Hindi cinema make it amply clear that the film industry is only interested in minting money.
Social responsibility should be shouldered!
The Father of Indian Cinema, Dadasaheb Phalke learnt the art of producing films in England and produced ‘Raja Harishchandra’, India’s first silent film. Thereafter, Dadasaheb Phalke produced many high calibre films. Each of his films stressed the path of social responsibility. V Shantaram, Raj Kapoor, and Marathi cinema’s Bhalji Pendharkar are worth mentioning for producing quality films, that had social welfare at their core. The ideal Indian woman was depicted even through love stories based on Bandini, Saraswati Chandra, etc. Raj Kapoor also produced romance movies, but they did not contain vulgarity. Presently showing immoral relationships happens to be a common feature in films. It is a pity that producers are making money by making their lead actresses strip. Crores are being spent to produce films and they are also expected to earn in crores. Artists are engaged depending upon what their remuneration will be, in how many crores!
There were actors who raised Hindi cinema to its peak through their glorious contribution to the industry. Presently their 2nd or 3rd generation is active in the film industry. While they may not be able to maintain the glory that their elders had brought to Hindi cinema, we can only hope that they grind the fame to dust. Be it Ranbir Singh who passionately says that he ‘loves beef’, Amir Khan, a serial offender when it comes to offending Hindu religious sentiments, or even Kareena Kapoor-Khan who arrogantly told viewers to not watch her movies, which subsequently led to the boycott of Lal Singh Chaddha which has both latter actors. If they have absolutely no respect for the commoners who carried them to the pinnacle of their careers, then why should the people spend their hard-earned money to watch their films? It is high time the common man gave some thought to this. There is no doubt that this medium can provide direction to society when the acting and production values are aligned with the idea of furthering social responsibility.