Does Indian Cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it
Posted: Jul 02, 2019
Popular culture of any society is defined by common themes and values that any other society thrives to build. It manifests itself in the form of art culture festivals and social interactions that are broad. Our culture is a vibrant and that which is based on family and values despite not being static.
India Cinema has been connecting the hearts of the people all over the world and it’s been influential, educative in the lives of common people. But most of all it has been the source of entertainment that can be enjoyed for a span of 2 hours and make your day or evening awesome. From fashion to lifestyle, Indian Cinema has been the reflecting the culture of our country.
In other words it has been like mirror to different realities and areas where no one has even thought of bringing in front of the audience. Some of the popular cultures of the society are showcased through various movies where in people all over the world can get a glimpse of our diverse cultures along with its social norms/value/customs/beliefs.
Our country is based on variety of cultures and beliefs. They do not stay static but are dynamic. As and when the time passes, there will be different nuances of culture. There are lots of changes in our culture since the inception of Raja Harishchandra, which was released in the year 1913.
Indian cinema has always depicted in them the characters that can be connected with the real audiences and also the story line of the movie reflected the beliefs of people and the position of society in future. This can be magnified as we take an odyssey from past to present.
Movies like Zamindars which got released during pre-independence era, depicted the exploitation of laborers that was a most common element during the time of British. Also movies like Pyaasa and Do Biga Zameen showcased the vibrant culture of India that thrives on lineage and family and also immense poverty that abject distress.
Jai Santhoshi Maa, a movie based on goddess Ma santhoshi became epics of honesty and idol worship. Also this was an era where superstitions that propelled in the past. With the changing political conditions, especially after Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency in the year 1975, there was unemployment due to which youths of the country had to suppress their ambitions and they wanted to fight against frustrations and rage against the corrupt system.
This is when movies like Deewar and Zanjeer were popular among youths where Superstar Amitabh Bachchan who was the role model to the masses. There was an uncertainty in our country after the sudden demise of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and this was well evident on the screens as there were good movies that gave the message of wisdom to people. Also the condition of Indian Cinema was complete deterioration.
With the coming of new millennium, one can see a new pattern of protest by youngsters of the country. Protests with candles at India Gate became popular across the nation as an inspiration from the movie. Movies like Namaste London showcased that not much has changed with differences between western and native Indian culture.
Then in later 2000’s came movies like Bhaag Mikha bhaag and other biopic movies where we can see the heroes making our nations proud with their talents. Apart from biopic movies there were other movies that dealt with child psychology and other problems of children in movies like Taare Zameen par, Stanley ka dabba. Grand budget movies like Jodha Akbar has defined the quality movie and its ability to earn profit from highly invested one.
To a certain extent Indian cinema was divided to North and south similar to our political division of the country. But everything changed when the song why this kolaveri di from the Tamil movie 3. It became a block buster him both in terms of national and international box offices. The song became an instant hit all over India and around the world.
We can see a sort of pattern in the way the popular culture has been showcased over the years. At each stage cinema has represented the then relevant values and lifestyles of the society. Being a popular mode of media, Indian Cinema has also played an important role in molding our culture as we learn a lot from.
The mythological and epic movies have had been predominant in during the pre-independence movies. Movies like Mother India had Gandhian and Nehruvian ethics. Kaala Pathar, Aaj ka Arjun etc have depicted the "Zamindars" and Industrialist who exploiter farmers and other people who depended on them for a living. This system was prevalent during 1970’s and 80’s. Post liberalisation led to a drastic change in Indian Cinema was inspired by western ideas and this gained successful acceptance in the Indian Society.
There were movies that inspired people to settle in abroad and also some movies have showcased about NRI families. In later 2000’s movies like Guru and Ghajini depicted industrialist as heroes who lived their life for their employees. These movies changed the attitude of Indian society towards capitalism.
Youth of our country were the major focus in Indian cinemas during late 2000’s. The movies that came that time influenced the lifestyle, music, dressing style; eating habits etc. even then the effective reach of cinema was limited to urban areas.
Rahul Sharma is a Content Writer by passion. He likes to learn and explore new things!