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Essay on “Indian Cinema” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Indian Cinema and social Responsibility

Essay No. 01

 

POINTS TO DEVELOP

  1. Cinema –an important means of mass communication.

  2. Different perspectives on cinema.

  3. Social impact of cinema –concept of social responsibility.

  4. present state of Indian films –impact on impressionable minds.

  5. Profit motive alone should not guide film-makers.

  6. What can be done to make Indian film-makers socially responsible.

     

Since its beginning in Indian with the film Raja Harishchandra  (1913) , the cinema has remained a very important medium of mass communication. In its ability to combine entertainment with communication of ideas, it leaves the other media (except, of late, the television) far behind in reach and appeal. Also,  like literature, it has mirrored different times and has left an impact on successive generations. Any work of art reflects the conditions of the society in which it is born, and the hopes and aspirations, the frustrations and the contradiction present in any given social order. Cinema is no exception.

          There are different views regarding cinema. The producers and financiers consider it a lucrative business. For the actors and actresses it is a means earn money as well as satisfy look at it as yet another form of art. To some, it is an audio-visual transition of literature and its message, if any. For the government , cinema is a potential area of employment and reverie. But for a majority of filmgoers , it is a comparatively inexpensive and interesting form of entertainment. Whatever it may mean  to different people cinema is generally regarded as an art form meant to entertain the people by presenting before them motion pictures on the screen. Incorporating a gamut of elements story, dance, song, thrills, comedy and pathos.

          Beyond what the cinema means to individuals, however, the wide mass appeal of the cinema has invested it with a great deal of social influence. The nature of its influence –good or bad- naturally depends upon the social awareness of the people involved in it – the film-makers, the artists,  the audience and the government. Should cinema as an art form be required to have social responsibility? Social responsibility involves behaving in a manner that does not impair the values of society, does not lead to disintegration of society or cause it to become degraded in any way. Cinema may be socially responsible by depicting reality. At the same time with its power of influence and here we are accepting the view that the audio visual medium has the power to influence the viewer – it could easily gather support for progressive changes even while castigating social evils.

          Most of the early Indian films like Achhoot Kanya, Godan, and Aware, pursued their themes with social responsibility. Business or profit motive was certainly there one cannot deny that, nor can one object to it. But these films did not lose sight of the needs of society at large. They tried to promote nationalism, communal harmony, mutual cooperation and social solidarity. Films like Paigaam strove practices like caste exclusiveness, unsociability, and child marriage.

          Over the years, Indian Cinema has lost touch with social responsibility and has become a slave to the ‘box office syndrome’. Now crass commercial considerations could film –making it is all a question of  hits and flops at the box office. ‘Right’ ingredients are squeezed in, necessarily or unnecessarily , into the films to make a hit without thinking that these ingredients –sex., violence, etc. –cause  great injury to the social fabric and the people. At least, this is the trend in commercial or feature films. To cap it all, some film personalities have repeatedly asserted that their object is not to reform society.

          The low aesthetic quality of today’s films is directly proportional to the large number of unscrupulous , fly –by-night producers who are  interested merely in profit-making without any concern for the society. The financier who comes forward to back the production of a high –budget commercial film pleads that if he cannot be sure of handsome returns on his investment, he would rather turn to something else; why risk his money on a dubious venture? Worse are the distributors who will not touch a film if it does not have also sounded the death-knell for the ‘art’ films. But the people concerned must remember that have flopped with costly sets, top stars, sec, and violence have flopped while low budget films with light comedy, melodious songs and lacking the ‘right’ ingredients do good business.

          Indian cinema, deeply influenced by the stage, began with scripts based on mythological and historical plots. Gradually , themes came to be taken from novels, plays and stories of leading Indian litterateurs with  a broad social and  stories of leading Indian litterateurs with a broad social and moral vision. This tradition continued for a considerable time. Then the pious and progressive messages of the books gradually made a silent exit cheap scripts are now generally the norm , often openly plagiaristic. Variety is lacking. Double meaning dialogues are another common feature; at times, it is explicitly vulgar.

          An audience’s right to entertainment is quite just. It is also true that a majority of the audience today demands cheap entertainment afforded by the display of violence , sex and obscenity in films. The general public has little interest in realistic ‘art’ movies and is only attracted by the big names; something the low-budget movies cannot indulge in. the government also does not seem to be truly concerned about the affairs of the cinema, notwithstanding the ritualistic award-giving ceremonies, film festivals and tax concessions for pious sentiments such  as secularism and patriotism. The Censor Board’s ambiguous standards do not help matters much. For the censor Board, kissing is obscene but rapes, gruesome killing and vulgar dialogues do not invite the scissors.

          The overall result is that a majority of films today are juvenile stuff devoid of any social purpose, relevance or significance. The hero of a typical Indian film generally does not have to do anything for a living. His sole occupation in life appears to be winning the heart of his ‘dream-girl’ and fighting with the world for her sake. Or, if he does something for a living, his life style is much at variance with what he would earn from such a living. Similarly, the heroines do little except sing, dance and cry with the hero. An effect of this is that a majority of the youth outside the forces the youth to turn their eyes from the hard realities and essential duties in life. Such youth cause harm to themselves as well as to others.

          Today, the portrayal of women in Indian films has touched the nadir. There are few films in which heroines have been required to play stellar roles. She is an  atrociously made-up piece required to dance, sing, expose and vanish. Revenge being the leit motif of most films , she is reinforces the feelings of girls and women that they are body and vanity. A rape has become almost mandatory in most films and this is pictures in such a manner that instead of generating pathos and horror, the scene produces sexual excitement in the watcher. This perverse depiction victims of violence, and of this violence as an exciting and adventurous act could well be partly responsible for the increasing atrocities against women. 

          We have always had genre-based movies abounding in nauseating stereotypes like the long- suffering wife and mother, the corrupt and lecherous politician , the avaricious landlord and trader, a week kneed judiciary and a thoroughly corrupt and inept police. This trend is now reinforcing prejudices towards certain sections of the society and encouraging cynical disbelief in the entire system.

          The stunning luxuries of the filmi villains and their varied methods of collecting wealth help people to overlook the tendency to make fast money by hook or by crook. This is consequently, eroding the social norms and values which are generally established in a society after great industry and pain. When films glamorize violence, the impression able minds in the audience feel tempted to imitate it in real life. Some fall prey to criminal tendencies and get increasingly brutalized, while the social psyche in general gets desensitized to the violent acts as they see them repeatedly. It cannot be denied that violence holds a natural appeal for exuberant but immature minds. However, the heavy dose of violence dished out to them in the garb of entertainment pollutes young minds and sows seeds of chaos and anomie in public life.

          Furthermore , the extravagant and sophisticated life styles shown in the films, and the mercurial rise of the hero from rags to riches, heighten the aspirations of all and sundry, but there is naturally a wide gap between such aspirations and their fulfillment. Hence, the great frustrations pervasive in society.

          The constitution has provided for the freedom vocation and expression, but, at the same time, the filmmakers owe it to society  to ensure that they do not pander to prurient tastes and thereby poison the social psyche in a bid to earn more. Freedom of vocation, expression conscience or belief is acceptable but the stability and health of a society cannot be ignored. In any case, cinema must take cognizance of human collectivity and its associated values. One does not ask for ‘social reform’ form cinema, but it should at least eschew depraving the society of what it already has.

          Just throwing homilies at the film-makers or the film-watchers will not, however, work. Instead, we will have to act. The best means of creating social awareness and responsibility among the film-makers is to form as discriminating and well-informed public opinion. In this respect, the role of film-critics becomes important. They can teach readers and viewers, how to discriminate between the good  and the bad films. The most important criterion on which they can base their judgment is the social relevance of what is exposed to view in the films.

          In a country like India with a high percentage of illiteracy and poverty, cinema has an important role to play. It has unqualified potential to inform and educate people’s minds. According to Elia Kazan the famous film director, “Cinema is the most humanizing piece of expression that we have in the world today. It is the hope of the world, where people are shown in all their humanity … through it you are made aware of  the brotherhood of man.”

 

Essay No. 02

 

Cinema in India

 

In India Cinema has been a very important means of entertainment. Here, cinema has seen a century at growth, and it has gone very far in the heights of progress.

Originally, in India the cinema was a movie only and it was so called because we could only see the stars acting, and there was no sound, no talking, no dialogue and no songs. The audiences could only see action. As time passed by, these movies got converted into talkies and, at that time dialogues got introduced in the pictures. This made the movies more interesting and entertaining. Also, in the beginning, cinema was only in black and white, but with the passage of time colour entered cinema and black and white pictures got converted to coloured films. Thus, with dialogues and colour films entered a phase of great improvement. This was not the end of the improvements due in cinema there was a lot more to come.

In the early stages, each actor and actress had to sing his/ her songs. This curtailed the entry of stars in the movie career. However, our technical advancement soon saw to this problem and it was with the coming of background singing the restriction on entries to cinema got removed. Soon people who could not sing also entered the career as, there was provision for another man/ woman to sing for him/ her from the background. The problem of not taking in for acting people who could not sing was thus solved and Indian cinema saw another hurdle being crossed. Now with this impetus to those who could not sing, the entry of people in cinema was duly widened.

With the passage of time there has been a continue technological advancement in Indian cinema. In the 20th Century, Indian cinema took huge strides towards growth and, today, at the turn of the 21st  Century Indian cinema stands at par with Hollywood cinema. May be we still have a lot to learn from Hollywood but this much is undoubted that, Indian cinema stands second only to Hollywood, specially in terms of its turn out of movies and movie stars. In the earlier times with the orthodox views about dancing, singing and acting, cinema was not considered to be a respectable career, not meant to be followed by the youth of good respectable families. However, today the boys and girls who join cinema as a career are children from good wealthy and respectable families, and cultured families. This is because there has been a sea change in the thinking processes of the modern people. Also, this change has helped in the improvement of the turnout of cinema.

From the earliest times of the existence of cinema in India, it has always been the most popular and the cheapest mode of entertainment. This is why it got the impetus that brought it to this level of success, and its present size. Even today, cinema in India is very popular but, with the advent of the TV and many other avenues for entertainment, it has become a little less important in the average person’s entertainment list. Besides, the VCP and VCR have further decreased the habit of going out to the cinema halls to see movies. When a picture is available at home, why would anyone like to go to a cinema hall? Thus, though going to cinema halls has come down the popularity of the cinema is still on the upward swing. The cinema in India has, in spite of all hazards retained its unchallenged popularity. It still remains the most liked mode of entertainment both for the Indian gentry and the Indian masses.

 
It is a matter of pride that, Indian cinema has not only remained popular in India, but it has increased its boundaries elsewhere in world. It is very popular in most of the foreign countries, more so due to the Millions of Indians residing in foreign countries. The latest position just heard about Indian cinema is that Cannes is interested in showing Indian cinemas over there a great achievement of the cinema industry indeed Kudos to the Indian cinema.

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