Art and literature have been used by certain groups to manipulate a community’s ideologies and value systems. Cinema is the strongest weapon for such manipulation as it has reach even till the common man’s doorsteps. Over the years, we have seen various adaptations of our country’s freedom struggle, and kings and kingdoms even before that.
Sometimes our film makers had to face and fight crucial battles for adapting such folklores and stories, and presenting them in their own perspective. One of a recent example was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmaavat” which presumably hurt the religious sentiments of a community who had blamed the story teller for defaming their goddess while everyone who has watched the movie could not find anything controversial in it. Our communities has become intolerant to art and at the same time is not ready to accept anything as good.
One of the “new” trends in the art of Cinema has been to make movies based on people who are dead, and sometimes those who are alive, especially our leaders. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s we have been audience to manipulative art based on our freedom struggle which glorified many leaders, who were nothing less than hypocrites in reality. Our history textbooks have given us many names which should be engraved in golden letters and many faces which should be framed and hung on our walls. At least some of us are aware of the truth behind a lot of things of pure history including the great Partition, but the rest still believes in what they mugged up at school.
Every piece of news, every autobiography we watch and read, all these are scripted to benefit a group which exists in the underbelly of our country – might be corporate, or something more sinister. Our perceptions and perspectives change based on what we experience with our senses – what we read, hear, see, everything matters. When we see a film where one political leader is glorified, as cultural beings, our existing ideology questions us. Why do we need such manipulated art, especially films, which are in reality making fools out of us.
A society suffering from the cancer called religion and caste
If we look around us, we will realise our world is dividing itself into communities based on religion, caste, gender, and most threatening of all, political ideologies. These divided communities influence all kinds of visual and print media to support the values and morals they hold. What will be the end product? A manipulated mixture where one film will support an ideology while the other will wildly refute it. Who are at loss? Us, the audience community, who are ready to take on the world with art and finally jumps on each other like hyenas fighting among ourselves for the political “values” we think we should hold onto.
Art is a community’s backbone, it is the cultural catalyst which makes us more humane. Our country’s irony is that we use art to make war, make us intolerant to each other’s happiness. We are a society suffering from the cancer called religion and caste. There is only one thing that can save us – genuine art that can create revolutions.
Views and opinions expressed here are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of plumeria movies