Indian films have played a great role in building national spirit. Hindi songs are now pan Indian phenomena and the dancers of southern India are ‘homely names’. But the themes and underlined messages emanating from these films are not encouraging for women. In these sex and violence packed movies, neither the women are shown in their true perspective nor they get their due share of importance in society. And as cinema is the most powerful medium for cultivating views, the biased attitude has resulted in huge setback in honouring the freedom of women in India.
In order to present the modernity among women, Indian filmmakers have ‘parachuted’ on an idea that the display of dancing girls in napkin-sized clothes is real expression of freedom. Were we to show the elements of emerging freedom, we should show the changes in social attitudes and the challenges women encounter in today’s changed circumstances. Most of the films display women as subordinate characters. Even the heroin functions as a subplot. Other sweet-voiced ladies are necessary furniture to decorate the frames.
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Whenever a woman is shown, she is shown satisfying men’s desires and is portrayed as raw material for producing and rearing children. A girl displaying her skin-stock, a woman crying for help, or a mother praying before a Goddess: these are the scenes the men want to see. The real-self of Indian women hardly matches with these scenes. Films have failed in showing the real woman we see in the homes, offices, and compartments of fast running trains. The way in which our films adore sex and omnipresent violence is quite antagonistic to the concept of feminism.
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