They say “Cinema is a reflection of Society”. From the past 60 years of Indian Cinema producing movies on the respective societal conditions. For instance, during80s you get to see movies based on revenge, vengeance, and glorious 90s where you get movies mainly on love, marriage, family and relationships. From 2000 onwards the theme has little been shifted to social issues and prevailing notions. Now we have movies like A Wednesday, Laga Chunri me Daag, Tare Zameen Par, English Vinglish, Munna Bhai Series, Gulaab Gang, 3 Idiots, Queen, Piku, Madari, Budhha in a Traffic Jam, Aligarh, Pink, Akira etc.
Consecutive release of women centric movies like Queen, Ki & Ka, Akira, Pink, Parched are a kind of eye opener for our society. A society, where our thoughts are so ingrained in deep patriarchal values. The values like girl’s dressing sense, type of friend she has, time of coming back home etc. decide her character for others. And she has to believe what others say about her, and for that matter just to be a good girl in the eyes of others she forces herself to change accordingly.
One of my friend was working as a content writer in a fairly good organization who were paying well too, but it was for night shifts. And she had to leave the job because of the neighbours who constantly provoked her parents. This is happening in National Capital Region – Delhi, leave alone the other metro cities. We still have people who guide us what to wear and what not, where to go and where not, and they brand you as ‘that-type girl’ if you differ.
You are always judged by your acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours and other random strangers at every point without any reason. Regardless, you have survived to prove your worth. Being emotionally independent along with financial independence, physically strong for self-defense, taking a stand of your own amidst criticism, free-spirited and impulsive are some of the traits which characterizes modern women.
Portrayal of free-spirited, emotionally independent women who take decisions of their own and believe in themselves amidst the societal sanctions is the Change, the change we notice in our cinema. The role of parents/family have minimized to some extent. Women are now the bread winners for themselves and for their family and when time demands they can go to any extent to prove their potential.
In a society like us, where people are more concerned about image other than anything else, you have to create an image of yourself most suiting the prevailing values of society. If a man has no obstacles in fulfilling his dream then why women are criticized for chasing their dream. Women constitute half of the world population, hence their decision, dreams, goals, choices, attitudes matter too.
Movies are mirror of society, and congratulations that we have reached at that level of maturity where movies like Pink and Akira are being made and highly appreciated & accepted by majorities as well. Thank you to the makers!
By Minakhi Das