Indian films have played a great role in building national spirit. Hindi songs are now pan Indian phenomena and the dancersof 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 ofimportance insociety. And ascinema 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 insocial attitudes and the challenges women encounter in todays changed circumstances.
Most of thefilms display women as subordinate characters. Even the heroin functions as a subplot. Other sweet-voiced ladies arenecessary furniture to decoratethe frames. Whenever a woman is shown, she is shown satisfying mensdesires 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 adoresex and omnipresent violence is quite antagonistic to the concept of feminism. The point of view of male psychology remains dominant while selecting thescenes and designs of clothes. The age,body features, andglow of women characters skin are selected (or rejected) in the same way. And man has always seen women with telescope of his penis only. Such a one-sided depiction negates the presence of half of the population of India.
Violence: Historically the women have nurtured a tendency to run under the secure umbrella of home on seeing threat perception. After9/11 incidents it is observed that in western nations, especially in US, the women are more prone to marrying. More women prefer home sitting and child rearing against the outside jobs. The presence of threat perceptions and the fear of a violent happening at any time induce the fairer sex to adoptseclusion. Fear is mother of strange social changes. The Indian films if viewed frequently inject the feeling of fear amongst women.
The word orthodoxy has several versions, meaning wise. Itrefers toobservance of the beliefs of older generations, without testifying them under the lenses of justification. Older members impose whole set of their beliefs onto younger ones. Indian cinema, though usingultra modern techniques to its best advantages, has always approbated the orthodox role for women. The women characters, even after getting Masters degrees in Science, succumb to observance of the rituals like Karava Chauth, the fasting for longer life of husband. The girls, who are shown in the barest possible outfits until they are married, are denied to have say while choosing their life partners. The parents, the custodian of traditions, do that job for them. After getting married these women are mindlessly loaded with the weight of bangles, ornaments, and conventional clothes. Such a turnaround, while artistically displayed on screen, thins the morale of the girls who want to be the captains of their own boats.
The filmmakers do all these things for pleasing the male gaze.The male eyes prefer to see the women observing the rules of pleasing their sexual and cultural tastes. The male members do not limit this voyeurism only to seeing the doctored themes in the theatres; but they demand the same observance of codes in homes and on streets, too.
While a woman views these films, she hardly identifies herself with what is going on the screen. She neither shows interest in sexon the screen, nor she agrees upon while a woman is shown as a conquered animal. After seeing a film when a woman viewer goes home, she carries with her a message communicated. She filters all the images she had seen; she tries to sort out the elements of pleasure the men viewers had praised. Coupled with the message of be a conformist and remain happy forever, she arrives on a premise that if she wants to be happy, she needs to be a follower of the old traditions.
If the Indian cinema wants to show real women on the screen, if it wants to be the real mirror for the thoughts and behaviour ofIndian women, it has to learn a lot from the womens perspective.
The article sent is original one, and I am not connected with any person or company attached with publishing business. I write the articles using what I have read in various newspapers and websites freely available to the public.
Apart from doing literary writing-I’m a writer, a novelist-I try to see how a particular event would and could affect people living in its immediate surround.