Cinema and films are very popular in India. Indian film industry is second only to that of America. Hundreds of films are made every year in India in Hindi and other regional languages. They are screened in the cinema halls, telecast on television network and then there are their video versions. Films are the cheapest and most popular means of entertainment. Films are the craze among the youth. Besides feature films there are documentaries and cartoon films. There are foreign co-productions as well. For example, Gandhi directed by Sir Richard Attenborough and Salaam Bombay by Mira repair and Unit are two very successful films of this category. India exports films to over 100 countries.
But most of the Indian Films are formula films or clever imitations of foreign movies produced keeping in view the box-office only. Film-making in India is purely on commercial lines and is not so well art-oriented. They are full of contrived situations, scenes, cheap songs, dances, violence, and sex and devoid of realities of life. Therefore, they are not convincing and their aesthetic appeal is negligible. There are many blockbusters but they hardly touch or satisfy the artistic urges of the enlightened audience. The good and artistic movies do not sell hot, and the cheap ones are a great success on the box-office. The young boys and girls imitate the fashions and pseudo adventures of their heroes and heroines, and sooner than later get into trouble. Full of artificiality, cheap romance and eroticism, they mislead the youth who are obviously immature and inexperienced. Many a crime among youth has been inspired by such films. The increasing unrest, lawlessness, indiscipline etc. among men and women of the country can be easily contributed to these films. Films produced by Hollywood show criminalization, violence and sex blatantly. Our youth is unable to distinguish between real and genuine adventures and cinema stunts. They mistake the stunts and villainy for adventure, and then try to put them into practice in real life.
The nexus between film industry and mafias and underworld dons is also a matter of great concern. Mafias and such other anti social elements often finance the mega- budget films, help the actors and actresses in becoming stars and then demand their dues, which create many serious problems. For example, the alleged involvement of Sanjay Dot in the Bombay Blast case of 1993 seems to be just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. Sanjay might be an innocent victim but it certainly points out at a very dangerous situation that has recently developed in Hollywood.
The cinema has taken significant strides in India during these years. We have produced many all time great films which have been openly and widely acclaimed by the international and foreign viewers. They have won many awards in international and foreign film festivals. We have produced a film stalwart and doyen like Satanist Ray whose films have won accolades, laurels and awards both at home and abroad alike. He was awarded the highest Indian civil award of Bharat-Ratna, though belatedly, for his exemplary service to the cause of Indian cinema. The international and foreign film viewers also recognized his superb cine-talent and suitably rewarded it.
Indian cinema is a great force to reckon with. It has a mass appeal. It has a great responsibility to shoulder and produce decent films in the larger interest of the country. It has a good access to the masses and therefore, can reinforce human and social values and public morals in such a way as no other medium can do.