There are many unsung heroes related to the Indian Freedom Struggle, the stories of whom must be told thru cinema, said Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, central minister of state for cultural affairs today in Mumbai. He was inaugurating a two-day seminar on Indian Cinema – “Cine Srishti – Bharatiya Drishti” organised by Sanskar Bharati and Cine Talkies along with Mumbai University.
He gave the example of Mainabai, a King’s court singer at the kingdom of Khetadi in Rajasthan, who challenged Swami Vivekanand asking him queries about his understanding of human being. The incident transformed Swami Vivekanand inside out. Hence there should be a cinema telling Mainabai’s story to the world, Meghwal said.
He also told stories of Govindguru Maharaj from Mangadh in Rajasthan, who inspired the tribal Bhill community to fight against the Britishers and that of Gangu Mehtar, a brave soldier in 1857 independence struggle. He said that Modi ji have asked him to visit the village of Gangu Mehtar in person which he has done.
All those unsung heroes are material for many films and the Indian cinema industry should make cinemas on them, said Meghawal putting up his expectations from the Indian Film Industry.
Meghwal also recalled a discussion in Loksabha on May 13, 1952, from the history of the Indian Parliament, which discussed the importance of Indian Cinema in a different context. The discussion was regarding the less percentage of voter turnout during the recent elections. The outcome of the discussion was that the parliament decided to publish advertisements creating general awareness about voting, during the intervals at the cinema halls across the country. The five-year campaign resulted in a better voter turnout, Meghwal told the audience.
Giving his keynote address during the inauguration of the seminar, noted film-maker, writer and director Chandraprakash Dwivedi explained the roots of Cinema he found in Bharat muni’s Natyashastra. He said the art of drama was invented by the Brahma for Indra not just for entertainment but to put up a message of history to the next generations thru various Rasas. Even at the Tretayuga when Natyashashtra was invented, Rakshasas and Daanavs led by Veerupaksha, vehemently opposed the staging of the first drama by Bharat Muni, stating that they were shown in a bad light. The tradition is still going on and the cinemas and dramas are being opposed for no reason, Chandraprakash said.
He said there is no problem with the cinemas and dramas to be liberal, but the rope should be stringed in such a way that one can easily return to its base. That base is Indian Culture, he said further.
Chandraprakash further said that Mahatma Gandhi was suggested by many to involve the Indian Film Industry in the freedom struggle, which Gandhiji declined saying that the sector is untrustworthy. Such is the image of the Cinema industry which must be changed thru hard work, said Chandraprakash. He thanked KV Vijayendra Prasad, writer of the film Bahubali, saying that, because of Bahubali, Indian Cinema came to know that the people of India love to watch films with Indian ethos and with stories rooted in Indian cultural history.
Asha Parekh said the film industry has such a major influence over a common public that the brains of commoners are totally captured by Cinema. The cinema industry was known only for entertainment at the early stages, which is gradually developed into a thought-provoking art and many social issues were raised and given solutions thru the Cinemas. She said she feels proud to be part of the largest Cinema Industry in the world.
Dr. Satchidanand Joshi said that audio visual media is the most influential one and it should be used intelligently. We are going thru an era of war of the narratives and every medium is being used to set up narratives. Hence now the Cinema is not limited to entertainment and it should be used to tell the truth to society. He said that the Cinema is a medium of “Sanskar”.
Dr Suhas Pedanekar, Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University while giving his welcome speech, said that Mumbai University is ready with the new-age courses in Cinema and Films sector and wants to contribute towards enhancing the Indian film industry, which is already the biggest in the world. He said the future is something we create and not just watch.
Shri Vasudev Kamat, well-known painter and President of Sanskar Bharati welcomed all while Shri Arun Shekhar, convenor of CineTalkies explained the idea behind the seminar “CIne Srishti Bharatiya Drishti”.
This Seminar will define the next 25 years of Indian Cinema: Nitish Bharadwaj
While talking exclusively to The Organiser, actor-director and producer Nitish Bharadwaj, said that this seminar will define the route of the Indian Cinema for the next 25 years. Cinema has always remained an influential medium to put across messages powerfully, for example Vimal Roy films, Sujatha, Bandini etc. It has been always used to create new opinions and create new thought process among societies, used to put up narratives and create influence. Its always like that in last 75 years. Hence I am looking forward to this seminar hoping to get guideline for next 25 years. I have my own thought process about cinema and Indian culture and history. I would like to get an idea thru this seminar about what went wrong and what should be the course correction. This should enable me to contribute significantly to create Bharat which we all want to see in next 25 years, thru my Cinemas.
We all have seen Hollywood Cinemas, their stories with an open mind. But now we feel the need that we should publicise Indian stories and artists thru Indian Cinemas to the world. I think India is a unique contry which has very rich history and culture, that should be put up before new generation.