Lyricist and script writer, Javed Akhtar, during the session on 'Bollywood and National narrative' spoke about the degradation and loss of aesthetics in language in films, lyrics and poems.
The writer talks about the society and the world of cinema being
Indian cinema has changed so much with the development of the society. The transition of story writing on feudal landlords to the urban mafia and from Devdas to Deewar, have tried to capture the changing scenario in the society.
Cinema in the country has come a long way. Contemporary morality and aspirations of the society was being personified as the hero in movies.
The angry young man was "the need of the hour" but it did not have any socio-political relevance to it, the author says. Deewar was written because it was a good story, he added.
Through the decades, cinema grew focusing on socio-political issues, which do not appeal to the audience as much as a movie like Dagangg does. The understanding of tehzeeb and aesthetics in lyrics and scripts has been replaced with crude language.
He refers to the song "choli ke peeche kya hai" to cite an example of the lost etiquette in language. The writer ridicules the songs like from 1980s when Bollywood made movies like Biwi No. 1 and Coolie No. 1.
Javed Saab says that the younger crowd is more in the mood to experience a 'party' while buying a movie ticket. The sense of sincerity in watching a movie that addresses a social cause is lacking in today's generation.
The author divides regional cinema and Hindi cinema in terms of regional cinema being rooted in their culture. Hindi cinema has a wider area to cover and cannot be region centric. A director, who once spoke to Javed saab said that, it would not matter to him if his movies do not well on the national platform but it would suffice his requirement of catering to a particular section of the society.
This leaves a huge percentage of people who are unaware of the social causes and neglected.
The English language creeping into Indian cinema is more about getting the educated and young masses, making films technically 'sophisticated'.
The author, however, appreciates movies by Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya, but he feels a void for films like Mother India and Pyaasa.
When the question hour began, actor Shabana Azmi present in the audience advocated that the present generation has not lost its ethnicity or etiquette as it still appreciates "kehne ko jashan-e-bahar" from Jodha Akbar and RD Burman's "Ek ladki ko dekha to".