Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday suggested the need to go back to “values” in Indian films while observing that portrayal of obscenity and violence on screen are “hurting” society.
“Creativity, reality, humanistic touch and approach, sensitivity towards reality, gender justice, respect to elders (and) keeping our traditions should be part of the cinema.
“The cinema has to be reflection of society in reality. That is my appeal to the cinema-makers,” Naidu said while addressing the inaugural function of the 47th International Film Festival of India here on Sunday.
“I am not here to give you advice. If you go by advice of the government and make cinema you will never succeed. Cinema has to be cinema but the cinema also must have a message. (That is what) I am trying to say,” the information and broadcasting minister said.
The senior BJP leader, however, said, “What is happening (in cinema) in recent past is obscenity, vulgarity, violence, double-meanings which is also hurting society.
“We have to think about it seriously. The time has come for all of us, why not we go back to values. There are so many films without violence, vulgarity. But still the films ran for days and years together.”
He said the great film “Lav-Kusha” ran for over 365 days when he was a student.
“The actors used to act and they had a great talent. The way they used to act... we have seen Dr Shivaji Ganeshan, Gemini Ganeshan, M G Ramchandran, N T Rama Rao to present generation of Amitabh Bachahan,” Naidu recalled.
He said filmmakers are capable of influencing people through their craft.
“...Without touching heroine you can create romance. You have the capacity to express. The expression need not be by words it can be through eyes, nose and lips, looks...If our looks are good, the way you convey the message it would be very romantic,” the BJP leader said.
The minister hailed films like “Three Idiots”, “Pk”, “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye”, “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, “Munnabhai MBBS”, “No One Killed Jessica” as those having a message for society.
“Cinema needs to have a strong story line and proper treatment to touch the hearts of the audience. Music, dialogue are an addition. The filmmaker needs to shun laziness and give the formula films. (But) where are we lacking? We have to ponder over this and get inspiration from legends of Indian cinema,” Naidu said.
The minister said it should be decided whether cinema is the means of only “cheap entertainment” without any social concern.
“It has not been so in the past. Our cinema needs to have a larger social responsibility. In a country like India with several social problems, cinema has emerged as a powerful medium.
“Cinema is the work of art and there has to be certain take away for the audience who give two hours of their valuable time by watching a film,” Naidu said.
Hailing cinema as the “most powerful of mass media” that promotes rapid diffuse of ideas, he said, “these ideas take root and manifest themselves consciously or otherwise in relaxing environment of cinema halls or homes.”
He urged the filmmakers to ensure that cinema preserves “our culture, heritage and tradition.”