During the early periods of cinema, very few films were made on the subject of human rights. Certainly, some filmmakers tried to connect the film with reality by bringing this theme to the screen. But, in the 1980s, these films were given the status of art films. However, in all the films that were made, the story of the tragedies of human life and the violation of their fundamental rights was portrayed with impunity. Hindi cinema witnesses the violation of the rights of the common man under the guise of social conventions and reforms and has also become synonymous with making the society aware of its rights. From V Shantaram, Mehboob Khan to Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Mani Kaul, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Bhattacharya, Buddhadev Das Gupta, Prakash Jha, Sai Paranjpe, Sudhir Mishra, directors love to tell the story of life’s tragedies human rights and rape. of their fundamental rights. Bring it to the screen.
Even after more than seven decades of independence, these films, which create awareness about human rights through cinema, are testimony to the fact that even today the struggle for fundamental rights continues in society. The first attempt to show this burning social issue on screen was started in 1933 by V Shantaram making the film ‘Amar Jyoti’. In this, the issue of equalizing women with men in terms of rights was strongly raised. Instead, there was no such constitutional provision at the time. Nor was the social system such that no one raised their voice about this equality! Therefore, it can be said that since the 1940s cinema has been raising its voice for the protection of human rights in the circumstances of the time. Even after the constitution in 1950, a large section was not aware of their rights, but V Shantaram had realized it before that.
There is a provision in the constitution that every person should have his “right to freedom of livelihood”. About this right of livelihood, Vimal Rai gave a message in a way by making the movie ‘Do Bigha Zamin’ in 1957. In the movie, the illiterate Shambhu wants to save his two grains of land, which is the their only means of subsistence, from the lenders! Their only goal is to get their land back from the lender. Affecting feudalism, this film was a symbol of the constitutionally guaranteed right to earn a living and the struggle to achieve it in reality. After that, this theme was approached in different ways for a long time, but all the films remained as a formula. The fight between the factory owner and the workers was shown many times. The same battle was shown in Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna’s 1973 film ‘Namak Haram’ and Amitabh Bachchan’s 1975 film ‘Deewar’ but the issue of human rights could not be raised in the movie
The tradition of making these films was later carried on by art filmmakers, but remained limited to critics and the limited audience who liked these films. Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Prakash Jha did many such films. Anger, Nishant, Par, Tamas, Hot Air, Mammo, I Am Alive, Two Grains of Earth, The World Does Not Agree, Do Aankhen Twelve Haath, Mother India, Mandi, Bazaar Bandet Queen, Gangajal, Water, Black and ‘ Mother Bhoomi’ Somewhere in the movies, only human rights were upheld. These were the films whose plots focused on societal reforms over time and archaic traditions. The first right to be seen is ‘right to live!’ It also includes rights related to sensitive issues such as female feticide, abortion and “still life”. Despite all awareness efforts, these evils exist in many rural areas, due to which the girl child was eradicated as soon as she was born. Manisha Jha made the film ‘Matrubhumi: A Nation Without Women’ on this very sensitive issue, which brings before the audience this bitter reality of the society. The mere declaration of rights does not prove their importance. Shyam Benegal’s film ‘Hari-Bhari’ was also a part of this, which raises an open debate about the rights of sex life. Directors like Madhur Bhandarkar have also been raising such burning issues with ‘Traffic Signal’ and ‘Corporate’. While “Traffic Signals” unravels the lives of people associated with the red light, “Corporate” tells the story of the status and use of women in the business practices of high society. This truth has also been highlighted in films like Mother India, Ashni Sanket and ‘Akalen Sandhane’. Along with advocacy, it explores landlords, moneylenders, and political conspiracies about starving people.
true story of Shahid Azmi
The movie ‘Shahid’ was based on the true story of human rights defender Shahid Azmi, who was murdered. Rajkummar Rao played the role in this movie. The film ‘Article 15’, directed by Anubhav Sinha, is based on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, sex and place of birth. Actor Ayushmann Khurrana has also won the National Film Award for this film. The movie ‘Pink’, which is deeply damaging the violation of women’s rights, is also in favor of the right to equality. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s film was about women who are victims of exploitation but do not raise their voice for their rights. The status and rights of women in a male-dominated society has also been truthfully and honestly discussed in Alankrita Srivastava’s film Lipstick Under My Burkha. Hindi cinema has always shown the importance of gay people, their acceptance and struggles in society. The intention was that society would accept them. From Deepa Mehta’s ‘Fire’ to ‘Margareta with a Straw’ to Manoj Bajpayee’s ‘Aligarh’, this right and reality have been shown flawlessly.
trying to reform the prisoners
Even a criminal cannot be separated from the rights enjoyed by a common man. About the life of criminals in 1957, V Shantaram had told through ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ an attempt to reform 6 prisoners of a jailer. In this, besides protecting their rights, Gandhi’s thought like “Hate the sin, not the sinner” was also included. Years later, Prakash Jha took this thing forward by making ‘Gangajal’. How dangerous the situation can be if criminals are not entitled to protection, this was demonstrated in ‘Gangajal’. The film is based on the 1980 ‘Aankhphod case’ in Bhagalpur Jail in Bihar. Another important right is the “right to freedom of religion”. This is a very personal issue. But when fanaticism reaches its peak, no one cares about human rights. The films increased the rights of religion through 1947 Artha, Mammo, Garam Hawa, Tamas and ‘Pinjar’. Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Black Friday’ is based on the Mumbai blasts, while Rahul Dholakia’s ‘Parzania’ is based on the true incident of the tragedy of a Parsi family during the Godhra incident.