Cinema, Satyagraha and Everyday Life
By Pranta Pratik Patnaik
One of the most significant phenomena of our time has been the development of the cinema from a mere art form to a potential subject for study in terms of the issues that it raises and the supposedly influences it has on the spectators. It is now conceived as a versatile art form. Cinema not only provides a site for entertainment, but also a platform to reinforce certain values and ideals. In the same vein, if we trace the history of Indian cinema, we would find that Gandhian values and ideals have made their presence felt, to some degree, in Hindi films. Any movie on the Indian independence theme or any biography on a real life historical character around the independence era is incomplete without the mention of Mahatma Gandhi. This is not to deny the fact that there has always been a shift in the themes of Hindi Cinema which has in turn kept the Gandhian principles out of focus. On the other hand, it should not imply the complete ignorance or disrespect for Gandhian values. The paper looks into one such film - Lage Raho Munna Bhai (LRMB), released in the year 2006, which locates Gandhian values in the contemporary setting. The film revolves around the virtues and values of Mahatma Gandhi, propagated through the narrative, without merely being reduced into didactic preaching. The Gandhian era is believed to have been evoked in the 21st century through this film.