This is going to be a rather long one! So read at your own peril…
I was thinking about the parallel between society and movies. How closely the two are related and have influenced each other throughout the decades!
My consciousness starts from the 80s. 80s India was conservative, and closed, socially, economically. Agriculture was the dominant industry and manufacturing in its teens. The movies are said to be a reflection of society. So in the 80s a lot of movies were a social commentary. For ex, some dealt with selfish children throwing out their parents for money. Some dealt with dowry, and others dealt with worker exploitations. The policy makers had put a thrust on rural development and education.
The change that 80s brought in was an awareness on various types of exploitations and to some extent an eradication of social evils like dowry.
The 90s brings to mind the various love stories involving inter-castes/class, inter-religion marriages. Remember QSQT, Dil. The biggest change was marginal freedom for lovers belonging to different castes and religion. Marginal because change seems to avoid India’s hinterlands.
However the 90s will be better remembered for the sweeping policy changes in India’s economy brought in by Dr Manmohan Singh. It opened up the economy, brought in MNCs, therefore foreign capital and a trickle of development in real estate. Manufacturing/services gained ground over agriculture as the rural development programs took effect. Rural youth migrated to the cities in search of better life and better salary. The impact was the expansion of the middle class and the birth of a powerful industry, IT / BPO. It put money in the hands of thousands and sent millions of people all over the world.
In the decade 2000-2010 I believe the biggest change was in Bollywood. Like competition in manufacturing in the 90s, competition arrived in Bollywood. The music industry was no longer the kingdom of a Lata Mangeshkar or Udit Narayan. Nor was it the domain of 3 or 4 music directors. Now every song was sung / directed by a different singer and a director. It has given an opportunity to countless singers from common background to rise to stardom. Although to a lesser extent, movie actors and actresses also came from simple & non-filmy backgrounds and smaller towns. Like SRK, Akshay Kumar or Mallika Sherawat, Priyanka Chopra.
As we are soon entering the next decade, I wonder where will the change be? What will be the impact? Already new age blood is making its presence felt in politics. To make the impact stronger, someone has to take charge. Dr Manmohan Singh is now at the helm, but do his colleagues have the vision to support him?
My wish list: Education. Education in India is old-form, archaic, and desperately needs change. The teachers are almost useless and the system crippling. Already a couple of Bollywood movies have depicted the useless education system. I hope it brings in the change that we desperately need. To create a new thrust for the economy, a new direction for the youth and perhaps a new industry. I wish!
Disclaimer -All my observations here relate to my knowledge and readings about India. I cannot presume to comment on any other country.