Although films over the decades have revolutionized the silver screen and its audience, the concept of education through films is a remarkable initiative.Films have always been influential and inspirational to its viewers over the century. This document highlights the effort to introduce the Indian cinema through the mode of education.
Cinema – A Powerful Medium
Movies are a powerful medium of communication and every movie has a specific message that is conveyed to its audience. Movies and entertainment have in fact become part of life and it is difficult for one to imagine without them. Movies have showcased various cultural values, traditions, behavioral patterns, arts and crafts, and practices that people preach in the society. The Indian cinema over the years has sincerely made an effort to highlight issues that are predominant and ever living with the society.
Films – A Part of Education System
Post 2001, films are now of primary importance and have become a part of the Indian Education System. Films are so influential and inspirational to most of its viewers that various concepts have been adopted as case studies to teach and understand the subjects.Real characters, situations in the movie, songs, and costumes are considered very good examples to understand and relate these scenarios to the present problems that are persistent in the Indian society and one can always aim at finding an optimal solution.
A Film- An Inspiration
Indian cinema has the potential to provide great leadership by exciting its enormous and enthusiastic audience to do their bit to change the scenario to achieve the demand or success. People are so influenced and inspired by the actors they watch on the screen that they always tend to follow them whether they are right or wrong.
As the Chinese say, “A PICTURE IS WORTH MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS.” Concepts of Indian movies are now being introduced into studies. All the positive things that the audiences observe should influence people and inculcate the right attitude.
The film that starred super star “Amitabh Bachchan” in “Deewar” in the early 1970’s depicts a scene in which a boy earns his livelihood by polishing shoes at a footpath. The boy polishes shoes of a person and a coin is thrown at him. The young boy refuses to pick up the coin and insists that the gentleman give it to his hand. This scene in the film depicts self-respect and inculcates a sense of self-dignity among its viewers who will respect others ‘self-esteem’. Such instances are introduced into the books.
More business schools are incorporating popular cinemas in their syllabus mainly to bring about a change in the way the educational system is today. Learning is a continuous process and what better way than to learn from films. Cinema works as course material because of its wide appeal to the masses. The movies often reflect real-life situations.
Management teachers in the Indian management institutes have planned to incorporate Gandhian strategies portrayed in the recent film “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” as well as the success story of the film in teaching courses.The movie showcased the means to combat the corruption by adopting Gandhian ways. This will help students and young generation to exercise positive means to handle situation, fight for injustice by maintaining the law and order.
Even the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, announced the creation of a new Public Service Bill to combat corruption in a press release dated 17 November 2006, and cited “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” as one of its influences.
The movie Chak De! India (2007) starring actor Shah Rukh Khan depicts the ‘transformational leadership’ theory. The transformation of individual members of team representing from different states of the country into a team to stay united and motivate others to achieve a goal by the coach Kabir Khan (played by Shah Rukh Khan), shows the evidence of transformational leadership theory. This movie had the effect of popularizing Hockey (India’s national sport) in a country where the game of cricket dominates over all other sports.
This theory is also applicable in a study of bloggers behavioral patterns during the first month of ‘Rang De Basanti’ 2006 film revealed that there was a significant increase in government and politicians drawing ire for their inefficiency in proving basic amenities, corruption and bureaucracy. Besides these, it evoked social awakening for many. While some discussion rallied on how the citizens should support and contribute to Non-Government organizations to exercising simple citizen duties of paying taxes and voting, the others contemplated on how to become more responsible towards the society and country.
Several young Indians could relate to the movie because it spoke their language and evoked patriotism for them. A direct impact was on the 1999 Jessica Lall murder case, one of the high-profile murder cases in India. Another social out cry, after release of the film, was against the introduction of reservations by young doctors and engineers for socially backward classes.
Film “Lagaan” that was released in 2001 was nominated for the Oscar award. A scene in the movie depicts a recruitment of a talented handicap belonging to the oppressed class in the cricket team. This hidden talent is unseen by others. This is expected by the recruitment managers to do so in a corporate.
The Indian Institute of Management, Indore introduced this scene later in their case studies in 2001. “Krrish” another Hritik Roshan starrer has also been widely studied internationally, because the way the film was packaged and marketed. This can be compared to supply chain, operational management and international marketing.
Movies like ‘Swades’ (starrer Shah Rukh Khan) will awaken the younger generation to contribute to their individual nations. The movie depicts a village with no electricity and how “Mohan Bhargahava” (Shah Rukh Khan) deciding to channelise his energy into doing his bit for his land. Such movie puts the younger generation into a thoughtful process of finding new roots to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, child labor, caste system etc.
Taare Zameen Par (2008) changed the face of education in India to certain extent. The movie was about 10-year old dyslexic boy, has triggered action that changed the face of education in India. Mumbai civic body, which runs 1188 schools, will start 12 classrooms for autistics. Even the various examination boards granted extra time to special children during examinations. These special children include visually impaired, physically challenged and dyslexic students.
Various other education boards in India had decided to start a course for teachers to deal with learning disabilities. Similar theme movies like Koshish (1972), Sparsh (1980), Khamoshi (1996), Black (2005) on physically challenged and Salaam Bombay about street children had brought changes among the society.
These films have a powerful message; especially with physically handicap will inspire the society to work towards betterment of the society. What started as a trickle with Lagaan, has now turned into a deluge with films such as Corporate, Traffic Signal, Satta, Krrish, Guru and Chak De! Indian films are taken up for research and case studies are regarded by B-Schools across the country. Introduction of such studies have helped the students, as the taste of students are changing and the visuals have greater impact in today’s times (Swamy).
As recent as 2007, there has been debate over introduction of sex education in schools. Indian teens ought to know about sex at the age of 15 or 16 mainly through peers, media and TV. Around 30 percent children and teenagers are educated about sex through TV and movies. It would be wise to introduce the sex education themes via movies, which are specifically meant for education purposes only. The movie such Nikhil my brother, Phir Milenge, etc can be used as case studies to educate the audience and create awareness of diseases such as AIDS and encourage healthy sexual habits.
Many students would have psychological impacts due to various reasons. Movies like Guru (2007), Chak De! India, Lagaan, etc carry a theme of fighting back against all odds. The desire to cherish a dream may inspire the psychologically effected students helping them to change the way they think. This may motivate them to lead a positive and successful life. The concept of violence and depiction of political drama in movies can be taken as case studies to understand the beliefs and behavioral attitudes, behavior and intentions, emotions, and other psychological variables of the people (Butler et al 1995, Koopman and Butler 2007). These studies will be more appealing for psychological students.
At the same time movies such ‘Taal’ which carry good social structure and culture should also be introduced in studies to understand the importance of folk music, nautanki (stage performers/street) shows to understand and keep the traditions alive.
The above article aims to inform its readers that movies should not become an integral part of ones life but they should be treated as case studies only. Movies should be considered to understand, visualize and relate to the present context and one should aim to find an appropriate solution to the persistent problems revolving in the society.
Note: Look for next week article to understand the relations between theories and movies ….lots to come!
Quote of Article: The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler
*(Additional Inputs from Sameer Koodli- Thank You Sameer)