Tracing the history ; birth and evolution of Indian cinema is always an exhilarating experience. Indian Cinema has now completed 100 years on April 21, 2012, a country where over 1,000 films are made every year, in several languages. During these long years Indian cinema has broken many new grounds and established several milestones.It began with my theology and films like Raja Harsh Chandra etc. were produced. Those were the days of silent movies.
There were movements but no dialogues or sound. Then came the period of romances, sad melodies and music. K.M. Sega then became the main attraction. It was followed by social and family films with a fine scattering of detective and history-based films. Next came Dev an and Rajesh Hanna. Dev Amanda’s Guide, Jewel-thief, Kale Bazaar, Naa do Garth etc., proved great musical hits.
The coming of Amite Bacchant as an angry young hero on the silver screen marked the beginning of another new chapter in the history of Indian cinema. Shelley, in whom Amite starred with Dharmendra, Santee Kumar and others, proved a turning point in Indian cinema in terms of dialogues, scenes, fantasy, characterization and entertainment value. Today it is the song which rules the roost. It is the song alone which has made the heroine a dominant factor in the films. The songs like Eke do teen, Dhaka dhal, Chula key pitcher, Did tear Dewar etc., which have made a couple of films a great success and blockbusters. Madurai Digit, Sri Devil etc., is the heroines whose careers epitomize the magic of these hit songs.
Films are the cheapest and most popular means of entertainment. Films are the craze among the youth. Besides feature films there are documentaries and cartoon films. There are foreign co-productions as well. For example, Gandhi directed by Sir Richard Attenborough and Salaam Bombay by Mira repair and Unit are two very successful films of this category. India exports films to over 100 countries.
The cinema has taken significant strides in India during these years. We have produced many all time great films which have been openly and widely acclaimed by the international and foreign viewers. They have won many awards in international and foreign film festivals. We have produced a film stalwart and doyen like Satanist Ray whose films have won accolades, laurels and awards both at home and abroad alike. He was awarded the highest Indian civil award of Bharat-Ratna, though belatedly, for his exemplary service to the cause of Indian cinema. The international and foreign film viewers also recognized his superb cine-talent and suitably rewarded it.
Indian cinema is a great force to reckon with. It has a mass appeal. It has a great responsibility to shoulder and produce decent films in the larger interest of the country. It has a good access to the masses and therefore, can reinforce human and social values and public morals in such a way as no other medium can do.