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Evolution of the role of mothers in the Hindi films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Do the celebration of days to the memory of institutions like mother and father do justice to the yeomen role they play in the life of an individual from cradle to grave? It might have its relevance in the western civilization where the element of materialism may have forced to allocate a day for mother in a calendar, in the Indian milieu role of mother has never been pushed to the back burner. The films have also taken a predominant role in underlining and accentuating this importance, and the characters of mother have defined the fate of many an actors.

There are three watershed fault lines if the institution of motherhood where to be analyzed in context of the oeuvre of the Hindi films. The first major fault line was when Nargis took it upon herself to shoot her son for the cause of the womanhood in K Asif's MOTHER INDIA way back in 1957, when women empowerment was still in a larva stage and here was a film which was clearly defining the choice which a mother would exercise if it were to choose between the son and the honour for a woman. Probably this was the reason that the film was nominated for Oscars and Nargis got the best female actor. This film saw the launch of a new career for Sunil Dutt as well.

Second major fault line in the Hindi film was in DEEWAR where the institution of motherhood was on test and it came out in flying colours underlining the path of righteousness that a mother would always espouse and aspire her offspring to emulate in their life. Such was the impact of this film, that it had numerous encores, where in mothers chose the path of righteousness than being soft towards the son and cover up his misdeeds. The role of motherhood as depicted in DEEWAR was in a major way instrumental in evolution of the role of angry young man, as the anger also had a manifestation in the mother also not understanding the existentialist dilemma that the son had presented before her. Nirupa Roy henceforth came to represent this brand of motherhood in score of films.

The third major turn around in the role of motherhood came with MAINE PYAAR KIYA, which brought to the Hindi films the softer side of mother in a stark motif, who was ready to rebel against her husband for the cause of his son. The softer side of motherhood, the tender and caring mother henceforth became the leitmotif of Hindi films and the role of motherhood in the films seems to be guided by this spirit. Reema Lagoo became the iconic representative of this form of motherhood in score of films and Salman Khan became the prominent fixture as her son.

Hindi films would probably be the only arenas where mothers have been given such an important role across the ages, and mothers continue to be celebrated since the time the Hindi films have evolved.

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