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TEACHERS DAY and the teachers in Hindi films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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One of the most understated facts is that film industry is one industry that thrives on a relationship between a teacher and disciple, though it is never a stated fact. The canniest acknowledgment about this relationship made was by Raj Kapoor who had gone on record to proclaim that - had Kidar Sharma not hit him, he would not have become the man he ultimately became. In the same manner, for Rishi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor was the best teacher who taught him the finer nuances of film craft and made him understand how to operate in the Byzantine maze of the world of cinema.

The basic role of a teacher is in mentoring, and from that perspective there are quite a lot of examples that bear testimony to the fact that the world of cinema is also no exception to the relationship between a teacher and a student.

When the on-screen portrayal of the relationship between the teacher and the student is concerned, Big B takes the cake for enacting quite a large number of roles of teachers in scores of his films. May be, he could enact those roles, and deliver them with such panache owing to the fact that he had got such an illustrious teacher at home to seek inspiration from - Harivansh Rai Bachchan. This journey of enacting the role of teacher started with a rare flourish in CHUPKE CHUPKE, where as an English Professor trying to teach botany he was able to draw fabulous response. He carried on the same flourish in KASME VAADE where though his role as a teacher was small, he again emphasized that this is one facet of his acting persona that still has not been tapped to the full. With the generational shift, when he again donned the garb of a teacher in MOHABBATEIN, he brought out in distinct relief the transformation that a teacher undertakes when he mellows with experience. MOHABBATEIN is one film that is indeed a tribute to the profession of teaching as on conflict were the ideas and ideologies of two generation of teachers who had their own world view to teach their students, the younger stream being represented by Shah Rukh Khan.

Another facet of the role of teacher that has been rather more regularly experimented with is that to prepare a student to face the world and fight injustice. This genre was also perfected by Amitabh Bachchan to a great extent but the next generation also carried on the tradition with a flourish. Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, and Salman Khan along with Aamir Khan epitomized this tradition.

When the role of teacher in nurturing a child in the tender formative ears is concerned, there is nothing to beat Gulzar's KITAAB and the encore that was done by Aamir Khan's TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. The difference between these two films lay primarily in the fact that while KITAAB tried to address the issue by choosing a general school set up, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR chose a public school background to emphasize the point.

It is also one of the ironical facts that though Hindi cinema has Hindi as its language, Hindi teaching teachers are one of the most ridiculed categories in films after films. Could it have to do with the fact that there exists an aversion to tune up to speaking Hindi, therefore it manifests in the form of caricature. Asrani, Jagdeep etc., epitomized this class of teachers.

Hindi cinema also has been rather partial in portraying the female teachers through score of films. It has rather relied more on sexuality of the female character than the subject specialty in the portrayal of the character. The female teacher has more been commoditized rather than being portrayed in a sensitive manner, and its latest manifestation was in MAIN HOON NA, the illustrious past being underlined b MERA NAAM JOKER.

Whatever the progress, one thing is sure that without the teachers the world of Hindi cinema would not be able to survive and it indeed is an opportune moment to have a relook into the manner in which the teachers have been portrayed so far.

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