International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Dr. Ravindra Katyayan  
Indian Cinema has come a long way in the twenty first century. It has stood the test of time in showcasing  
its true potential, creativity and cultural diversity. Indian Cinema is the combination of both modernity  
and tradition. In terms of latest technology, it is at par with world cinema. In fact, it is more difficult to  
make an Indian film than a world film. The expectation of an Indian audience is more here. An Indian film  
has to do all the tantrums to entertain its diverse audience. The film making has become transnational-  
a truly global phenomenon. The intricacies of film making in India are difficult to comprehend as there  
are various stakeholders to run the film industry. On one hand, it is controlled by big production houses,  
corporate houses and profit sharing by the actors. On the other, there are technicians, small time individual  
producers, actors, crowd funding, societal challenges, that needed to be given primacy. Society is also  
changing steadfastly and so the Cinema. This paper will highlight the interplay of all these factors and  
their impact on Indian Cinema. In this competitive world of film making, right from the concept of the  
films, production, distribution and marketing strategies, everything has a new trend and hence, a new  
challenge. This study will also try to understand the changing global trends and their influence on Indian  
Keywords : Bollywood, Cinema, Indian, Trends, Films, Hindi Film  
Cinema is an entertainment medium for masses. Every individual likes cinema, irrespective of caste, class,  
creed, gender, language, region, age or any other such affiliation. Cinema has revolutionised not only means of  
entertainment, but also affected our lives, our society and our social system very deeply. It has always been the  
most powerful tool to entertain people for last 100 years. It has gained enormous popularity, earned huge sums  
of money, and influenced people at large on all fronts, such as political, economic, social, religious or moral  
front. Filmmakers have used the real life experiences as well as imaginary, mythological, historical, political,  
fictional imprints to express their ideas and translate them creatively into celluloid.  
Cinema is a canvas where different shades of society become alive and get a meaningful representation in one  
or the other form. Hindi cinema has always been very articulative in so far as varied issues related to different  
sections of the society in general and minorities in particular are concerned. In the process of making meaning  
films, filmmakers have done tremendous work and gained loud applause and appreciation. It has dealt with  
many serious and important social issues in a most responsible manner and even endeavoured to challenge  
some of them in a most pragmatic and understanding manner. Being a multicultural and plural society, we have  
always faced problems of social divide in terms of communalism, linguism, regionalism, casteism, and many  
other sectarian tendencies. Though these dividing factors are never welcomed but unfortunately they still exist.  
These factors have done a great loss to the Indian society, culture, civilization and humanity.  
In fact, right from its inception, Hindi Cinema has been a tool to deal with these very issues in a dramatic  
manner. First film Achhut Kanya, made in 1936, dealt the issue of untouchability in a successful manner. It  
framed the story in a Romeo and Juliet type lovers, who do not care for their families and society. Caste factor  
has been really very deep in Indian society, but it has shown greater tolerance on the silver screen rather than  
in the society. What is unachievable in the society, is achievable on the silver screen. In that way, Hindi films  
have tried to bridge the divide actually created over the years by the society and its discriminatory customs  
and traditions.  
Cinema is a medium of the masses and for the masses. Cinema plays a major role to bridge the social divide  
present in the masses. There have been many films, in which either main theme runs around issues concerning  
women, youth, religious minorities etc. or the main protagonist of such films belongs to some minority group  
and fights for the just, nonexploitative, democratic society where equal opportunities and prospects are available  
for all. The category of such films include Aarakshan, Aamir, Firaaq, Khuda ke Liye, Wednesday, Parzannia,  
Dor, Lajja, Mirch-Masala etc to name the few.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
The main trends emerged in the 21 century in the Indian Cinema may be seen as content centric cinema.  
Basically content is king now. Earlier this was not the case alone. Films with superstars used to rule box office  
collections but now there is a shift in this manner. Films with superstars are no more surity of the box office  
success. Main trends in the 21 century Indian Cinema can be listed as-  
Content Centric Cinema (content is King)  
Diversity of Genres  
Fresh Performance dominates Veterans  
Online Viewership Booms  
Remake in Various Languages  
Experimentation with Technology  
Democretization of Film Making  
Boom in Foreign Collaborations  
Increase of Film Festivals  
Film Making for Festivals and other Plateforms  
Real Life Cinema Outnumbers Fantacy Films  
Cinema for Web  
Cinema as a Teaching Learning Tool  
Recent trends show that content is the most important part of the film. Content is now in the center and strong  
content is always liked by the audience. Also, diversity of content increases the interest level of the audience.  
A Wednesday, Parjania, Manorama 6 Feet Under, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Margarita with a Straw, Stanley ks Dabba,  
Ki & Ka, PK, Peeku, Sairat, 26 Special, Shivaji The Boss, Queen to name a few.  
Diverse social situations have provided many different subjects and themes to filmmakers. Thus many films  
have been made on social realities, stigmas, rituals, traditions, problems, issues, societies and minorities etc.  
Mr. Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Entertainment and director of Reliance BIG TV and Reliance MediaWorks  
Ltd. says- “Hindi cinema has never hesitated to portray India’s caste system. Right from Mother India to Roy’s  
Sujata, from Govind Nihalani’s Aakrosh to Prakash Jha’s Damul, to name a few, Hindi cinema has always dealt  
with the caste issue fairly well.” ….. “Because Hindi cinema is popular cinema or escapist cinema, it may  
sometimes talk about caste issues in broad sweeps. But the issue has never been ignored.”  
Shyam Benegal is known for his films like Nishant, Ankur and Manthan. He showd the attrocities on Dalits and  
poors by the riches and elites. He says- “The topic of discrimination against Dalits has been dealt with in Hindi  
cinema. My work was, of course, more on the atrocities based on caste barriers.” Nishant, Paar, Ankur are the  
films which deal the issues and attrocities on dalits by our society. Greatest Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray Made  
a film Sadgati in 1981. It was based on a famous story Sadgati by Premchand. Ray exactlt depicted the issue  
of caste system in this film. Hero is a lower caste man who could not bear the inhuman behaviour of his landlord  
and died.  
In a recent film Dum (2003), lead role is played by Mr. Vivek Oberoi aspiring to be a police officer. Vivek is a  
dalit. Like wise in films like Omkara, Eklavya and Bandit Queen, the main protagonists are Dalit and they have  
become empowered by the end of it. In case of Bandit Queen, says Farrukh Dhondy, who wrote the film-  
…But gender and caste could not be separated. The fact is that Devi was raped because she was lower caste  
and those men thought they could get away with it. A woman’s life in India is very much defined by caste.”  
Omkara, BQ and Eklavya created awareness about the negative aspects of casteism and put an example in  
front of the audience. Also this act of empowering the downtrodden is very much appreciated by the audience.  
Only sad part of this is that very few films come under this genre and are liked by the common people. Uttam  
Kamble, editor of the Marathi newspaper Sakal, says- “In the Eighties, a lot of films were made on religion,  
caste and other problems. Now, we don’t see those kind of movies happening.”  
Mr. Texas Gaekwad, writer, actor and director, who is in the process of finishing a film on the Khairlanji murders  
where a Dalit family was burnt alive in a village called Khairlanji in Maharashtra in 2006, says- “Casteism has to  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
be seen through the eyes of Babasaheb Ambedkar or Mahatma Phule. Then, they would have got the answers.  
You cannot see casteism through the eyes of Mahatma Gandhi who only called them Harijans.”  
Though the issue of casteism is being taken by the filmmakers, no one from Bollywood ever feels to follow the  
Caste system. Says Kedar Shinde, who directed Toh Baat Pakki and a few of Marathi comedies, “In Bollywood  
nobody cares about caste. Your talent is the only thing that counts.” Marathi actor Siddharth Jadhav had a  
love marriage with a Marathi Brahman girl and both the families accepted this happily.  
Prakash Jha echoes that view. “Fortunately, there is no casteism in our film industry. We don’t look at the caste  
of the actor, we look at the actor,” he says. And Jha has truly portrayed the dalit and caste factor in his recent  
film Aarakshan.  
A new shift has approached in this area with regional films dubbed/remade in Hindi. Roza, Shivaji the Boss,  
Robot, Ravan and Dashavatar have created a new history in Bollywood. People see these films in Hindi and like  
them. But then they again go and see their Tamil version and like them despite not understanding any word.  
Robot and Shivaji The Boss are the best examples where non Tamil speakers liked to see the original Tamil  
version. That’s why Tamil version of Robot was released in Gujarat and was a hit. Robot has broken all language  
barriers and was released in Hindi region with 700 prints. Simultaniously released in Tamil, Telugu (Endhiran)  
and Hindi (Robot), it has become one of the biggest grocers of Rs. 117 crores in the first week. Robot has  
created a new phenomenon in Indian film industry- a powerful process ending the North-South divide. Where is  
the great Tamil-Hindi conflict now? Time has changed and the credit goes to Rajinikanth and his films.  
Indian films prepare a ground to develop understanding and raising awareness among the masses about the  
issues concerning minorities on one hand and bridge the divide on other. Indian cinema has got a global reach,  
so having got this privileged status, it is utilising its position in taking away this divide and bridging the gap in  
a more thoughtful, understanding and acceptable manner. The challenge before Indian cinema in the third  
millenium is to better educate common people by mind blowing themes yet bridging the dividing factors. By  
developing more meaningful concepts and scripts, Indian cinema would definitely be in a position to be not  
only vocal on these issues, but also bridging this divide in a more forceful and thoughtful manner. It is this  
significant role that is expected from Indian cinema, and it will certainly achieve this in coming years, I hope.  
When filmmakers own the responsibility of sensitizing the audience on the issues that make this world a better  
place to live in for our generations to come and that would be the true gift to be presented to our children,  
where logical and critical thinking, creativity, rationality and humanity would come to stay forever.  
Therefore, Indian Cinema is still evolving as per the changing modes of new technology, emerging digital  
spaces and techniques, innovative themes, fresh talents, changing society and cultures. Indian Films are having  
International Collaborations, foreign investments, Hollywood producers making film in India. A lot of interests  
are shown by foreigners to make films in India. Boom in Film Festivals also necessicitated the production of  
feature, documentary and short films. Thus Film making in India is on a revolutionary path.  
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Vile Parle (W), Mumbai, India – 400056. Email- [email protected]om, Mobile- 91-9324389238