Teachers' Day: Bollywood films that served as moral guide to society

Sep 05, 2014, 08:13 IST | Shakti Shetty

From stressing on importance of hard work to tackling social evils, many of life's lessons can be learnt from cinema. On Teachers' Day, we look at films that have done more than just entertain

For some, cinema is an art form while for others, it's mainly about the entertainment. In either case, there's always scope for some lessons to be learnt. And in this aspect, Bollywood movies have maintained their role as a silent teacher to society. Over time, different films have adopted different approaches towards a particular issue and left the audience with some pearls of wisdom to deal with life. On the occasion of Teachers' Day, hitlist points out a few such movies from the recent and the not-so-recent past...

'Do Aankhen Barah Haath' (1958)
Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1958)

Director: V. Shantaram
Lesson learnt: There are many wonderful pointers to be taken from this classic. To begin with, it says that even the most hardened of criminals can change, provided there is someone to guide them through. It also conveys the message that human beings are inherently good, but situations compel them to compromise on morality.

'Sujata' (1959)
Sujata (1959)

Director: Bimal Roy
Lesson learnt: Come to think of it, untouchability has very little to do with skin but a lot more to do with one's mind. A level-headed person can easily notice the difference between the two. Through its love story, the film shatters the foundation of tradition steeped in age-old hypocrisy.

'Dosti' (1964)
Dosti (1964)

Director: Satyen Bose
Lesson learnt: Friendship is a precious thing and one can't afford to lose it. The characters in this film get carried away for a short while but brings things back on track before it's too late, allowing lifelong friendship a chance.

'Shaheed' (1965)
Shaheed (1965)
Director: S. Ram Sharma
Lesson learnt: What's age got to do with martyrdom? If Bhagat Singh can sacrifice his life for the sake of his country, each one of us can perform at least our basic national duties by channeling our patriotism towards a worthy cause.

'Anand' (1971)
Anand (1971)

Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Lesson learnt: There's no point in losing one's zeal or sense of humour — even if you have a terminal disease. Instead, let's face life head on. It certainly helps when an actor like Rajesh Khanna is on the screen delivering what is arguably one of his finest performances but the message is as clear as the memorable moments the film leaves behind.

'Roti Kapada Aur Makaan' (1974)
Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974)

Director: Manoj Kumar
Lesson learnt: The problems of a common man are best solved himself. The film tackles the issue of unemployment and how a job can make all the difference in one's life. Small or big, a job in hand caters to one's basic needs and it offers a lesson in pragmatism.

'Ardh Satya' (1983)
Ardh Satya (1983)

Director: Govind Nihalani
Lesson learnt: Why is the system corrupt? It's because the people who are part of the system are used to it. It's not a matter of giving in, but a question of standing out. Whatever be the price, you don't have be another stooge seems to be the film's message.

'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar' (1992)
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)

Director: Mansoor Khan
Lesson learnt: Life is a race and while winning is not everything, having a healthy competitive spirit is certainly important. With the right attitude, even the biggest of obstacles can't stop you.

'Mrityudand' (1997)
Mrityudand (1997)

Director: Prakash Jha
Lesson learnt: The film takes a stand against atrocities committed on women. And this time, women are fighting it out themselves. The film shows that what woman power can do.

'Baghban' (2003)
Baghban (2003)

Director: Ravi Chopra
Lesson learnt: Parents take all the trouble in the world to raise their children and often kids pay them back by being indifferent to them during their older age. This film makes us realise that even the finest of nurturing can leave you with ungrateful kids.

'Swades' (2004)
Swades (2004)

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Lesson learnt: We can travel as far as we wish to but there's no place like home. The song, 'Yeh jo des hai tera', in particular reinforces this message.

'Lakshya' (2004)
Lakshya (2004)

Director: Farhan Akhtar
Lesson learnt: All of a sudden, joining the army and serving the nation was cool for the college-going generation. Of course, the protagonist had to go through a heartbreak but then he does get his sweetheart in the end. His heroics during the Kargil War drove home the point that heroes could be anyone from a diligent man to someone who wasn't sure about anything.

'My Brother...Nikhil' (2005)
My Brother...Nikhil (2005)

Director: Onir
Lesson learnt: Homosexuality may be illegal in our country today but that fact can neither supersede the fragile realities of human relationships nor underestimate the stigma attached to one particular disease in our society. This film brings us closer to that fading thing called empathy. And it does so without being loud.

'Lage Raho Munna Bhai' (2006)
Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Lesson learnt: The popular expression, 'Majboori ka naam Gandhiji', found a formidable rival in 'Gandhigiri', when Sanjay Dutt's disillusioned gangster becomes the change he wants to see in the world.

'Taare Zameen Par' (2007)
Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Director: Aamir Khan
Lesson learnt: If you have trouble spelling dyslexia, it's okay. Scoring well in exams isn't the only thing that matters in life — that's what the teacher in this heartwarming film tries to tell all the overbearing parents. Your kid might be blessed with other talents that you may have overlooked while you were busy comparing him/her with others.

'3 Idiots' (2009)
3 Idiots (2009)

Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Lesson learnt: This film drove home the point that although there is no harm in getting fancy degrees from fancier institutions, try to not let it come in the way of your dreams. There's more to life than a prestigious engineering or medical degree. And while you're at it, do not let go of your friends.

'Udaan' (2010)
Udaan (2010)
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Lesson learnt: You can either escape misery or just fight it. But of course, there's a price to be paid. Then again, the protagonist in this film does what he has to and he does it in a manner that doesn't arouse sympathy. On the other hand, it endears him to the audiences.

'OMG: Oh My God!' (2012)
OMG: Oh My God! (2012)

Director: Umesh Shukla
Lesson learnt: Religion is a touchy topic in India. No wonder, the filmmaker had to take the one-size-fits-all approach while posing uncomfortable questions about blind faith. After you have watched the film, you have enough answers.

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