Films that centred around common man

Published: 10 December, 2013 08:42 IST | Shameem Khan |

Indian cinema is largely known for its glitz, glamour and larger than life characterisations. On World Human Rights Day, we list a few socially relevant film centred around the issues affecting the common man

Aarakshan (2011)
When the principal of a college (Amitabh Bachchan) approves of reservations for backward classes, it is opposed by the standing committee of his private institution. Though, the film did not hit a chord with the masses, the storyline highlighted the ‘quota system’.Right to education which is the bone of contention between the upper and lower classes and a political platform for politicians remains unresolved.

Shahid (2013)
Shahid is based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai. It was an inspiring story of a boy (played by Rajkumar Yadav) who becomes an unlikely messiah for human rights in the wake of communal violence. Though the film didn’t rake in the moolah at the box-office, it remains a courageous effort by filmmaker Hansal Mehta to pay tribute to a man who lived up to the meaning of human rights in the truest sense.

Prem Rog (1982)
Manorama (Padmini Kolhapure) is a young, innocent girl who is married off in a family befitting her social status. But an unfortunate accident leaves her a widow. The film which dealt with the issue of widow remarriage in the light of extremely difficult living conditions that society expects a widow to lead was dealt in a sensitive and effective manner by filmmaker Raj Kapoor.

Rang De Basanti (2006)
A much talked about film which created an impact amongst the youth. A young British struggling filmmaker decides to star a group of friends in her film on Indian freedom fighters. But the carefree group transforms into a passion driven one seeking revenge from those responsible for their close friend’s death. A film that spoke of individualism in the face of corruption appealed to all.

Peepli Live (2010)
There’s media frenzy when a poor farmer, on the verge of losing his land over an unpaid bank loan decides to commit sucide to benefit from the Government scheme for the families of indebted deceased farmers. The film was a satire that highlighted the plight of Indian farmers committing suicide owing to acute poverty.

3 Idiots (2010)
Aamir Khan is the student who refuses to bow down to clichéd educational patterns. His best buddies (Madhavan and Sharman Joshi) represent the class of students who give priority to familial expectations or societal pressures to consider their own interests. 3 Idiots opened a Pandora’s box when it raised issues of peer pressure, hackneyed educational systems and the need to follow one’s heart while choosing a career.

Ardh Satya (1983)
Anant Welankar (Om Puri), a new entrant in the police department brings with him enthusiasm, diligence and honesty. But he finds himself failing in the face of nexus between the local mafia, cops and corrupt politicians. The film was a hard-hitting account of the many struggles that the police force has to encounter while doing their duty. It remains a cult film for portraying the helplessness of people in authority against those in power.

Mrityudand (1997)
The film was a strong commentary on the social and gender injustice that plagues Indian society. A young bride Ketki (Madhuri Dixit) is at the receiving end of domestic abuse at the hands of her selfish and alcoholic husband. The long and arduous journey of Ketki to defeat the oppressive forces and fight against male domination in the village for a life of dignity for herself and other women was an inspiring tale.

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