An Experimentation of Hindi Film with Subaltern Perspective: Special Reference to ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ (1953)


  • Dr. Pallav Mukhopadhyay Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, West Bengal State University, West Bengal, India


Hindi, Film, Experimentation, Subaltern, Perspective, Enquiry


History has witnessed that the subaltern mass has not been properly reflected in Hindi films. Critics feel it as a serious concern that the voice, problem, crisis of the subaltern people have been bypassed by the show-biz of the Hindi film. Though the subaltern mass has performed an important role to form the backbone of Indian economy, Hindi films have abandoned the subaltern people by providing no importance to this crucial issue since Hindi film has largely focused on ‘entertainment’ only. Majority of the Hindi films have now addressed the wishes and aspirations of the N.R.I. except a few. But history has witnessed that once Hindi films were made showcasing a laborer or a peasant representing the subaltern community as its central protagonist. The filmmakers nurtured the scripts and directed the films with utmost care and concern for the have-nots and they also had immense empathy and sensitivity to the problem and crisis of the community belong to subalternity. ‘Neecha Nagar’ made by sensitive Director Chetan Anand tried to exhibit the unfathomable distance between the haves and the have-nots. He also showcased the shocking exploitation of the labor class. Accepting the cue made by Chetan Anand, the other torch bearers like Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, S. S. Vasan, B. R. Chopra and others approached the same way with directing films that also raised the conscience of the society. Not only that, these socially committed directors tried to find ways to combat the agony and sorrow of the down trodden. It appeared that the screenplay writers and filmmakers were the tone of the afflicted working class. These films appeared as the objective representations of the sorrow and woe of the subaltern mass. If film is, as a matter of fact, a reflection of society, it can be noted that presently it faces failure to perform its true role. Besides entertainment, film is a powerful medium to motivate and mobilize audience. It is a strong and influential mass media for social change. Some noted responsible directors like Guru Dutt, Vijay Anand, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Shyam Benegal and others made films which appear as the stark reality existing in the society. Commercial success and entertainment of their films did not discourage them from dealing with relevant problem, crisis and issues of the subaltern mass.