HINDI, THE UNIFIER
We always tend to under-estimate the impact of Hindi cinema on the psyche of the Indians living outside the ‘cow-belt”. Despite the tosh most of them churned out over the years, the Hindi movies played a pivotal role in integrating a nation of disparate regionalisms. The days of the Anti-Hindi agitations of the 1960s is now a passÃ©. The Hindi filmdom has given the lingua franca to the peoples who previously met each other like a bunch of Trappist monks-completely tongue-tied.
For someone like me (and vast multitude of others) the Hindi film songs form the tags that link me to the past into a particular time and place which hold bitter and sweet memories. When Rafi sings ‘Na ja….kahin ab na ja..dil ke siva” I am transported to my college days at Manipal. Likewise Manna Dey’s ‘Yari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi” connects me to my salad days at Mangalore. And Kishore Kumar’s ‘Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jate hain who makaam” reminds me of the lonely month I spent in a flat in South Wales, U.K.
The globalization and subsequent tech revolution in the country during the past 15 years allowed the Hindi films to reach across the world beyond Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asian Countries etc, thereby creating a whole new image for the nation. At last the Hindi films transcended the Indian diaspora making the rest of the world sit up and take notice.
The day is not far when one of our own Bollywood movie wins the Oscars.