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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.



Till about the 70s , the necessities of life were supposed to be roti, kapda aur makaan and Manoj kumar in his cult film Roti, kapda aur makaan made people accept that they were the basic necessities of life – ALI PETER JOHN

But the entertainment boom came in a big way after the 70s and knowingly or unknowingly cinema became a kind of necessity for all classes of people. It was the only source of entertainment for the rich and the poor alike.

There were theatres which had different classes like the balcony , the upper class , the lower middle class and the stalls which were meant for the very poor and it was this class which got the maximum viewers.

The tickets for this glass used to be hardly a few ‘anans’ ( a few naya paise) and the audience in this class jumped , danced , whistled, sang , took off their clothes and even fought while the film was on.

Watching a hindi film was as essential for them as having a makaan or their roti or their kapda.

It was in the late 70s and 80s that this class slowly vanished and the poor were no longer seen in theatres and hindi cinema and the film industry lost a major section of its audience and this was a big loss to the industry which had to look for other sources for making up of the losses and this led to the growth in the bars and dancing bars in Bombay and even the growth of the prostitution racket.

A survey conducted by a social service organisation in 1978 showed how the dwindling in the audience for films led to the flourishing of underground and underworld activities.

And now after so many years, the lack of hindi film entertainment was again seen as the reason for unlawful activities growing in the suburbs of Mumbai.

According to a senior police officer, ” when we had the 6 pm and 9 pm shows in Mumbai , people were inside theatre and there was no reason to have any riots or roadside fights ,but ever since these shows have been stopped or curtailed, we have noticed that the crime rate has only gone up.

We have a feeling that good cinema is a good way of keeping people under control because once they are inside the theatre , their impulses are under control and they don’t think of doing anything wrong.”

This is only a statement to make some die-hard critics of hindi cinema to know that hindi cinema has its side effects too and they are for the betterment of society.


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