Saturday, 8 March 2008

Taking a Leaf...

Yesterday, I saw an interesting documentary on the History Channel, Bollywood mein Hindi, which documents the impact that the use of Hindi in Bollywood movies has had on the status of the language worldwide. This documentary has been screened as part of the 8th World Hindi Conference, in New York. Of course, the Hindi used in Bollywood movies varies widely, from flowery Urdu, to down-to-earth Bhojpuri, Bihari and Mumbaikar-speak, to Hindustani--this is not really the Sanskritised Hindi popular with Doordarshan newsreaders of yore. While watching this documentary, I could not help but think over what Shyam Benegal had to say--that rather than make movies in a regional language, he preferred to make movies in Hindi, because the market was larger. I wonder why film-makers, who make movies in the regional languages, do not take this comment to heart. They should do what Rajiv Menon, director of Kandukondain Kandukondain, did--make a movie in the language of their choice but use subtitling so that it can be seen all over India. As it is, those of us living in the Hindi-speaking heart of India do not have easy access to facilities to learn regional languages--there are no school programmes to teach Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi or Bangla to schoolchildren that I know of, nor do the various state governments fund Sahitya Sabhas to teach or propagate their languages outside their state boundaries. The only other method we can use to learn or understand regional languages is through music and films. If music companies were to issue music tapes and CDs with translations thrown in, that would also help. In fact, why don’t the makers of movies in languages other than Hindi get together and set up a channel on the lines of World Movies, which shows non-Hollywood and non-English language movies with subtitles?

1 comment:

archna said...

hi, good post. i enjoyed it for its new ideas and yes, for the fact that we should be more familiar with our regional languages. this is something i believe in too, so was pleasntly surprised to read you think the same way!

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