Nation encompasses numerous embedded meanings in Bollywood.
Let me begin with first explaining what a nation actually means. As mentioned by Ernest Renan in his famous speech, “A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle.” He further goes on to simplify that two things actually bound the citizens together. First is the common inspiring and the rich heritage that they share and secondly the desire to live together and be prepared to sacrifice themselves for their nation just like their ancestors. This is omnipresent even in India. In spit of the regional, cultural, language, religion differences, people of the 28 states and 7 territories have some common interests, one being Bollywood. Bollywood movies are enjoyed throughout the nation but there is a message in some Bollywood films which promote this feeling of ‘Indianess’. Some films also have a hidden agenda of tying in patriarchy, family and community to the implications of a nation. So, I will briefly talk about the role of nation and national identity in Bollywood and then discuss its interconnections with patriarchy, family and community. Bollywood has reinforced the value of a nation and generated the feeling of national identity from time to time with various patriotic movies. These type of movies generally have a message like ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ and so Indians should first see themselves as a citizen and son/daughter of the country and then as the member of their cultural or social community. Sholay can be viewed in this context by equating the village of Ramgarh to the nation. And it shows how the people united to fight against external enemy, Gabbar. Here a village is seen as a nation and the villagers are assumed to depict Indians. There are uncountable communities in the Indian society and each differs in some way or the other. But, the most important thing that Bollywood movies portray is that in spite of these differences when an external force attacks the nation, the people within...
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