Visual depictions tend to have a long lasting impact on the mind of any person. With the advent of television, cinemas, computers, smartphones more arenas of visual expression have come out. Hindu religion is facing onslaught of continuous distorted depictions in the media and movies. This distorted sense is affecting the psyche and attitude of people towards Hinduism. Children are highly susceptible to these distortions which will affect their disposition towards it permanently and may make them perverse to Hindu religion. Some of the commonly portrayed distortions in the media and films are elucidated below.
- Our film makers tend to exaggerate in while presenting mythological stories. In contrast, western filmmakers of Hollywood tries to present in realistic manner to the audience. In our movies, it is common to present aides of Ravana and Kamsa with fangs, extreme disfigurement and dark color. Generally people having evil thoughts tend to develop grim and ghastly look. Our ancient authors wanted to convey the same, in a way it is understandable to the common people. However our Indian filmmakers took those descriptions literally, exaggerated it a bit further in their movies. If one looks at Hollywood movies like Troy, Ben-Hur, Ten Commandments, they tried to present realistically wherever possible. These type of allusions made many people to believe Hindu epics as falsified, while Biblical myths as real events. This pattern is visible especially in younger generations and kids who no longer believe in Hindu epics.
- Mother is the most benevolent, compassionate and caring person in this world. Mother Godess, Parvati is an embodiment of the same. However, in our movies and media, Mother Goddess is usually depicted as violent, ferocious and bloodthirsty. Such depictions will cause aversion to Hindu Goddesses. Further most of our films invoke the name of Mother Goddess to justify violence. It is clearly visible in the recent Ram Gopal Verma movie “Vangaveeti” where holy slokas are played at the background when a person is getting murdered. There are many films that directly or indirectly attribute violence to Mother Goddess. Imagine, How will the kids feel if you portray his mother as a cruel being instead of compassionate one?
- Most of the self appointed crusaders and intellectuals constantly attack actions of devotees when they make donation to a deity or make an offering like food/ milk. They portray such acts as root cause of ‘corruption’ plaguing our system. They constantly lecture these devotees to donate to poor and needy. A closer introspection reveals that most of the donations made to temples are used to feed people, provide shelter to poor etc. Most of these crusaders would not have donated any money to the poor and needy. Here is a simple question, How much of the profit made by the films that depict such messages are given to charity? An answer to this question will expose hypocrisy and hollowness of their arguments.
- It is common to see many media channels and films making fun of Hindu deities. While there is no harm in having little fun, it constantly crosses line making mockery of Hindu Gods. In many films and media, we usually see Gods unable to understand devotee when he speaks in English as if Hindu Gods are limited by language. Sometimes Gods are portrayed to be handicapped while using modern machines and gadgets. By encouraging such mockery, we are belittling our Hindu deities before our children.
- Most of our serials and films take full liberty in altering the storyline of any epic or an event in Purana to suit their needs. When we see them, we will be confused about the actual story. It will be difficult to decipher what alterations were made. It may result in stereotypes causing certain prejudices and biases.
In midst of these distortions, it is necessary to have new correct depictions to dispel all such distortions and confusions. Hope our media and filmmakers take note of it and contribute by correctly portraying this ancient religion.
Courtesy – janatavoice.com