Terrorists and Patriots: Construction in Popular Hindi Cinema
130 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2008
Date Written: May 2, 2008
Through this research we are trying to understand the construction of the patriot and the terrorist in popular Indian cinema. In all media artefacts realities are represented and not replicated. Certain metaphors are used to construct a reality which is guided by individual understanding and perceptions. Certain metaphors used continuously used for particular constructions tend to become normative and unquestioned. As a result in any analysis of representation, the question, "whose reality is depicted?" is significant.
For the purpose of this research we have closely looked at four Hindi movies, Mani Ratnam's Roja (1992) and Dil Se (1998), Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya (2004) and Shimit Amin's Chak De India (2007).
Through a semiotic and discourse analysis of these movies, we have attempted to understand the creation and representation of the hero and the anti-hero in the form of patriots and terrorists respectively. This construction is a part of the nation-building discourse that films participate in, and act as a site of this discourse as well. The problems of the nation are depicted in these movies and are represented in the characterization of the anti-hero. The patriot on the other hand acts as the saviour of the nation in its times of trouble.
The research has brought forward the fact that the desires of the nation-state have changed over time. Initially, religion formed a basis of most issues. Communal disharmony was highlighted upon and national integrity was the call of the patriot through the film, as seen in Roja. By the time Chak De India was released the nation's problems shifted to regionalism, thus proving India's concept of unity in diversity a farce. It reflected upon the internal problems of the nation state which is so divided by its own wings and thus needs a patriot to defeat the enemy which lies within its own self.
Keywords: popular cinema, nationalism, communalism, semiotics, terrorism, patriotism, media construction
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