Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Tareek Pe Tareek: Indian Lawyers in Popular Hindi Cinema

Journal of Indian Law & Society (JILS), Vol. 2, pp. 1-27, Winter 2010

26 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2010 Last revised: 25 Aug 2011

Apar Gupta

Amity Law School; Columbia Law School

Date Written: August 25, 2010


Few would quarrel with the influence and significance of popular culture on society. However culture is vaporous, hard to capture, harder to gauge. Besides pure democracy, the arts remain one of the most effective and accepted forms of societal indicia. A song, dance or a painting may provide tremendous information on the cultural mores and practices of a society. Hence, in an agrarian community, a song may be a mundane hymn recital, the celebration of a harvest or the mourning of lost lives in a draught. Similarly placed as songs and dance, popular movies serve functions beyond mere Id satisfaction. A movie can reaffirm old truths and crystallize new beliefs. Hence we do not find it awkward when a movie depicts a crooked politician accepting a bribe or a television anchor disdainfully chasing TRP’s. This happens because we already hold politicians in disrepute, and have recently witnessed sensationalistic news stories which belong in a Terry Prachet book rather than on prime time news. With its power and influence Hindi cinema has often dramatized courtrooms, judges and lawyers. This article argues that these dramatic representations define to some extent an Indian lawyer’s perception in society. To identify the characteristics and the cornerstones of the archetype this article examines popular Bollywood movies which have lawyers as its lead protagonists. The article also seeks solutions to the lowering public confidence in the legal profession keeping in mind the problem of free speech and censorship. Finally, this article aims to put up a looking glass to lawyers, tinted by drama, action, romance and the frequent song and dance sequences.

Keywords: Ethics Lawyers, Professional Standards Advocates, Public Perception of Advocates, Damini, Meri Jung, Kyunki Mien Jhooth Nahee Bolta

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Apar, Tareek Pe Tareek: Indian Lawyers in Popular Hindi Cinema (August 25, 2010). Journal of Indian Law & Society (JILS), Vol. 2, pp. 1-27, Winter 2010. Available at SSRN:

Apar Gupta (Contact Author)

Amity Law School ( email )

New Delhi

Columbia Law School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views