DOI: 10.5176/2251-3566_L313.45

Authors: Avneet Kaur and Dr. Gur Pyari Jandial

Indian Cinema is renowned for its cultural depiction, music and some of the great performances by its artists. But what it lags behind in is its portrayal of Indian women. The women are shown as obedient, submissive and suppressed by the males or other female characters in the film. The paper analyses the role played by women in Indian Cinema during the recent times. The films taken for the study are "Fire" (1996), "Astitva" (2000) and "Dor" (2006). These three films have been regarded as the path breaking films and have emphasized issues faced by Indian women. The women in these films are suppressed either because of what they lack in their lives or even due to their weaknesses, whether it be, infertility as in the case of Radha in the film "Fire", a desire for love as in the case of Aditi in the film "Astitva" or even for being a young widow as Meera in "Dor". These women though in different scenarios depict the suppression of an Indian woman. It is by coming into contact with other female characters and also acknowledging their own needs and desires that these women are able to free themselves from the shackles of traditions, customs and male chauvinism. They are able to rediscover their lost identities and are able to voice out their own ideas. These films challenge the patriarchal setup of the society and promote the idea that women occupy an equal status in every walk of life. With the immense popularity and thought-provoking ideas conveyed by these films, the Indian Cinema should therefore promote films which are able to give a new definition of the Indian woman. As a nation progressing towards modernity and globalization, Indian Cinema should therefore bring about a radical change in its portrayal of women in it.

Indian woman, suppression, traditions, Indian cinema, male-centric, patriarchy, infedility, friendship, revolutionary change

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