Cinema & Indian politics

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 27, 2024 IST

Tuhina Sahoo

 From the early days of Indian cinema to the present, films have played a significant role in  mobilizing public opinion, and reflecting the socio-political realities of the nation.


Types of films moblizing public opinion

There are various types of films whch have played a diverse role in mobilzing public opinion. The role of cinema in Indian politics is multifaceted, encompassing propaganda, biopics, social commentary, satire, and issue-based campaigns.

Propaganda Films:

Propaganda films have been a common feature in Indian cinema, with political parties propagating their ideologies and agendas. One such example is "The Tashkent Files" (2019), directed by Vivek Agnihotri, which explores the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. 

The film, widely regarded as a political thriller, presents a narrative that questions the official version of events, leading to speculation and debate among audiences.


Biographical films, or biopics, have been instrumental in immortalizing political figures and their legacies on the silver screen. "M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story" (2016), directed by Neeraj Pandey, is a biopic based on the life of former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

While not directly related to politics, the film portrays Dhoni's journey from a small-town boy to a national hero, resonating with audiences and highlighting themes of perseverance and ambition—a narrative often associated with political leadership.

Social Commentary:

Indian cinema has a long history of addressing social and political issues through nuanced storytelling and compelling narratives. An exemplary film in this regard is "Peepli Live" (2010), directed by Anusha Rizvi and produced by Aamir Khan. 

The satirical comedy-drama explores the plight of farmers in rural India and the media circus surrounding farmer suicides. The film's incisive commentary sheds light on agrarian distress and the nexus between politics, media, and rural exploitation.

Satirical films:

Satirical films and advertisements offer a humorous yet insightful commentary on contemporary political issues. The "Fevikwik" advertisement series, featuring popular Bollywood actor Salman Khan, is a prime example of political satire disguised as commercial entertainment. 


These advertisements cleverly parody political slogans and personas, using humor to engage audiences while subtly critiquing prevailing socio-political norms.

Issue-based campaigns:

 Indian cinema has also witnessed the emergence of issue-based campaigns that seek to raise awareness and mobilize public support for social and political causes. "Pink" (2016), directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, is a notable example of a film that addresses issues of consent, gender equality, and women's rights. 

The film sparked nationwide discussions on sexual harassment and the importance of affirmative consent, contributing to the #MeToo movement in India.

 Through films, movies, and advertisements, filmmakers and advertisers have the power to shape public opinion, and provoke critical reflection on  socio-political issues. Cinema remains a potent force for social change and political engagement, reflecting the aspirations and struggles of its diverse populace.



  • political influence
  • Indian cinema

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