I come from a family of film directors and writers and producers, and I was certain that I’d grown up watching movies with titles like the ones I’d used. So I phoned Ashish Rajadhakshya, editor of The Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, and asked him to put some queries to his database. He came back with some interesting numbers. It seems that to date, 31 feature films called "Dharma" have been made in India; if you allow for variations on the word (like "Dharma Yudh"), that number goes up to 84. Similarly, thirty movies called "Shakti" have been produced; it’s 54 if you allow variations. For "Shanti," the numbers are ten and eighteen. For "Kama," three and three. For "Artha," one and six.3 I suppose some overworked clerk at the Ministry of Permissible Language forgot to send out the right memo to the film industry.i am sure there are more movies with 'khoon', 'pyar', 'chor' etc in their titles than those with 'dharma', shakti', 'kama' etc. but this other vikram chandra (the first, if you had missed my previous post, works in ndtv) also imagines india mostly in the hindu mould. it's not that indian cinema is less hindu, but its production requires more interaction with non-hindu elements than the production of an indian writer in english. he/she mostly had mostly gone to private schools where non-hindus were mostly absent, had lived in neighbourhoods where non-hindus were mostly tradesmen, hawkers, domestic help (or local cabbies, chaffeurs, road-labourers, maids, cooks, bakers, struggling actresses, security guards etc) - and anything resembling close interaction with them was usually frowned upon by elders in the family. he/she had mostly enjoyed a social life almost entirely peopled by hindus. and then had gone to university, where non-hindus were either totally absent or were made to make themselves invisible. and if he/she had gone abroad, to a foreign university, india would remain more emphatically hindu than if he/she had continued to live in india.
The languages of western Europe civilised Russia. I cannot doubt that they will do for the Hindoo what they have done for the Tartar.i don't know how any russian would react to that boast- but the hindoo continues to remain a hindoo, 174 years after macaulay delivered that prediction, and still retains an abiding interest in dharma, artha and kama.
[ why this series of posts on english? i don't know, but the subject seems important to me. the question of why a modern, democratic state classifies some engineers among all the engineers and technocrats it produces as better engineers and technocrats (alumni of iiti/ims), for instance- i haven't found any answers to those kind of questions either. both questions seem related, as psb too points out here].