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  • Pradyumna Singhi

Bollywood - An Indian Gem

India, as we know it today, is a developing country with basically everything. From vibrant landscapes to subtle colors, from busy cities to calm villages, India has everything. A rich culture with a variety of cuisine and so many languages makes India very unique as a country and a subcontinent. However, we also know it was not always like that. Previously, India was always under some sort of rule or foreign power and was never truly independent. We gather here to celebrate India’s 76th year of independence.

In this article, I would like to focus on arguably the biggest industry in India, the Bollywood industry. Who knew that India would have its very own film industry making magnificent films frequently, time and time again? It is crazy to think how much India has progressed in these 76 years. The Bollywood industry is one of the pieces of evidence of its massive development in the sphere of entertainment. We all love watching our favorite action heroes and heroines on the big screen. Whether we admit it or not, our lives would be dull without Bollywood. The Bollywood film industry has grown dramatically since India's independence in 1947. It shifted from colonial influences to indigenous themes and societal issues after independence. Through eras of social realism, melodrama, and nuanced storytelling, the industry saw creative evolution.

The Independence of India in 1947 played an important role in the evolution of Indian cinema. Many movies focused on the topic of the survival of the lower class, freedom fighters, freedom struggle, etc. The 1950s and 1960s was the “golden age” of Indian cinema. Actors like Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Madhubala and many others gained popularity for their exceptional performance on the screen and their stage presence. 1970s, compared to earlier, was rather more stroking for audiences because of the energy of actors like Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and many others. “Sholay” a classic, I presume all Indians must have for once in their lives watched this iconic movie representing the power of friendship and love. This movie was also a boost for Amitabh Bachchan’s career. “Sholay” was the highest-grossing Indian film made at the time, it was showcased for five years in Mumbai’s Minerva Theatre.

As we entered the 90s, the decade was famous for its boy bands, scrunchies, mini skirts, the “rachel” hairstyle and denim overall looks, actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Juhi Chawala, etc were launched. We also got many blockbuster movies such as “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Border”, “Judwaa” and many more. Welcoming the new century, we welcome emotional, comedic, romantic yet thoughtful movies that forced us to muse over them such as “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham”, “Devdas”, “Hera Pheri”, “Kal Ho Na Ho”, “Jab We Met”, “Chak De! India”, “Lagaan” and many more.

With the transition from black-and-white to color films, synchronized sound, and digital effects, VFX increased its creative potential. As films like "Slumdog Millionaire" gained international acclaim, global recognition skyrocketed. The socio-cultural impact of Bollywood has remained strong, reflecting and shaping societal attitudes while also significantly contributing to the economy. The ability of the industry to adapt, collaborate globally, and maintain its cultural identity has fueled its growth, cementing its position as a major global cinematic force.

Indian cinema ages beautifully till date with its new concepts and new tales to be told. Indian cinema is appreciated worldwide, especially after the current Oscar 2023 win of “Natu Natu” the famous composed song from the film “RRR” which turned out to be a blockbuster hit worldwide. Showcasing such Indian talent on such a platform makes every true Indian heart skip a beat. This was an article to show how powerful India has become since independence. It is not only in entertainment but in various other aspects of growth. Let us all celebrate in joy as our motherland continues to be a global superpower and a land for all of us to prosper in.

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