Gandhi:-Father of the Nation himself thought of cinema as
'often bad' and 'sinful'.
MUMBAI: It is one of the greatest ironies. Cinema has today served Gandhianism in a new garb of Gandhigiri and made the Mahatma relevant to today's generation through 'Lage Raho, Munna Bhai'.
In 1982, it also portrayed him in the vastly popular Richard Attenborough direction 'Gandhi'. However, Father of the Nation himself thought of cinema as 'often bad' and 'sinful'.
Gandhi reserved extreme scepticism for motion pictures. The Indian Cinematograph Committee's questionnaire requesting his views on the state of Indian cinema famously earned his brutally frank opinion: "Cinema is a sinful technology".
A cursory flip through books showcasing Indian cinematic history reveals the extent of the Mahatma's disdain for the bioscope.
His newspaper editorials and letters to film associations equated cinema with evils like gambling, sutta, horse racing and so on. In his paper, 'Harijan', he wrote, "If I began to organise picketing in respect of them (the evil of cinema), I should lose my caste, my Mahatmaship."
Gautam Kaul's book 'Cinema and The Indian Freedom Struggle' carries excerpts from the Mahatma's reply to the Indian Cinematograph Committee, dated November 12, 1927. It began with characteristic humility: "I should be unfit to answer your questionnaire as I have never been to a cinema." Gandhi then proceeded to stronger views: "But even to an outsider, the evil that it (cinema) has done and it is doing is patent. The good, if it has done at all, remains to be proved."
In 1938, when Indian cinema celebrated its silver jubilee, Gandhi was requested to write a message for the official souvenir. His secretary replied uncharitably: "As a rule, Gandhi gives messages only on rare occasions and this is only for a cause, whose virtue is ever undoubtful.
As for the cinema industry, he has least interest in it and one may not expect a word of appreciation from him." The film fraternity didn't take Gandhi's condemnations lying down. Film-maker Khwaja Ahmed Abbas wrote an open letter to the Mahatma in 'Filmindia' in October 1939.
"In two of your recent statements, I have been surprised and pained to find cinema mentioned slightly in contemptuous terms," wrote Abbas. "In a recent statement, you include cinema among evils like gambling, sutta, horse racing, which you leave alone for fear of losing caste.
If these statements had come from any other person, it was not necessary to be worried about them. My father never sees films and regards them as a vice imported from the West," the letter read. "But your case is different and even the slightest of your opinion carries much weight with millions of people. I have no doubt that a large number of conservative and orthodox persons in the country will be confirmed in their hostile attitude towards the cinema after reading your statement."
The letter ended with an impassioned plea: "Give us this little toy of ours, the cinema, which is not so useless as it looks, a little of your attention and bless it with a smile of tolerance."
Fortunately, for Indian cinema, not all leaders shared Gandhi's distaste. Sarojini Naidu, in an interview with Baburao Patel, editor of 'Filmindia', said, "Cinema can do to a whole people what a loving and devoted wife can do to an erring husband."
Asked if films were not a cause for despair for her as they were for Gandhi, she replied, "They are my love and hope. You better leave the Mahatma alone to his own ways.
Gandhi’s Rendezvous with MoviesI thought Ram Rajya (1943) was the first and only movie that Gandhi had ever seen. So I was quite surprised when I found out that it was not the only movie that he had watched. Moreover, it appears that it was not even his first one!
According to this website he watched Ram Rajya in 1945:
‘Ram Rajya’ was shown to Mahatma Gandhi in 1945, when he was convalescing at Juhu. His secretary, Smt. Sushila Nayar, had given Vijay Bhatt only 40 minutes for “Bapu” to see the film. But the movie so engrossed him, that Mahatma Gandhi saw it for over 90 minutes, uninterrupted. Since it was a ‘moun’ [silence] day for him, he gave Bhatt a pat on the back at the end, to show his appreciation.
Mahatma Gandhi with his hostess, Sumati Morarjee at Juhu Beach, Mumbai, May 1944
Mahatma Gandhi on way to an evening prayer at "Palm Bun", Juhu Beach, Bombay, May/June 1944
Mahatma Gandhi and his associates walking at "Palm Bun", Juhu Beach, Bombay, May/June 1944.
Mahatma Gandhi arriving for evening prayer at "Palm Bun", Juhu Beach, Bombay, May/June 1944.
Mahatma Gandhi during prayer at Juhu Beach, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, May 1944
Mahatma Gandhi with his son Devdas at Juhu Beach, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, May 1944
Mahatma Gandhi and others walking at Juhu Beach ; Mumbai ; May 1944
Ram Rajya, 1943 Director: Vijay Bhatt Music: Shankarrao Vyas Lyrics: Ramesh Gupta Cast: Prem Adib, Shobhna Sarmath, ...
Devi Maa Sita / Vandevi (as Shobana)
Following Bhagwan Shri Ram's 14 year exile, whereby he demolishes the evil empire of Lord Ravan, rescues his wife, Sita, and returns triumphantly home to Ayodhya to be crowned the King. Bhagwan Ram arranges for Sita to be placed on top a funeral pyre, and when she comes out unscathed with the Lord of Fire himself appearing and asking Bhagwan Ram to take Sita back as she is pure, and her presence has not only purified Ayodhya, but also Sri Lanka, as well as himself. Thus satiated, Ram and Sita return to Ayodhya, but not for long as the people, especially a washer-man (Dhobi) demands that Sita be expelled from the kingdom, as the people would like him to ask his wife to leave Ayodhya as she has spent several days and nights away from husband, and has thus maligned herself. Bhagwan Ram gives way to the demands of his people, and expels Sita, who then goes to reside with Lord Valmiki, calls herself Vandevi, and gives birth to twins - Luv and Kush. In the meantime, Valmiki has finished ... Written by rAjOo (firstname.lastname@example.org)Plot Summary | Add Synopsis
Plot Keywords:local blockbuster
Also Known As:Ram Rajya See more »
Color:Black and White
hindigeetmala.net/movie/ram_rajya.htmLyrics and video of songs from Movie / Album : Ram Rajya (1943); Music by: ... Film cast: Prem Abeed, Shobhna Samarth, Chandrakant, Umakant, Badri Prasad,
|Singer(s)||Music Director||Lyricist||Movie / Album||Actor(s)|
|Bharat Ki Ek Sannari Ki Hum Katha Sunate Hai ||Shankar Rao Vyas||Ramesh Gupta||Ram Rajya (1943)|
|Video Playlist of all the songs of this movie from youtube||Advertisements|
Legend / symbol used on this page
, by the way, was a very successful film which ran for 100 weeks in a theatre in Bombay. The director and producer of the movie, Vijay Bhatt, went on to make another classic in 1952: Baiju Bawra.
In Gandhi: The Man, His People and the Empire Rajmohan Gandhi writes about the other movie that Gandhi had seen [Chapter 14: Rejected, Page 497]:
Twenty years earlier, released from Yerawada jail after an attack of appendicitis, Gandhi – a son of Porbandar – had gone to convalesce by the sea at Juhu in North Bombay. In May 1944 he turned once more to the Juhu beach, where he was again entertained by the Morarji family. On 21 May he was persuaded to watch Mission to Moscow, a Hollywood movie made to popularize America’s alliance with the Soviet Union, possibly the first talkie he had ever seen. It did not attract him to Stalin or Communism. [Emphasis is mine.]So there. Michael Curtiz’s Mission to Moscow (1943) was the first movie that the Mahatma had watched. And that makes Ram Rajya the first Indian movie to have been seen by Gandhi.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_to_MoscowMission to Moscow is a book by the former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph E. ... The movie chronicles the experiences of the naive second American .... up important facts with full or partial knowledge of their false presentation".
Rating: 5.4/10 - 581 votesThe movie covers the political machinations in Moscow just before the start of the ... a full seven weeks before the May Day parade that in the film precedes the ...
Mission To Moscow (Michael Curtiz, USA, 1943) Original Trailer.
This movie, made in the USA, was the only American movie to show the truth about the Soviet Union, it takes as reference the .
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fDsdfZu3UsApr 10, 2010 - Uploaded by KmanCosmoMission To Moscow (Michael Curtiz, USA, 1943) Original Trailer. ... does anyone know how I can watch the ...
- www.ovguide.com/mission-to-moscow-9202a8c04000641f8000000000...Watch full length Mission to Moscow Movie for Free Online. Streaming Free Films to Watch Online including Movie Trailers and Movie Clips. Mission to Moscow ...
- www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/1366/Mission-to-Moscow/Overview of Mission to Moscow, 1943, directed by Michael Curtiz, with Walter ... MEDIA: WATCH MOVIE CLIPS VIEW TRAILER READ THE FULL SYNOPSIS ...
- forum.axishistory.com › ... › The Soviet Union at War 1917-1945Sep 16, 2013 - 5 posts - 3 authorsThat is the general content of "Mission to Moscow" as a film -- or ... glossily covering up important facts with full or partial knowledge of their ...
- selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/.../i-have-never-been-to-russia-mission-to.ht...Feb 11, 2009 - The movie that Mission to Moscow brought to the Siren's mind, in its .... trials were saints, just that the whole thing was a transparent frame-up.
- marxistleninist.wordpress.com/.../joseph-e-davies-mission-to-moscow-19...Jan 20, 2010 - Here is the 1943 U.S. film "Mission to Moscow" which tells the experiences of the lawyer and U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Joseph E.