A report by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) shows that youth in the age group of 15–30 years contribute to 33% of the total television viewership and 52% of the population that watches film-based content.
On 27th September in Shivpuri region of Madhya Pradesh, two children belonging to a Dalit family were beaten to death for defecating in the open.
This is not an ordinary story: the twist here is that the children were forced to defecate in open as their family wasn’t allowed to build a toilet in their home by one of the influential members of the village Panchayat. This family is the only Dalit family in the village. Ironically, the village has been marked ODF (Open Defecation Free).
I read this news, posted by the twitter handle of the online news site The Wire. After reading the details, the first thing that came to my mind was: is it possible that this might be a case of planned killing to eliminate the only Dalit family? First, you force them to defecate in the open and then, when you see them defecating, you kill them.
But other than the news, there was one comment in the post that caught my eye and got me thinking:
Two girls belonging to the Dalit community murdered and hanged on a tree for the people to see.
This was a case about one disappearance and two murders that took place in a village named Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. Early in the morning, the bodies were hung from a tree to instill fear among the people. The alleged reason for the killing was that the girls asked for a three rupee raise in their salaries.
The above cases cover the topics of discrimination based on caste. There are many others where discrimination happens based on gender, religion etc. With a generational shift from reading newspapers to listening to the news, watching movies on the concerning topic is becoming a new trend.
People don’t believe that such cases are happening around them and seem to be aghast when a movie on the same topic comes. With the increasing fake news content on social media, are youngsters turning to movies to get real information? As we saw the comment in the first case, I don’t know if that was a real person or a bot was being used to undermine The Wire, but such comments help spread fake news and create a different mindset for some people. Due to this, it’s difficult to know what is true and what’s not. This has further led to a competition among the news agencies to overrule each other, and in the process, people are being fooled.
On the other hand, movies, to a certain level, help the audience believe in the story; when you are watching, you become part of that situation. It’s impossible to convince the whole world on the same topic, but as long as a majority is convinced, the work is done. So, movies are gaining more popularity than other traditional mediums. The plus point that comes with movies is that they are dubbed in many languages for people from different regions. And even if they don’t understand what is being said, they can always identify the actions being portrayed. Maybe this is a business opportunity waiting to be explored and for more media schools to focus on movies and the art of movie-making.