Movies are one of the most important platforms to propagate a message in our society. Who does not like to watch movies? Each one of us loves movies of some kind or the other. But, let me ask what such a special thing about the movie is? Well, there are many, but the best thing I feel is that it brings us together in many ways. It is an indirect form of communication which has the potential to imprint a long-lasting impression on our mind. It is an excellent tool for socialisation. A movie is best enjoyed when we watch it with our friends or families. I still remember how a horror movie becomes a comedy when we watch it with our friends.
Though movies deal with different subjects and present us with various opinions, it also makes us aware of a particular subject. Some of the movies like Lagaan, Dangal, Mary Kom, Chak De India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and many more, as per the list, have done a tremendous job to bring sports into a new light.
Let us explore how movies can impact sports, how they can serve as a medium to promote sports culture in our society, and how movies can also be a gift for several aspiring children, women, specially-abled, and youth of our society, who wish to pursue sports.
I still remember when I watched Lagaan during my early childhood days. It was one of the first movies that introduced me to cricket and the world of sports. It has such a profound impact on me that I couldn’t forget even today. It inspired me to go to the field and for that brief moment, I dream of playing cricket and becoming as popular as Sachin Tendulkar.
It was the story of a child, who just by watching something got so inspired that he decided to become a sportsperson. As we study science to develop the scientific temper, sports is an implicit training of our mind and body which helps us build sportiveness in ourselves. It is one of the quintessential requirements to achieve any goal in our life. It is as much as part of education as any other subject.
Almost all of us were introduced to hockey from our general knowledge book in the process of learning, “what is the national sport of India”, or ” who was Dhyanchand”. It was not until I saw “Chak De! India”, I realize the uniqueness of the sport like hockey. Movies, hence, play an important role in re-popularising sports that are less played with time. For example, Kabaddi, Kushti, Hockey, etc. represent the uniqueness of our civilisation, and it is part of the very culture itself.
Movies can play a very significant role to develop sports and promote sportiveness in our society. It has a wider reach, which, when mixed with emotion and comedy, appeals to millions of people together.
Dangal, one of the highest- growing movies of Bollywood which earned millions of dollars and fame worldwide, has been a source of inspiration to many in the world. It promoted gender neutrality in sports with such great vigour and inspired many girls and their parents to give a chance to their daughters in sports equally as boys. “Mhaari chhoriya choro se Kam hai ke” (Are our daughters less than sons!) is one of the most touching and inspiring dialogues of the movie.
The way it has influenced the country and the world can open the path for many who wish to pursue sports in their life. Movies are the reflection of our culture, and it serves as an important tool to enhance the soft power of a country in the international fora.
Movies also highlight the challenges faced by an athlete while pursuing sports of his/her choice.
In Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, we saw how Milkha Singh faced a lot of challenges at the start of his athletic career, and how he coped up from all the hardships in the journey and represented India at various international sports events.
Similarly, In Mary Kom, it is shown how Mary restarts her Boxing Career even after motherhood by the help of her husband, who supported throughout taking care of children to maintain all the domestic chores. It has inspired millions of women to come out of the stigma that they can’t take part in sports after marriage.
One of the living examples of this is Deepa Malik, a para-athlete, who won several national and international recognitions despite being a mother and a specially-abled. These examples not only inspire people in sports, but it does to millions of youth from all the age groups to achieve success in their life.
Despite all these achievements, we have many more to achieve. There are numerous issues that can be pointed out by the help of movies. Some of the examples are multiple challenges faced by retired sportspersons of our country in their everyday life, women still not being given a chance to prove themselves. India has significantly less participation in the Olympics, stereotypes related to sports as a career, lack of training and proper guidance to rural children, incorporating divyang-jans in the sports etc are more such issues.
Movies can be one of the best mediums to highlight these issues on a large scale. Movies can also inspire parents to encourage their children towards sports and other physical activities. They can also motivate children to go to the field and play different sports. Movies can give voice to the millions of people, a voice of change, a voice to play and shine.