Filmmaker Prakash Jha says nobody in present day society is ready to tolerate anything against their beliefs.
We talk about tolerance all the time, (but) no one is ready to tolerate today — not in the house, society or country. We are experiencing a different kind of society at this time,” Jha said during a panel discussion on ‘Cinema and Mental Health’ at the ongoing World Congress for Mental Health here on Friday.
I was talking to a Supreme Court judge yesterday, and we spoke about how most of the violence that the world experiences today, happens either because of food or sex.
We are like animals fighting over food and sex. The only difference is that the animals don’t overeat and overindulge, but we as humans are always overeating and over-indulging,” he added.
Jha, who has made socio-political films like Damul, Mrityudand, Gangaajal and Raajneeti, doesn’t feel that films can bring social change.
But I see that it’s a very strong medium to keep the issues under discussion. Recently, we released a film called ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. My assistant came to me with the script, I was stunned. I saw these four women, who were experiencing the oppression of life.
Male gazing in our society is thoroughly permitted — you can look under the skirt, have a half naked woman going around. From male point of view, everything is permitted. But, here (in ‘Lipstick…’), a woman wanted to stalk. It looked completely different and I thought we have to make this film. Later, our Indian censor board banned it.
So, we fought with them. I was ready to release the film for free on Internet. The film has already gone to more than 60 international festivals and won 17 awards. Without having a starcast it did tremendous business in India.
Further talking about the different issues he has witnessed in Indian society over the last few decades, Jha said: Society is in constant movement. Things keep happening and changing in the society. This changes whole behaviour of the society… In between 2000-2010, the whole world went through a huge change.
Whatever we have consumed during that time, we won’t be able to produce it in the next 40 years. Now we are dealing with recession. There is loss of faith and values just because the market is depressed. That’s affecting the society and relationships. These are the things that we observe and make stories out of it,” he added.