Women's Roles In Indian Films

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The influence of historical and socio-cultural factors on the growth of women 's roles in commercial Indian films suggests the stereotypical portrayal of women (Nandkumar 2011). According to Laxmi (1991), "From the passive wife of Dadasaheb Phalke 's 'Raja Harishchandra ' to the long-suffering but heroic mother-figure of 'Mother India ' to the liberated single-parent of 'Mother '98 ', it has been a rather long and 9 challenging journey for women in Hindi cinema" Nandkumar (2011) suggests that the portrayal of women in the history of Indian films from the era of silent films to the present has undergone numerous changes. Despite the changes, women are still portrayed as a secondary character in most commercial films even today. This stereotypical portrayal of women in Indian cinema is mainly due to historical and cultural reasons (Gokulsing & Dissanayake 2004). Initially, the society stigmatized women from acting in films (Ganti 2004). So, when women started acting, the directors had to comply with the social norms in the portrayal of women. Women mostly played the roles of a daughter (taking care of her brothers, helping the mother in the kitchen, and marrying the man of her father 's choice), a great wife (who was responsible for all household chores, taking great care of her husband, children, and would lead the rest of her life by embracing her husband 's memories, once she became a widow), and of a great mother (who is selfsacrificing) (Gokulsing & Dissanayake 2004).

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