Saturday, 23 March 2013

Role of Bollywood Music in Evolution of Indian Society

Music has a great advantage. It can attract attention of the music lover, an in the process, get them involved in any ideas that it may be propagating. This is particularly true of Bollywood music, which is a fusion of poetry, music and video film. The music is what brings it audience, while the lyrics and the film provide it with substance that elevates it to a form of art that can be compared with literature and movies in terms of a reservoir of social documentation. 

Right from its inception in the thirties, Bollywood music has gems that have been able to capture the intricacies of Indian society, emotions and values in a manner that glamorize even the very trivial every day customs and traditions in a way that makes them adorable. In a way, it is a kind of certification that those customs and traditions are the precious riches of the society. This is particularly true of the manner in which family bonds have been depicted in the Bollywood movies and music over the seven decades of its history.

Family is the bond that cements the society and its civilization. Bollywood music is one of the best documentations of aspects of Indian family and its priorities and preferences. There are great gems on music on all family relations. Right from the loris of the mother for her infant child, to the songs that depict a father’s aspiration; from the love of a wife and husband to that which bonds a brother and a sister; …… there are even songs about grandmother. Many of these values were essentially middle class, but their glamorization has actually extended them throughout the society making them a universal value of the Indian society.

It is not that Bollywood music has merely cemented the status quo. In fact, its role in liberalizing the restrictions of caste and community, when it comes to marriage is probably the single most important impact it has made on the society. The traditional Indian society has been a very divided one, with divisions based on caste and religion dominating many of its aspects. These barriers have not been challenged by anyone in the manner they have been challenged by Bollywood. The reason for this, of course, was the commercial viability of stories that projected the protagonists as rebellious, and made their devotion and loyalty to their love, in the face of social opposition that much more adorable and respectable. However, in the process, these musical gems have also highlighted the irrational divisions of the Indian society and contributed immensely in its evolution as a modern society.

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