Movies And Value Education, Never!

Parents think of movies as a distraction for their children but the central board of education doesn’t seem to think so. Rather they think that movies are a part of students’ education, especially Value Education, and so they have released a Handbook of Value Education which lists 47 Bollywood movies that highlight “social and moral values”.

The list includes movies like Boot Polish which promotes dignity of labour, Dor which shows compassion between two people, the MunnaBhai series, No One Killed Jessica that showcases the fight for justice and many more. The only Hollywood films that form a part of the list are Sidney Poitier’s To Sir, with Love — for its message of morality, respect and integrity, and the Tom Hanks starrer Cast Away, which depicts the fight for survival.

Where is all this coming from? Come to think of it, the only thing that I remember about my value education classes is either going for physical education or studying for a test in next period or finishing my homework.

Doesn’t the whole idea of watching films as “value education” seem problematic? Films are meant for entertainment and not moral education. Doesn’t this disrupt the whole concept of films?

If we inculcate the morals in our films; it will become another means through which Indianised “morals” and “values” will be promoted.

Many films that form a part of this list like the MunnaBhai series; though they are good films but they do not teach you the lessons of life. At least I won’t trust a doctor who has slept through his classes with my liver. Gandhigiri is a cool term but nobody follows it in their real lives.

Baghban is a part of the list as the board thinks it promotes family values. When? Where? How?

It just shows a retired father who spends all his money on his children and has no savings left for him, but still manages to live in a house that is no less than a palace. And though he claims he loves his wife for life, he still accepts to live with the sons on a roster system that too separated from his wife.

What about Karan Johar films? All his films focus on high class; every child is born with a silver spoon. Karan claims to leave a message for the audience in his films but in reality there exists a middle class which does not live in palaces and own private jets.

These movies are examples of good cinema but I don’t think this is how reality works and films cannot be a means of value education.

Shraddha Jandial

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