The first social film that my memory can recall was Deepa Mehta's Shabana Azmi-Nandita Das' Fire. I remember being all of 13 and watching a film about women in love with one another. That was my introduction into the world of homosexuality. I grew up with a pretty liberal mother who believed her children needed to be aware of everything in the world. And thus, despite our rather sheltered upbringing, we were aware of issues that were taboo. From then on, I developed a slight bias to such films. In time, more such films were introduced into the world of Hindi films. But the issues haven't always been related to sex. Yes, we are yet to completely understand and fathom homosexuality in India without mocking them - ahem Karan Johar ala Dostana; you can be sure more films on the gays and lesbians in our country will be made, but our socially aware filmmakers have moved on. It's about political strife, infidelity, education, AIDS, suicide, ragging, violence and even untold secrets of the glamour world. Some issues work better than others; Some win awards, others are shunned for reasons that are rather shameful, I believe.
Very few filmmakers actually have the balls to come out and place pinpoint such issues. Can we expect Karan Johar to shed the glam quotient and make such a film? Probably not - look what he did with KANK and My Name is Khan? Serious issues; sugarcoated. And the west is no different. Slumdog Millionaire is hardly a true depiction for the slums in India. Mahafail, Danny Boyle. But you can be sure, other filmmakers will continue to do so. And sadly, we need to recognize them for their courage. They know the film will probably not make waves or rake in heaps at the box office. And yet, they stand by their films hoping it will make a difference in India and will educate the ignorant, motivate the youth and open eyes of those who choose to wear a blindfold to social issues that are blatantly in front of them.