Bollywood Films Inspired By Politics : Politics On The Big Screen

Time and again, politics has been a recurring theme in Indian cinema. Be it the violent side as shown in ‘Rakta Charitra’ or the way how politics is used as a tool to run a parallel Government as aptly depicted in ‘Sarkar’, politics has inspired many Bollywood films. We take a look at some of them…

‘Shanghai’ revolves around the idea of how politics has embedded itself even in the highest eons of Government. The plot reeks of political games. A social activist is out to campaign against the setting up of a business park that has the backings of both the state Government as well as the local party when he is involved in a car accident. However, when an IAS officer investigates the case, the ‘car accident’ turns out to be a well calculated murder that has been carried out at the behest of the Chief Minister of the State, who has her mind set on becoming the next Prime Minister. As the plot unravels, the film depicts politics as a tool used by people in the highest offices to acquire more power.
New Delhi Times
The film deals with corruption in politics and media. One of the very few films that deals with the issue of corruption in media, ‘New Delhi Times’ revolves around the editor of a paper who gets involved in a corrupt system where he discovers that a nexus is going on between politicians and media barons.
Rakta Charitra
No other Bollywood film depicts the blood and gore side of Indian politics like ‘Rakta Charitra’. The film is based on the actual life of Paritala Ravi, a political leader in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, India. Through his story, the film, based in Ananthapur district, shows how in certain parts of India, the main way to win elections is through violence and the only language that people understand is the language of guns. Paritala Ravi was one such politician whose life was marred by violence and who used force to reach to the top. After having his father killed at an early age, Paritala Ravi’s father was hacked to death which started a bloody war that ended with the death of Paritala Ravi, shot dead by his opponents. The film traces the beginning of the three-decades of violence between the families of Telugu Desam MLA Paritala Ravi and Suryanarayana Reddy that held Ananthapur district to ransom, the cause and the after effects of each murder and the subsequent rise and fall of Paritala Ravi.
Main Azaad Hoon
‘Main Azaad Hoon’ is a Bollywood film about a journalist who wants to advantage of every opportunity to the fullest by any means whatsoever. The film traces the journey of the journalist who hires an ordinary man to pose as someone who is strictly against corrupt politicians and prints concocted stories to boost the sales of her paper. Unknown to her the public puts the ordinary man on a pedestal. The film shows how the public is fed up of corruption in politics and when provided with a glimmer of hope(in this case the ordinary man posing as a crusader) they are ready to back up schemes and individuals that promise a better future and transparent opportunities for all.
‘Gulaal’ is a hard hitting film that tries to explore the complex themes of power pursuit, injustices in society and the hypocrisy of the powerful and the rich in society.Here, all these politics is seen through the eyes of a law student who is a witness to the struggle of the Rajputs, deception and crime as he attains the position of a General Secretary of the college where he studies. Set in present day Rajasthan, the film has been inspired by student politics that is present in almost all universities across the country.
‘Haasil’ explores the impact that politics has on every aspect of life — with the first seeds being sown in college life itself. The film explores the relationship between two college students who discover that they can never escape the politics of gang life

Hu Tu Tu
‘Hu Tu Tu’ revolves around the theme of kidnapping of the kin of politicians in return for the release of an individual from prison. The story opens with the kidnapping of the CM’s daughter by a gang who want one of their members released from jail in return. The film basically indicates that this world may be ruined by politics for our upcoming generation and we should, to the best of our capability, ensure that our children are shielded as much as possible from corruption.
‘Rajneeti’ is one of those Indian films that explores the entire gamut of emotions related with politics – betryal, envy, power, competition, struggle, violence, pride and so on. Set against the backdrop of two families contesting for power, the protagonists of the film are mostly shown engaged in playing power games with each other even if it means resorting to murder if that guarantees a seat in the Government.
‘Rajneeti’, to its credit, successfully managed to depict modern Indian politics and how party loyalties can change any moment if there is money and power involved. From the scene where the main protagonist marries the love of his life to his brother to the scene where a politician is blackmailed to switch parties, traces of politics are evident throughout the film.
Loosely based on the life of Shive Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, ‘Sarkar’ explores the world of Mumbai politics seen through the eyes of Sarkar, an individual who is a institution in himself. An individual who has scant respect for the law and a huge legion of followers who would do anything for him. One can say this film also shows the fanatical side of politics where people follow a leader blindly even if others may consider him a law breaker. The film also shows that side of politics where people switch loyalties in a second. Sarkar’s death is meticulously planned by his opponents but when it is found out that even his son was involved political games take on a different meaning.
Alleged to be based on the life of former India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, ‘Aandhi’ revolves around a estranged couple who meet years later when the wife – now a leading politician happens to reside in her husband’s hotel durin a period of campaigning. Although the film ran into controversy for the delicate subject it was handling (Indira Gandhi was in power at the time it was released), the performances of the lead actors were appreciated.
‘Nayak’ is a film that shows how a common man can bring lots of changes in the system of the country if the person is honest and willing to work hard. The film traces the life of a journalist who becomes Chief Minister for a day and the changes he brings in. Although, he tries to do as much as possible within a day’s timeframe, he finds that there is so much corruption in the system that it is impoosible to cleanse the dirt that has crept in. After his day as a CM gets over, his opponents try to kill him until a point reaches where he feels like he made a mistake by making the changes. Eventually, he realises that the only way to tackle problems is by facing them and succeeds in being appointed as the CM again. The final scene show the city has progressed way beyond imagination with proper health facilites.
‘Satta’ is a tale of a middle class woman who is driven by an ambition to make it big in life. Although, she has a bad take on politics she, by a twist of fate, gets sucked into the world of politics. ‘Satta’ – The Game of Power is a gripping tale of a fiercely spirited middle class woman with a dazzling ambition to make it big. The film traces her journey as she meets people who are ready to go to any lengths to succeed in politics. Eventually, she learns to stand on her own, trust her own instincts and becomes ready for the political world.
—India Syndicate


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