This research seeks to understand the harsh reality behind the distorted versions of our ancient, medieval and modern history. Some recent issues like that of the Padmavat movie and other daily soaps have really intrigued me to understand the vulnerability of the masses to easily form opinions rather than authenticating the knowledge with the impartial sources.
After reading some parts of the history and then watching them on screen has made me realize the contradictions between the impartial and distorted versions of the Indian history and how the just form of our history has been subverted with time due to the baloney of popular media.
The reliance of people generally on popular media to gain historical knowledge has become problematic and hence, having accurate factual knowledge of history is imperative. A greater caution is required on how the Bollywood and daily soaps are using this media to allure more and more audience.
History has played a vital role in shaping our values, our political institutions, our social structures, our borders, etc.
and that is why it becomes a subject which must be dealt with utmost care. The study of past events is not only important to understand the mistakes that we have committed and to learn from them but also to remember and sustain the right decisions taken before. History also matters in contemporary discourses of development because it is full of ideas and solutions.
It teaches us that things do not remain the same, they can and do change. It makes is understand that people in the past also had similar problems that we have now but with different circumstances and choices of dealing with them.
Also, it makes us aware of the complexities of the society and culture, issues of citizenship and choices. History explains us why the world is the way it is.
Motion pictures in recent times have become part of our daily lives and with the technological advancement people have been engaging with the popular media on a daily basis. It is a well-established fact that people tend to remember more from what they watch on screen. History being a boring subject for many is then left on to the popular media to make them learn because popular media makes history look fascinating and attractive to watch and it can easily be remembered after that.
Motion pictures are a powerful tool to have long lasting impressions on people’s minds. In the Indian context history has been subjected to benefit the entertainment industry neglecting the importance of historical accuracy. In order to fetch more and more audience and TRP, Bollywood and Daily Soaps resort to misrepresentation of historical figures and facts making the videos more thrilling and fascinating to watch.
What the popular media portrays slowly becomes a historical narrative where even the facts have a high chance of getting distorted. And because it becomes a popular narrative people often lack the tendency to crosscheck it with impartial sources which leads to acquisition of false historical knowledge.
The review of literature reveals that motion pictures do have long lasting imprints on peoples knowledge systems and that it is easier to engage with the popular media because of easy accessibility and fascinating representation rather than engaging in impartial historical records. The following section presents the literature reviewed.
Butler (2009) presented that motion pictures are a powerful tool to have long lasting impressions on people’s minds which can be detrimental if historical motion pictures have inaccuracies and that specific warning about the distortion reduced the misinformation effect and popular history movies are to be watched with caution.
Umanath and Butler (2012) aim to examine the influence e of student engagement in films and associated texts on the learning of history material. Many motion pictures which depict historical events and figures can intrigue a sense of interest among the masses about those historical events and figures which they otherwise would not be interested in because of being attractive and thrilling.
Since late 18th century the primary source of entertainment has been television and the jolt has been inflicted upon the books. Even most of the books are turned into movies for a simple reason which is that movies make those stories or instances more appealing, Groot (2016) mentions that people have faced a shift in the ways they engages with history in recent times and explains how people engage with history is very much affected by the ways in which it is consumed and commoditized.
His writing helps in understanding how the narratives, plots and distorted choices are offered in order to engage maximum audience and how amidst these choices historical facts get distorted and also, why is it important to have historical accuracy
Nawal (2018) analyzed as to why the entertainment industry in India has been apathetic towards the history. She provides an understanding of the fact that misinformation of historical facts in Bollywood movies is not just a myth. She gives example of the Padmavat movie explains how easy the distortion of history becomes as the popular media is an effective tool to influence people’s knowledge systems.
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