Price rise in Bollywood, then and now: Playlist of films based on the theme

Thursday, 5 September 2013 - 5:14pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Web Team
Sakhi saiyyan to khub hi kamaat hain, mehngaayi daayan khaye jaat hai, this song from Peepli Live! describes the feeling of the common man in best possible words as far as inflation and its impact are concerned.

An amount of money that was a luxury few years ago has now become a bare necessity.

With price rise being the only constant in the last few years, our Hindi film industry, which has time and again portrayed the plight of the less fortunate in films like Do Beegha Zameen and Mother India, are now taking on the issue in a more sarcastic and satirical manner.

Here is a re-run of films that had price rise at their heart and how the portrayal of the common man's plight has changed over the years:

Do Beegha Zameen - 1953

A trendsetter, the film directed by Bimal Roy, tells the story of a farmer who fights hard to save his farmland from the clutches of a wicked zamindar, who forges accounts and increases his debt of Rs65 to Rs235.

The first Indian film to have won the International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Do Beegha Zameen portrays the despair of a man with limited means and the price he has to pay for his poverty.

Pehli Tarikh - 1954

The title of the film itself highlights the significance of salary day in the lives of people. Kishore Kumar's song Khush hai zamana aaj pehli taarikh hai goes on to describe what the day means to a common man who thinks of turning some of his dreams into reality. This song became such a hit that it was played on Radio Ceylon on the first of every month for decades.

Mother India - 1957

The film, which still ranks among all-time Bollywood hits, tells a story of the courage and grit of a woman, who struggles to eke out a living in the absence of her husband, tries to raise her sons well, fights a scheming money lender and stands firm in the face of all odds.

Roti, Kapda aur Makaan - 1974

Titled on the basic necessities of life, the film projected the despair of the common man, his struggles and dilemmas to make ends meet while fighting the monster of price rise.

Peepli Live! - 2010

The film is a comic satire, which tells the story of a debt-ridden farmer Natha and how he takes up the idea of suicide to save his land and family after the Panchayat head suggests him that it will get the debt waived off and his family will receive a compensation. The film also mocks today's leaders who try to gain political mileage from issues like farmers' suicides.

Chakravyuh - 2012

Bhaiya dekh liya hai bahut teri sardaari, a song from the film, aptly commented on how rising prices are affecting the life of a common man, and how it drives the youth towards unlawful activities.

Saare Jahaan Se Mehnga - 2013

A 2013 satire on price rise aptly depicts the daily struggles of a common man. It also takes on the various schemes that are promoted, and how some people manipulate them to benefit from it while the actual beneficiaries continue to bear the brunt of price rise.


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