1. Write a paragraph that contains the following contents:
Part 1: One 150-word statement and/or question related to at least one of the following key terms: Colonialism; Partition; Hindi popular cinema and music (often called Bollywood); All-India Film; Bengali art cinema.
Part 2: One 150-word statement and/or question responding to the film Awara (The Vagabond), 1951
Part 3: One 150-word analysis connecting the film to one of the key terms. You can use different key terms from part 1.
2. Reply to other two posts
Post 1: The Partition of 1947 split the two sovereign states into what is known as today’s India and Pakistan. The separation signified a lot of violence, trauma, and chaos that brought the newly independent nation into shambles. The great migration of people going across the continent resulted in the separation of the people to become a multilingual, multicultural, and multi regional state. It became extremely important to reshape and heal the country from the trauma of violence and death, but to also find a way in creating a shared culture, and shared identity as a newly constructed nation. Colonialism played an extremely important role in defining Indian culture, so even after receiving its freedom away from British control, certain customs of the colonizer were already internalized in Indian culture. In a different manner, even if they wanted to go back to the local Indian culture, they could not because there was no prior memory of anything besides exercising the internalized ideologies of the colonial era. In Awara (The Vagabond), it addresses the dilemma amongst the different classes, particularly the struggle between the rich and the poor. The film starts with a court trial scene, and later frames the story through a series of flashbacks, with most of it retelling the entire story up until the end of Raj’s verdict. Raj, the main character, is someone who was supposed to be born from wealth and nobility, however, was later succumbed to the life of crime and poverty when his father, the Judge, abandons his wife and son after wrongfully accusing his wife to be carrying the son of a criminal, Jagga. From the beginning of Raj’s encounter with the Judge, we already see some tension between the two because the Judge withholds the concept of social predetermination. This idea is constantly in question when the Judge continues to maintain his stance on the status of another through honor based on the father’s name. Mother India can be categorized into this new postcolonial genre called “All India” films that surged with the purpose of bringing a sense of national unity. From the very beginning of the film, we see the multiple districts and villages that participated in creating a film to represent India. In effect, this consolidated the nation into a singular image whilst representing the multiculturality of India. Then it moves onto building the nation with modern infrastructures, new farming equipment, and bringing technologies into the nation. Although we still have homage to the past and to traditions with Mother India, it moves away from the elderly mother to her wedding. It shifts from images of tradition to technology, introducing the tensions between modernity and a sense of construction to newer things in contrast to the past. In addition, this film also serves both as an allegorical film as well as a blockbuster film by staging the 19th century natural disasters, flood, and famine, along with the violent ending that represents The Partition riots.
Post 2: Colonialism continues throughout India until 1947. India was once a colony to the Netherlands, Portugal, and France before becoming a British colony in 1613. The British began their monarchy rule over India in 1858 until their end of their reign over India. This rule, however, plundered all of their national resources and undermined their infrastructure and innovations created during this time trying to lead to modernization. This ruined India’s trade and it therefore affected their trade due to famine and epidemics which then went on to impoverish families of India. Towards the end of the British colonialism of India, Britain made a contingency and offered India up for war in WWII. This, however, led to the Partition in which India was split into different countries such as Pakistan and Burma and so forth. This led to trauma throughout India by inciting death, violence, and migration.Within the film of Awara (The Vagabond) 1951, there are flashbacks to represent the larger part of the story. Through flashbacks of Rita and Raj before the court hearing, it is understandable to see this class difference between the two. This class difference keeps them apart due to the father ‘the judge’ and his disapproval of Raj’s upbringing. Raj was born in a gutter as his mother raised him in the slums due to his father kicking his mother out while pregnant. This flashback, comes to haunt his father during the court hearing. One quote that continues to be presented is, “good are those born of good folks! And of bandits are bandits born.” Due to this quote, Raj therefore lives an impoverished life with his mother. His life of hardship and struggle is revealed when his mother is sick and he must take care of her with the little to no money he had.The Partition played a huge role within the film of Awara. The Partition was a rupture within the country of India. India was separated as Pakistan and India. India would later be divided into separate countries as well. This called for new borders and the creation of protected land for Muslims that caused tension and violence between the Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim populations. The Partition was created mainly in part of political movements of self rule. Awara relates to this because it represents the societies that struggle with moral and social order. This social order is ruptured as the Partition takes place and it is apparent as Raj and the judge must face one another within the film. This film reveals the “nature of rupture, healing and redemption” (lecture). Also related to lecture, this society is then orchestrated with the judge representing the government of India and Raj as the people of India. This put old moral beliefs into question as Raj carries on throughout the film. One major quote would be “but those work hard for an honest living and dress shabbily are labelled tramps and wastrels…” This directly represents the questioning of old beliefs that were created through this rupture of India and its move to self rule.