Gandhi's Spell on the Bollywood Hero

Gandhi cast an inescapable spell on the story path of the Bollywood hero from the days of Indian independence through to the seventies. Heroism is shown to lie in rejection of wealth and sexual desire in scripted choices synonymous with popular perceptions of Gandhian morality. But in these love stories the Gandhian hero must also desire; so the cinema gets him to sacrifice in story and desire in song. The double about-turn in story away from wealth and sex on screen ends finally with the economic reforms associated with Manmohan Singh. The hero can now get rich without guilt. With wealth, sex too becomes acceptable.