Patriotic songs fading from films

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 21:35, Oct 14,2016

 
 

A still from Zahir Raihan’s Jiban Theke Newa.

Patriotic songs have all but disappeared from Dhallywood films over the years, with romantic playbacks emerging as the go-to genre for the music directors and filmmakers.
While talking to New Age, senior singers, lyricists, composers and directors said the disappearance of patriotic songs, and also of patriotic films, is a sign of decadence both in the film industry and the society.
‘Films are now being made in a formulaic fashion using a mix of cheap romance, action and comedy. There seems to be no place for patriotic, message-oriented songs anymore,’ said renowned singer Syed Abdul Hadi.
He further said that in the 1970s and 80s, patriotism served as a central theme in films and cultural practices. Even in commercial films, themes of patriotism and humanity were touched upon in one way or another, but in today’s films, this hardly ever happens.
Renowned lyricist Muhammad Rafiquzzaman spoke in the same vein, saying the industry has entered ‘a crazy commercial age’ in which everything is apparently guided by a ‘sell-all-you-can’ motto. ‘Under such circumstances, people have neither time nor space to think of their motherland,’ he said. The result, he added, is a withering away of patriotic values in the industry in particular, and the society in general.
In recent years, commercial, formulaic films have emerged as the dominant genre and there has been a real dearth of films dealing with social and political issues.
‘Although government grants are often provided for films that have patriotism or the liberation war as a theme, there has been a conspicuous absence of patriotic playback numbers,’ said noted director Kazi Hayat, who has made a number of films dealing with patriotism and social issues.
Hayat argues that Dhallywood has actually lost its appetite for diversely themed works, and settled for the more profitable romantic-action formula that served to constrain the space for other issues deserving of exploration.
However, the disappearance of patriotic songs is not exclusive to films only, according to eminent music composer Sheikh Sadi Khan.
‘It has become a norm to create works that guarantee profit. You will find very few patriotic numbers produced these days, across all genres of entertainment,’ he said 

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