Govind Nihalani: TV and cinema will always keep changing

National Award-winning director Govind Nihalani feels the movie and television industries will keep changing because they act as a mirror to society, which constantly changes

“TV will continue to change. TV and cinema are media, which respond to the times, which they are made in. They are not static,” said Nihalani.

Although he hasn’t indulged in TV soaps, the filmmaker was instrumental in bringing controversial mini-series Tamas, about the migration of Sikh and Hindu families to India during partition, on the small screen.

It was beamed on Doordarshan and now it will once again be relayed on History TV 18. He feels his show is relevant even in today’s time, when such attempts are not made. “The difference is that Tamas is not a daily soap. It deals with the issue of national importance. The emphasis is on the characters and evoking of the period when the partition took place makes it different from other soaps. I think it will have a small relevance even today. These programmes are not even being made today,” he said.

Nihalani feels there is dearth of such shows because the current generation seems to be indifferent to history. “People seem to be indifferent to history because of globalization. The new mindset is taking over. There is a great emphasis on acquiring material benefits of the economy and everything else is secondary,” he added.

Also, filmmakers and viewers do not want to remember the traumatic time in 1947 when hundreds of thousands were killed and there was mayhem everywhere during the partition. “That period was also very traumatic for our country and its people. It’s not very pleasant to remember all that. Also, the generation who fought for independence has passed away,” he said and added that perhaps the younger generation is unable to connect to that era. “The young people, for them, freedom was given; so for them it is just an episode in the history of India,” he said.

But at the same time he said that the issue of communalism is still there and his TV show Tamas will make sense to those who are conscious. “That is something that no one can ignore. I feel that the young generation would respond to it much more as it could be an eye-opener for them. We have tried to depict the whole thing very authentically,” he said.

In the past, Nihalani went behind the camera to tell gritty and poignant tales on the big screen through Aakrosh, Vijeta, Ardh Satya, Party, Drishti, Rukmavati Ki Haweli and Drohkaal.

He also directed Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa and mainstream movies Thakshak and Dev.