Sanjeev Sachdeva


If we compare the portrayal of disability in Indian cinema, of course there is change in portrayal of a disabled characters. In the 1960s, disabled characters were most often projected as pitiable, says activist Sachdeva


If we compare the portrayal of disability in Indian cinema, of course there is change in portrayal of a disabled characters. In the 1960s, the disabled were projected as pitiable characters deserving charity. But now-a-days it is unlike the past. Some positive portrayals of disabled characters have been shown in Indian cinema and TV serials. Some film makers have started thinking positively. But I think it will take time.

In films a disabled should not be projected as a person with disability, but as a person who has the ability to do the things. There is also no harm in showing negative tendencies of a persons with disability. It is not right that people with disability are not good and vice versa. They can be good as well as bad. In our society there are achievers with disabilities and also notorious people with disabilities. They can be portrayed like any other individual of society.

In foreign media or foreign films, disabled characters are shown living with dignity and with independence. But in our film makers’ projects, disabled characters are shown on wheel chairs in very pitiable condition and it is shown as this is the end of his/her life. But it is not like this, it is not the end of the world, he/she could do so many things like any other member of society.

In our society disability is not accepted as a product, you cannot sell disability. There is nobody in the market who will take disability as a product. If any film maker wants to make a film on disability issues, nobody will sponsor or fund the film. So film makers should not make a film on disability issue but he should integrate persons with disability into his / her film as a character like other characters. I think that will serve the purpose. If somebody is putting his/her money, definitely he will deserve profit. He would like to invest money on the subject through which he will get some returns. It is the philosophy of the market.

Treat persons with disability as human beings. A person on a wheel chair or hearing impaired, or visually impaired, should be treated as a special human being. I never agree with the word “special”. Sorry, I disagree, it is my personal perception. We are not special people, how come we are special. We are also having emotions, happiness, jealousy, likes, dislikes, love and affection like any other individual in society. The only difference is that we need some support. We are not lockable subject. We also have talents, many things which we can also do, we like music, dance, partying, going out etc. Film makers also can cast disabled persons for disabled characters.

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