This chapter discusses the narrative patterns in popular cinema after Indira Gandhi departed from the Nehruvian mode and later became the prime minister. During this period, films centred on the woman and her ascendancy in society—films which closely correspond to the public perception of Indira Gandhi. The ascendancy of the small bourgeoisie against the populist radicalism and monopoly of the ruling class was a prominent theme, as was the rise of heroes within the middle class who wooed princesses and the ruling class. Other social issues embedded in the films were social marginalization, the authoritarian state, and criminality. Discussed as well are the restraints and challenges faced by the Indian popular cinema during Gandhi administration. In 1969, Indian films witnessed a period of crisis. New film financing was introduced to serve as an interventionist policy of the government. The period also saw the rise of middle cinema—a consequence of segmentation and state intervention through the Film Finance Corporation (FFC) policy of the government.
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