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Disability and Mental Health: Reflections on the Contemporary Hindi Cinema

Journal: Media Watch (Vol.12, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 7-19

Keywords : Disability; mental health; chronic illness; representation; Hindi cinema;

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Contemporary research in disability studies has conventionally focused on mental health, chronic diseases, and illness as generic concerns in literature, arts, and visual culture. The new advancements in the area have also incorporated the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions instead of dealing with the corporal aspect of the disability only. In the Indian socio-cultural fabric, the boundary of “normal,” “normalcy,” or “abled-body” is often drawn against the disabled people, and they are subjected to a normative discourse of pity, compassion, and tragedy. This article traces the hegemony of normalcy and medicalization of disability in Hindi films. It explores the transformation over some time in the representation of disability and mental illness on screen. It investigates various dimensions of disability, including physical disability, learning disability, chronic illness, and biopsychosocial disability, within the broader framework of health humanities. The process also emphasizes the factors that influence disabled or mentally ill people on the screen and their reception by the Indian audiences.

Last modified: 2021-05-06 14:18:58