With Lok Sabha general election scheduled in 1984 hence, the mid-’80s witnessed a windfall of films on politics. The film industry tried to capture the election mood but some filmmakers used films as a platform to educate people about the power of Vote. The film that propagated the idea of the Power of Vote was Telugu film MLA Yedukondalu (1984). The film was a huge hit. Hence it was remade as Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar starring Rajesh Khanna. It is believed South film director Dasari Narayan Rao made the south version in just 13 days and released the film on the election eve thus getting a maximum advantage at the box office. The movie depicted how corrupt politicians mint money after coming to power. It showed a barber (Rajesh Khanna) joining politics and becoming rich by wrong means. He rises to the post of the chief minister.
After the success of Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar, many movies were made on the same subject like Amitabh Bachchan in Inquilaab, Jeetendra in Yeh Desh etc. In 1985 Arjun, written by Javed Akhtar and starring Sunny Deol starter exposed the dual personality of politicians. It snatched the mask of honesty and pseudo-patriotism that they preach. The movie depicted how an innocent unemployed youth trust a political leader but is stunned when in the climax he unearths the politician is similar like another corrupt leader! The movie bought high accolades to sunny for his powerhouse performance.
In 1986, New Delhi Times starring Shashi Kapoor created a storm for its bold and unique subject. The movie ripped apart the political leader’s unnecessary interference with media barons. It depicted how these leaders in power twist and turn stories to suit their interest Shashi Kapoor played the role of an investigative journalist who unearths a heart-rending story involving politicians. But due to the politician’s clout over print media yet he fights tooth and nail to bring truth to light. The movie fetched a national award to Shashi Kapoor.
Pratighaat in 1987 was a re-make a Gujarati hit play – Chitkaar with Sujata Mehta in the lead. Film director N. Chandra bought its rights and made it in Hindi retaining Sujata Mehta as its heroine. The movie has a high voltage theme depicting the common man’s fright against politicians. It showed how a politician disrobes the heroine on the main road and people standing watch mutely the shameful deed. Later the heroine takes her revenge by gathering strength and joins politics to beat the corrupt politicians in the election. But the politician uses muscle power and does booth capturing to win illegally. Angered by the height of malpractice the heroine kills the minister in a public gathering and surrenders herself. The movie was a big hit. Similarly, Rekha in the film Phool Bane Angaray (1991) played the role of a cop who takes revenge against a political leader who kill her husband.
Amitabh Bachchan‘s Main Azaad Hoon (1989) was written by Javed Akhtar in which he exposed how media baron use ‘sensation’ as a mean to sell newspaper! The film showed how an opportunist journalist entices an unemployed youth called Azaad to commit suicide and awake government to give jobs for unemployment. However, later Azaad foresees the politics of the media and hence gathers public support to fight against corruption and all evil present in society and commits suicide on 26 January from a 30 story building for the national cause.