The heyday of Indian cinema, characterized by melodious socials and melodramas that elevated actors and actresses to household names, began during the post-independence era.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the focus shifted to the actors, who were not only well-paid but also went on to launch their own businesses.

Reform movies also had their moment, particularly Jagte Raho by Raj Kapoor, which followed a gullible Yokel’s accidental unveiling of the honorable but antisocial residents of a sizable colony.

The introduction of video and cable television in the late 1980s caused box office receipts to decline, but the industry persevered with a strength that surprised many.