Friday, October 22, 2010

London Calling

Usually I keep off commenting on films. But the movie I saw last night triggered these thoughts. Jhootha Hi Sahi is produced and directed by Abbas Tyrewala. It features John Abraham in a new role (no need to show the body) and showcases Abbas' wife Pakhi (aka Punarnava Mehta) in the lead.
The first question that comes to mind is, "why does this film have to be located in London- what is wrong with any city in India?" Every film that is made today, with the exceptions, has to be either shot in New York or London. It used to make sense in the past- novelty factor. But today it is unnecessary and repetitive. The only reason one can think of is: the film was made keeping in mind the Indian diaspora (add to that Pakistani).
The other problem with this film is the forced integration of Indians and Pakistanis. Film makers are falling over backwards to somehow squeeze into their main theme the issue of Indo-Pak relations. The bonhomie between the two countrymen (and women) looks contrived to the point of being obnoxious. And these points are over and above the bad story line and some ham acting.
John Abraham is in a role similar to Shah Rukh Khan's character Surinder in 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi'. As expected John has overdone the simple, down to earth role and it does not suit his personality.
The first day, night show, had hardly 30 people watching the movie. Even with John appearing on all possible reality shows, it will require a miracle to rescue this movie which has a weak foundation and very shallow pillars on which it is constructed.
And before I forget, the danger in taking up a serious issue like Suicide Hotline is immense when handled in a frivolous manner. The whole relationship rests on the basis of trust and if that is violated it could worsen the situation. A commercial film is a wrong medium to deal and further knowledge about such a delicate and sensitive issue.
Overall, there was a feeling of being cheated out of Rs. 150/- for a below average fare.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Saffron State

So the BJP government (the first in south India) has survived for the day. The last ten days have been a roller coaster ride for the political representatives in the state. First, the group of dissidents took off to Chennai and from there hopped from one place to another and finally ended up back in Chennai. Reminds one of the Gujarat political scene where Shankar Singh Vaghela took on the BJP Chief Minister Patel by leading a group of dissidents from one resort to another. In that case the government was brought down and Vaghela become the Chief Minister. In our case, HD Kumaraswamy hoped to replicate that model, but has not succeeded, yet.
Politicians have only one Dharma- to hang on to power. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Politicians claim that they want to get into power to better our lives- they end up bettering their own. Power is today the panacea for all problems. Dodging court cases to amassing wealth to fight elections and in the present scenario induce legislators with cash becomes easy with power.
Finally, we the people are witness to high drama (thanks to the electronic media) and things are back to normal (for the politicians), we move on and unfortunately forget the lessons. We keep looking to the courts to solve all our problems. The ballot is the only answer to the political farce that is played out in the name of governance. It is the only fear that politicians will take seriously. Look at where Lalu and Paswan are today after the people taught them a lesson. Can we expect the people of Karnataka to take the bull by the horn?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hey Ram

the tension and the anxiety that preceded the verdict in the property suit dispute pertaining to the Ayodhya Babri Masjid site has given way to debate and discussion. many views are being expressed on the decision- some hailing it as historical, while others criticizing it for being shoddy. whatever be your view on this much delayed verdict, the issue has not vanished or will in the near future.
the issue is more than the temple or masjid to begin with. on one hand it is an assertion that this land is basically a hindu country and the people belonging to this faith will have to be considered first. on the other hand, the muslim community has been trying to accept India as their country- a sense of belonging will come from the acceptance of the muslims as citizens who have the same rights as others. so the same land stands for two different things- for the hindus, a reiteration that india is their country and for the muslims that india can be their country also. in other words, the judgment was supposed to deliver justice to indians and in that sense has failed the very basic foundation of the constitutional law- law should be administered equally, irrespective of caste, religion and ethnicity.
another opportunity has been lost in the name of national reconciliation. injustice cannot be the basis for forcefully integrating the communities. there will never be justice if it is not seen to be delivered fairly. it is nice to reconcile that there was no other option before the judges- divide the land into two- 2/3rds for the hindus and 1/3 for the muslims. feels so much like our reservation policy based on population division. both cannot camouflage the injustice that is inherent in the policies.