Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Rang de Basanti

This one is I-Day Special. It all started quite some time ago when I read this post by greatbong. Do read it first to be in coherence. Since I read this post, I have had some thoughts and I even discussed some of it with few friends. I think its time to put my point of view.

What connects “shooting politicians” with “rubbing against Mallika” is that they are both fantasies. While many a director have realized that the way to make a quick buck is to pander to the second fantasy, there have been comparitively few that have realized the potential of playing up to the first.

I agree. I never thought in these terms before, but yes, movies are about selling emotions and fantasies. And contrary to whatever the elderly has to say about aajkal ke bacche, I believe that patriotism is as strong an emotion as ... say ... love. And solving all problems of India would be a fantasy to a lot of us. No wonder when you see something similar on screen, you are bound to get emotional. So where's the fault in that?

Now for the other part. I ask - What is inspiration? Inspiration is an idea that you see which you never saw before. Its something that makes you start thinking in this new direction. Is there anything I can do to make mine and other lives easier? Its a switch from cribbing about problems to thinking about a solution.

I agree that the movie doesn't provide a solution. It can never, as there is no single problem. There are hundreds of problems, starting from an auto rickshaw driver asking for too much money to bomb blasts in Mumbai. But is there anything I can do about it. Maybe I can't. But atleast I'll think over it.

If a common man watches Rang de Basanti and comes out saying that he'll go and kill all the politicians, I don't think he has been inspired at all. Its just an hysteria that in all probability will die down in a few days. Inspiration would be if he finds out that he might have able to get the road of his colony repaired by filing a Right to Information Application.

When blogspot was blocked in India, I myself consulted a lawyer if there was anything I could do about it. I finally didn't do anything as the ban was lifted in a few days. Even if the ban had not been lifted, I might well have not done anything due to "high lawyer fees, too much trouble, external pressures or whatever excuse". But atleast I took the first step. I became Aware.

Are you aware of your rights? When you crib about a problem, did u ever think if anything can be done? It might well be that there is nothing you can do today, but down the line, there might be a time when you CAN do something, and don't hesitate when that time comes. Be Aware, Be Active. No need to remember how many people died in Jaliawala Bagh, no need to know who Bhagat Singh was, just open your eyes, see around and think if there is anything you can do make your own life easier.

And while the security checks this independence day doesn't make me feel that independent (I know I am cribbing but I know there is nothing I can do about it), I wish you all Happy Independence Day :-)


  1. Which is great :-) ... Writing a blog is certainly a good way to spread awareness ... I'll wait for that post.

  2. hey....agreed to whatever u n greatblog say..... n i m not a RDB fan either( thou music was good)...but in the end d question remains tht is awareness without any action useful????....isn't it equivalent to actually nothing....i personally think tht knowing a problem and solving a problem are two completely different things.....n d person who solves the problem is d one REALLY aware of it!

  3. I agree that awareness without action is equivalent to actually nothing. But there are hundreds of problems and if you are aware of lot many of them, chances are that you might do some action for few of them.
    Awareness is the first step. You can't solve every problem, but once you get into the mode of thinking, you might realize that there are some issues where you might be of help.
    We all know the problems we face in day to day life. We need to think of the solutions and then see whether we can implement that solution, and if we can, we should.

  4. Hi Sanjay,

    I came across this blog through your comments on GreatBong. And I absolutely agree that our responsibility as bloggers is to make people _aware_. But thats exactly what the movie RDB aims to do as well. Motivate the masses and make them aware.. not only of their rights but also of their responsibilites to spread awareness.

    I have penned my thoughts about the movie at http://kiransreviews.blogspot.com/2006/08/rang-de-basanti.html

  5. Bang on target Kiran. You have actually summarized my post with this comment.
    I didn't know there were other bloggers with similar sentiments about RDB and awareness. I'll check out your and Rahul Prasad's post soon and give my comments.