Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A realization and an apology!

The euphoria about 'Gandhigiri' had initially turned me off!

I am one of those who firmly believe that media has got yet another buzzword to fill the bulletins and telecast 'specials' about.

And as I have understood over the years that there is no buzzword more powerful than that given by a superhit movie. Afterall it's a win-win scenario. The movie rises above its reel life and aquires a halo as we are force-fed the fact that movie has its significance in real life as well. And as we watch the news channel mesmerised by the movie and at times the stars who are appearing on news channels as much as (well almost!) movies, someone counting the channel TRP grins wider.

The euphoria about 'Gandhigiri' had initially turned me off. Initially!

But now I have realized that I am getting a clearer picture of whole issue.

As much the news channels and their analysts claim that Gandhi has been reinvented by the movie 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' and 'Gandhigiri' is going to reinforce his values among society, I believe:

1) The sudden spurt of news and 'impacts' of Gandhigiri are not actually new: Any news about demonstration against injustice which was a drab 'aandolan' or 'protest' till the other day is now presented with a chuckle as an instance of 'Gandhigiri'. Is Satyagraha new to this country? For any protest Indians take the tried and tested path of peaceful protests (read sloganeering which occasionally gets violent!) or civil disobedience which is nothing but strike. Candle marches started by 'Rang De Basanti' is just another variant of peaceful protests. So isn't any 'Gandhigiri' headline, about protests, is not just a way to grab eyeballs? (I was very much tempted to use Gandhigiri in title for this blog also!)

2) Media has got a very unidimensional view of Gandhi's policies: Was Gandhi only about non-violence? I agree that preaching non-violence and propagating its virtues in the world was the core of his ideology and that this is most relevant in today's world divided on numerous lines. But what about his ideas about truth, honesty and religious tolerance? Are these values too outdated to be even considered? Then why do these values seem to be untouched by 'Gandhigiri' movement?

Perhaps this is the time to glorify these values as well.

Finally, it's time for an apology. To a man who could have made his way in history had he lived a little longer. A politician who resigned from the post of railway minister after a train accident claiming it was his responsibility. A Prime Minister who lead India from the front during a war and belied his physique with his governance.

There was no mention of Lal Bahadur Shastri's birthday on Oct 2nd, even in the news scrollers of news channels. Afterall there is no 'Shatrigiri' in any movie!


Neha Bhardwaj said...

nice blog but i don't know...i haven't understood why you are feeling bad...what you have said is right but i guess the fact that bollywood has now started producing commercially successful movies which are affecting our society in a positive way is a good thing in itself...and you know media yaar they make something out of nothing...so here atleast we can be happy that even media is projecting the issue of Gandhigiri in a big way (which is anyday better than mika-rakhi kiss issue)...hope that helps in moulding the youth of our society in a positive way...and i agree with you that Lal Bahadur Shastri wasn't even given a mention which is bad and belive me even Gandhiji wouldn't have liked that he overshadowed Shastriji ;-))

ubuntu said...

Hi abhishek...
i agree that we are forgetting shastriji...but i believe this movie has opened forgotten gates of ghandhigiri ...today's generation needs an eye opener to realise things ...
bravo !!!!