As for the customary weekend discussions, I was having the usual one with Chaitanya Emani and Pravin Dhake at one of our homes. This is the time when everything wavers from junk to something sensible and back to the junk world. So, we were talking about this new movie that was released in India. It is critically acclaimed in the west, east, north and south, except of course at the center, rather at the mainland, where the movie is filmed. Your guess is as good as mine, it is slum dog..errr..dash millionaire. Confusing, eh?
Hindu Jan Jagriti Samiti, a name never heard of before, is fighting for the fundamental rights of the slum dwellers. Why? Because, dog is a bad word. Let us quote this guy verbatim,
“We request that please change the name of the film to Slum dash Millionaire or Slum dash Crorepati. Dog is a bad word,” says a Corporator from Mumbai, Nicholas Almeida.
So, Emani quipped, "What the hell is wrong with these guys man? Dog is a bad word. Coming from a cricketing nation, this really sucks. We have been the perennial underdogs for the last quarter of a century. So, should we find another term to substitute the equivalence of underdogs."
We are not concerned about the eradication of poverty, India as such, is still living in a state of denial regarding the global economic meltdown, and thanks to a few unknown organizations, the headline grabbers are still concerned about the trivialities.
If all this is not enough, Amitabh Bacchan, one of the many talkative Bacchans, has to comment about the western perception of India. Yeah, right, the whole world is trying to understand what India is all about through a single movie. If this is how people in the west are going to be influenced, we should care least about such opinion. If we apply the same logic to some of the critically acclaimed Hollywood movies, then US should get scandalized for anything and everything. What about a movie like Departed, where the underworld mafia is brutally exposed.
What does Amitabh Bacchan mean by saying that some of the other Indian movies should have won Oscars? I hope he is not referring to movies like the one where he commutes to work in his private jet, in a setting based in a lavish castle in England.
Let's focus on what is important today, instead of worrying about which lady is spending her evening at a pub, or which movie is offending the ever offendable organizations. Every political leader wants to come out with a statement about how pubbing is against the Indian culture. Who are these specimens to define what is in the interests of the Indian culture? Just allow people to lead their lives, and you should concentrate on your job, instead of receiving birthday gifts running to crores of rupees.
I don't want to crib about the idiosyncrasies of the Indian society on a Sunday morning, but what hurts most is how our society has to withstand opinions from a bunch of people with inflated egos and absolutely no commitment to the society.