Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Farce of the Weak

Jo Bole So Nihaal is such a bad film it wouldn’t have run in many theatres beyond this week. It could manage to draw marginal crowds for a couple of weeks only because of the controversies surrounding it. Now the film has been withdrawn from most cinemas across the country. The reason: a bomb blast in once cinema hall in Delhi showing this film. The other blast occurred in a multiplex, playing at least four different films at that time, Jo Bole… was just one of them.

Even the police do not blame the explosions on this film. Some Sikh religious bodies, angry at some scenes in the film, did protest against it. Some suggested cuts, which were agreed to. But no one with a semblance of sanity would believe that the explosions were a result of that. It’s a lunatic fringe that does such things. They are in every religion.

Though Rahul Rawail’s Jo Bole… is no work of art. I am all for his right to tell his story on screen and off it. Loonies don’t like freedom of expression. Bajrang Dal attacks M.F. Husain for one painting. Vishwa Hindu Parishad makes sure Meera Nair can’t film her Water. Some Muslims insist that a certain Salman Rushdie book is banned. And what do we do? We give in every time. That makes them stronger. They start believing they can suppress what they don’t approve of.

There is another lousy horror film getting off the projector because of lack of audience. It’s called Naina. An organisation of eye specialists in the country petitioned in a court that the film be stopped because it didn’t show the reality about vision. And now suppose, there is a blast in cinema hall showing Naina. Shall we blame the doctors? Should the film be withdrawn?

“Jaao aur jaakar Gabbar se keh dena, Ramgarh waalon ne kutton ke saamne roti rakhna band kar diya hai,” Thakur tells Gabbar’s henchmen Kaaliya and gang in Sholay. That was Thakur’s way of saying: “Enough is enough. We will not give in to this extortion.”

It's time we gathered some mass in our spine and said: EFF O, you lousy lunatics.


Mee said...

"We give in every time"..Pusillanimous, we? Yes, a male-dominated pusillanimous society of ours, which has no sense of history because it never wants to recall it. Probably because Indians are losers in history, always smothered by the invaders. In fact, the blame has to go to the history. The much talked about tolerance has made us obsequious in the course. The habit to be under some or the other kind of dictatorship, which comes under the veil of distorted democracy, comes naturally to us. This feeds the lunatic fundamentalists we never oppose or say 'NO' to..

On a different note: Freedom of speech and expression is the often used plea to defend vulgarity in cinema..Look at this generation..it knows pamela anderson and condom much before it learns how to walk..Does cinema/filmmakers have a social responsibility?

Kamakaze said...

Rimjhim: First, thanks for posting. Filmmakers have as much social responsibility as the rest of us; authors, singers, historians, politicians, journalists, and the neighbourhood chatwallah. And vulgarity has to be rejected by the majority, not the loony minority. I hate vulgarity but would defend David Dhawan’s right to be vulgar (to twist that famous quote). While I too expect filmmakers to be responsible, but in case they don’t, I do not want some Togadia to punish him. I would rather law doing that. Irresponsible of vulgar films are dangers we know, but this mob censorship has unknown dangers. Every one has his/her own definitions of vulgar. What was vulgar 10 years ago is no longer vulgar today. I am a Hindu but Husain’s Saraswati didn’t hurt my religious feelings. Bajrang Dal claimed it did. Who does one believe?

Kamakaze said...

Rimjhim: I remember one loser's sher that somehow makes a virtue of our defeatist, fatalist journey through history.

Log kehte hain Hindustan ne koi jang nahin jeeta
Sach yeh hai ke hum se kisi ko haarte dekha nahin jaata

I laughed my head off as the poet went on, head held high.

And then there's this guy in Hyderabad called Ghaus Khwamkhwah. I love his Deccani Urdu style. Here's one from him:

Apne desh mein kyaan ki mitti sonaa-chaandi kab uglii ji

kaaykuu jhuutHi baataN kar rahe, kuchh bhii nahiiN hai kyaa bhi nahiiN hai

We have to look objectively at our history and understand how we were left behind as newer civilisations like Europe and America went past us. That will not happen until we believe that our history is distorted to make us look the greatest nation on earth.

Then an objective look at the future. With confidence that we can make it and the will to make it. I see a lack of will all over the place, more so in places that need it most: Politics and bureaucracy.