this is some thing...
‘ JO AB BHI NAA KHAULA KHOON TUMHARA, YEH KHOON NAHI PANI HAI
JO DESH KE KAAM NA AAYE WO BEKAAR JAWAANI HAI’
RANG DE BASANTI!!!
An emotion strong enough to rouse the dead! And it took a movie to wake us up! It’s a pity really… but the fact that we’ve finally woken up and are doing some thing, speaks volumes. ‘Rang De Basanti’ has brought about a revolution despite some disillusioned humans calling it crap… well let them go to hell! For RDB is unlike any other movie in the past. Yes, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra might have goofed up in the technicalities associated with film-making but he got one thing right… the only thing that mattered. What he wanted to convey to this nation of hypocrites, he conveyed with an unknown and unheard of conviction and sense. Sitting there with that stupid grin on your face won’t do you any good! RDB almost cries out, begs for radical and innovative change in the way people think and communicate. I’ll give to you two aspects of the India that exists today…. You’ll be amazed at how much you know of it already...
Phenomenal growth, a bullish economy, breakthrough movies, a technology blitzkrieg, Brand India… This is probably the sentiment that reverberates in every nook of this vast country. Younger and younger people are driving this surge in India’s fortunes, catapulting it in the league of world’s largest economies. Even as we study about how the market in the U.S has saturated and how China is zipping ahead at a dizzying growth rate, a precocious young man in India desperately tries to outdo his own self again and again, till he’s exhausted beyond his wildest senses. And this I guess is only the tip of the iceberg for Indians in every corner of the globe.
Talking of the India of today, it is rather painful and arduous to relive those history chapters. India today is a pivot for south-east Asia, indispensably maintaining the delicate balance of power in this part of the world. Wedged between hostile neighbors like Pakistan and China, which I must say have softened seeing India rapid ascent, India today is not far from reclaiming the long estranged title of the golden bird. Indian industries are self-proclaimed MNC’S today spending lavishly on advertising and acquiring businesses left, right and center. Film-makers in this land of dreams have suddenly embraced experimentation and for once, original stories (well, some of them at least). Technical institutes and research organizations have never had it so good. And the bureaucracy, despite its chinks, has its own share of stalwarts, even best-selling authors in their fold. All of this takes me back to a slogan (more of a rant it was than a slogan) on which NDA had pinned its hopes… At that point in time people rubbished and pilloried the NDA for being impractical. Who was to know that it’d turn out to be a prophecy that is steadily coming true. India is indeed glowing if not shining and the crystal orb suggests that the glow is not an ephemeral halo, but a sign for the future. This is actually just one side of the coin..
There was a time when India was the Golden Bird, until a storm of colonialism and imperialism ravaged and wasted this country. It was almost thrown to the wolves and then a ray of light appeared, dissipating the pall of uncertainty just enough for this country to live again. And then wars were fought, innocent lives disappeared in the unfathomable depths of a bloody ocean. Wars still continue to be waged, within the land and within minds. A dozen Godhras and blood-curdling genocides have since devastated homes and lives… and blood still refuses to cease. Then there are politicians and babus who make the headlines every day today for some scandal or the other and are promptly lost under layers of dust-ridden footage and files if the poor soul has enough money! And then there is another India (yes, its clichéd but effective nevertheless), which pulsates and vibrates with the rapid growth. A media that is responsible even though it is flawed and shrouded in controversy forever. Shrewd businessmen have only just realized that there is some thing more powerful than the belligerent government, it’s the media! The comparisons and the list of descriptions of the new India and the India of the old are epic-material… even miles of paper is just insufficient to chronicle the downfall and rise of a land christened after the colossal river INDUS.
The other India is sadly a culvert, a filthy gutter flowing beneath all the gloss and shine. Its about people who still don’t have access to drinking water and food. I talk of those who live in unthinkable poverty, those whose cries are still drowned in the roar of urban traffic, and those who sleep on railway platforms, at bus-stands.
The emotion portrayed and depicted in RDB isn’t only about celebrating the urban India and its zillion success-stories where every other person is a millionaire today. It’s not only about defeating corruption but the several other inadequacies and rooting out gangrene. It’s about changing how people feel for each other. It’s about sensitivity and most of all about passion, for the country and for fellow citizens. In the daily grind we seem to forget that we are essentially humans who are slowly resorting to inhuman behavior. RDB is a celebration of life and its sad that people are confusing it with mindless jingoism. It inspires you to do what you’re supposed to do for the society. Since the very first standard in school we’ve learnt about change and how badly it is needed, but never have we been told so forcefully by any medium how to bring about a change. In RDB, the director takes the liberty of mixing the past and present. He uses past heroes, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Suhkdev as metaphors and every effectively so. Each one of us has a bit of all three heroes vested in him/her since birth as an inheritance and it’s only a matter of invoking the passion that bubbled in them.
I feel greatly relieved that I was able to shed this burden finally. A film which has jolted us from deep slumber can be no ordinary film. If ‘DIL CHAHTA HAI’ redefined conventional and traditional film-making (again a revolution), RDB finishes an unfinished task of rousing the conscience of millions of youngsters across the country and also indifferent elders. RDB is a lesson in history, a lesson that yearns for India and its youth to dream.
Yes…there are flaws to be ironed out. And cynics have nothing better to do that rip apart such dreams into shreds the size of underwear. Shut them up! Shoot them at sight! Do whatever to keep these maniacs at bay… I think most of us should be satisfied even if this India doesn’t progress at 15%… we should be glad that the elusive Sunrise has finally broken the horizon and the first rays have just struck this great nation…