(This post was first published in my other blog Past, Present and Me)
Rarely has a movie been so readily accepted by me without any reservations as “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” has. I don’t remember a film that sends a message across so eloquently without being sermonous or making you feel guilty. With the laugh-a-minute joke fest and the excellent chemistry between Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi, it fools you into believing that you are watching an out and out comedy film. The fact that the movie actually deals with history and its application in the present and the fact that it almost makes you believe its possible just whizzes past you for the couple hours of the movie. You sit there as the protaganist tries to convince people to take the gandhian approach towards solving their problems through his radio show, while in the back of your mind you are going “yeah, like that is going to work”. Yet, you find yourself rooting that the approach works and end up with a jerky smile on your face when it actually does. So, when a man calls in to complain about a neighbor who thinks its ok to spit outside his door every morning, your first instinct is to pick up a fight with a neighbor, if you were in his place. Yet, you find the protaganist asking him to calmly clean up the spit in front of the offender. This goes on for quite a few days, before finally one day, the neighbor doesn’t spit, raises a hand in apology and leaves. The solution so simple yet effective, solves the problem, keeping the man’s dignity and teaching a thing or two in dignity to the offender. For some one like me, who was born in an independent India and sat through history lessons wondering whether the Mahatma would have been as successful in this present day and age, it was an excellent presentation of how it could be applied in today’s life. Considering the popularity of the movie and the buzz that ‘Gandhigiri’ created, it seemed like everybody thought so, too. Apparently, not so.
A vandalisation of a statue, two trains, hundred of other buses burnt and crores of rupees lost down the drain later, we are back to square one and any sembelance of dignity has been shattered. After reading all of that, the next news headline talking about possibilty of more 7/11 type bombings in bombay fails to faze me. While it really sent me into quite a rage when it happened, now I have a different view. See, Mr. Terrorist, don’t bother. While our strive to achieve self-reliance has lagged in certain sectors, when it comes to ruining our country, we can pretty much do it ourselves, thank you very much. Aren’t you proud of what we have achieved post-independence, Baapu?
Now that I have shared my frustration and anger, I am going to do what every body else did, snuggle up to a cup of chai and read why Aishwarya is going to marry a tree.