Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Shaurya Conundrum...

I want to write about two things today. So I’ll take up the shorter one first.

Why is that most of the blogs I read are stuck on the same post whenever I go there? I’m not talking about blogs that are linked through my blog but also a number of other blogs I read. And I cannot imagine that there is a Writer’s Block epidemic sweeping across the earth. So come on people, get your act together. When we click on your link we expect, nay demand, fresh content. (Yes, mine hasn’t been updated for a long time because I’ve been a bit busy. Ok fine, the writer’s block disease hit me too)

Right, so with that out of the way we can get on to the meat of the post.

RB and I had gone to see Shaurya ( ) this Sunday.

[About the movie – Pretty good. Excellent work by Kay kay Menon. Worth a watch but the warning is that its heavily inspired by ‘A Few Good Men’ ( ) (remember “I WANT THE TRUTH!!” – “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH” exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson?). Still it is a very good movie and though the premise may be the same I think it is way more relevant here]

Anyway, RB was of the opinion that such movies should not be shown to the public because it takes potshots at the only bastion that people respect, the army.

Now I have two arguments against this, one is generic and one more specific.

Any censorship, whatever may be the supposed reason, is wrong. It pre-supposes that the ‘authority’ is in any way smarter and wiser than the people. And that is against the basic tenets of democracy. Democratic charter is based on the fact that all people are equal and have a role to play and a stake in how they are governed. Any authority that goes against this premise is exposing itself to a grey area which can eventually lead to confused thinking which gives a foot in the door to dictatorship and autocracy. I know that this may sound a bit extreme but an avalanche has to start somewhere.
The trend of protesting against movies, books, plays for obscure reasons is very disquieting and may well be the harbinger of worse things to come. If this continues, who knows one day all dissenting and original thinking voices shall be smothered in the path of everyone being coerced into one way of thinking that the people in power feel is right (for them?).

Specific: I agree totally that the army is the last bastion of reverence and respect for the people of this country, especially with the way the politicians behave (Yes, all those who are absolutely apalled and disgusted by the current ridiculous linen washing going on in Uttar Pradesh raise your hands!) . Kids, who have not yet grown up to cynicism, still feel their hearts aflutter when the Republic Day parade goes by with battalions marching and majestic weapons of defence on display.

But is that a good enough reason to hide sordid and grisly aspects of it? Any position that gives power over others and a gun in your hand would automatically tend to bring out the worst in some weak people. Bullies are not just restricted to the school playground – some of them may also become sadists who enjoy giving pain. And with a gun, infront of people with non-existant legal recourse, with the backing of their seniors and prejudice in their heads, who knows what ghastly crimes they can do. (Have you read “Lord of the Flies” ( )? That’s a book that I still don’t understand whether I like or not. The premise of the author is that intrinsically all people are bad and it is only the veneer of civilization that prevents savagery from emerging. In the book a group of boys land up in a situation where man-made civilization doesn’t exist and the group starts spiraling down towards their so called base behavior.)

Anyway, I feel that banning a medium of expression is not correct even if its against a pillar of society. All pillars get termites with time and we can either ignore them and wait for the pillar to hollow out and collapse or accept the problem and try to solve it. Respect and faith are very important but it is essential to ensure that the basis of both is strong.

And now to counter balance the rather serious nature of this post:

Why did Ravan faint when he went to a pub?
‘coz it said Rs. 1500 per head



Ritwik Bisaria said...

Then what makes you say "Shit" when Aajtak shows a guy jumping off the track in front of a speeding train? ;-)

Swapnil said...

huh? Didn't get what you're saying. I say shit for the horror at his stupidity, not because I admire or respect his bravery.