Tuesday, July 17, 2007


by Roto Chobin

Recently I saw a Bollywood flick ‘Dhoom 2’ at my friend’s home. The film didn’t appeal to me much as the entire scene seemed to be adapted from some Hollywood action movie. But one thing that struck my mind was: most of the cast was son of the established film star, director and producer. They linger on at the silver screen even after giving almost a dozen of flop film. And it made me think - how many people are there in the world that gets number of chances despite their repeated failure to make something big. Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan along with many other film star children might be biting the dust like any one of us if it is not for their influential father and very friendly page 3 journalists as most of their films were below mediocre. For the people as wretch as us, opportunity knocks only once in our lifetime. And the darned adversity would not just allow us to open the door also while it knocks. In spite of their good education from abroad, these kids of yesteryear film star choose acting career. Do they think they cannot compete academically with the rest of the youth? As for the Indian film industry, perhaps, seventy percent of the Bollywood films are shot at foreign location. So, the exchequer goes definitely to the offshore inducing the rich to become richer.

In sports, it was Sachin Tendulkar who became the apple of journalist eye a few years ago, after that Sania Mirza was treated like a centre-piece and now Dhoni. Every time I turn on TV, a film star or cricketer will be seen endorsing a product from gutkha to hair oil to underwear. And the unethical journalists are so happy to beam their spotlight at these not-so-important sport and film star as if they have bagged gold medal for country from Olympic. There are so many unsung heroes who silently work and garner gold for country but went unnoticed without publicity.

Traditionally, journalists are supposed to play as a role of social critics – exposing the abuses. On the contrary; they are fervidly feeding us the news of affluent class who, in turn, manipulates them to get cheap publicity. By the way, aren’t they instigating the mass to become superstitious by showing the influential people performing pujas and Havan Kund who would do at any given opportunity? News channel like Star News, Aaj Tak, and Zee News are all alike – content of news item, presentation, everything save for the name and their logo. Sometimes, they would go too far that they would invade and jeopardize the private lives of citizen. I still remember the case of Gudiya which was some sort of scoop for these news channels a year ago. The story of Gudiya was that she married a soldier who was stationed at Kargil during Indo-Pak skirmishes and went missing. Gudiya thought her husband died at the conflict and remarried another man. But her former husband came back. So the news channel, who was reporting this news, want us to SMS them and decide for Gudiya with whom she should stay. It was indeed utterly sickening. Do we really have to decide what one should do and one shouldn’t do with lives of other? And in print media, the two most popular news magazines in India are - India today and outlook. Again it appears to me as one person is managing these two magazines. I see no reason why I should buy both magazines when everything is similar. I’ll spare the detail anyway. In short, we could say that media, be it a print or electronic, are alpha and omega of news/article related to urban, its dwellers, and their grievances, and the stories that fascinate them.

If I loathe any, more than anyone else, it is a politician. I wish they could satiate themselves with the things they have been indulging themselves for so long – Money and Power, Whore and Sex, and leaving the people alone so that the fellow citizen may not partake in the communal riots charter by them, as in Godhra events. And after the Godhra incident, even a photograph of Narendra Modi that frequently appears in a magazine or newspaper irks me. Had I been in Narendra Modi’s place when Godhra incident took place, I would look like a corpse today – filled with remorse and repentance. But, strangely enough, he seems to be in perfect health. Then there’s Mr. Tony Blair, PM of UK, who fanned the flame of WMD and let Mr. George Bush Jr. loose to wage war on small country and, as a result, Mr. George Bush Jr. who will always be known in history for killing thousand and thousand of innocent people for oil and experimenting their high-tech military weaponry on weak countries. And these two modern days Adolf Hitler (Modi and Bush) are the product of much hyped “the two largest democratic countries”. It was some sort of funny to me when US embassy refused to grant visa to Mr. Modi because one despot thinks that the other despot is more harmful. The majority of Indian population may not be well-educated, but I would like to think that the Americans are not. How could they elect a fascist as representatives who can send their country to the gallows? Are they fool? I guess the America had most probably fooled the world once already by announcing that the Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. Considering the technology back then in 1969 and the problem face by engineer and technician at present day, wear and tear of vehicle while launching and repair of the space shuttle by astronaut et al, it’s becomes literally impossible to draw inference that any men could set foot on the moon when there’s so many difficulty in launching the vehicle into space today. Furthermore; in thirty eight years since Apollo 11, the America couldn’t repeat the saga again whereas it could be a piece of cake for them if they had really sent a man on the moon.

Whether a men and women may have been sent on the moon, on the mars or the sun, it doesn’t make much difference to the ordinary people. When we can’t handle the problems encompassing earth viz., global warming, so why should we bother about the space mission. Former US vice-president Al Gore has been apprising the people about the global warming through his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth – a Film on Global Warming. Suppose that Mr. Al Gore is elected as US president in the co
ming presidential election, would he sign the Kyoto Protocol then? A likely story, eh? There’s not even one country in this whole world that is selflessly ready to prepare a meal and serve it to other. On the contrary, everyone wants to be served on a silver platter. Let’s forget about the global warming as we cannot stop ourselves from emitting carbon dioxide excessively. So, let’s suffer and face the Armageddon together. But, I hope, we can certainly stop the fundamentalist for vandalizing property willfully. The hooliganism carried out by Hindu fundamentalist at Star News Office in Mumbai was indeed unfortunate for democratic country. Moreover; a group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) storming into Chandra Mohan’s exhibition at M.S.University in Vadodara and vandalizing it deliberately was a sheer attack to the Indian constitution. In addition, there are many who were spanked by the communal forces viz., M.F.Hussein, Aamir Khan, Deepa Mehta, to name a few. Whenever dire incidents occur, a small number of people reluctantly comes forward and opposed the act of radicalism but the voice usually dies down after a month. However, Can we prevent such radicalism? Or, are we loving it? – like the tag on fast food company McDonald says.

Karl Marx said, “Religion… is the opium of the people.” It sounds perfectly a sound argument to me. The people are absurdly swearing, splurging, fighting and killing in the name of God and their religion. What will happen to them if they will learn that there’s neither heaven nor hell. Even a God doesn’t exist. Whatever the priest in temple, the clergyman in church, and the people who read namaz five times a day are doing is all in vain. And that we are merely a component of earth. Will the people like Amitabh Bachchan cease to believe that the priest could control the planet and the solar system by chanting few mantras? Whatever the fact may be, the biggest miracle on earth is that the human beings reside in a thatch house while the God have concrete houses with marble floor and stained glass window.


  • anon_tanii_gal

    Brilliantly written Chobin.I agree a lot with you said but I sense a lot of aggression though. Todays materialistic society need to change.People need to change .Blind pursuit of material wealth and power may make peoples lives easier but ultimately does it really make anyone happy ?Do they have peace of mind ? Definitely NOT .Corrupt Politicians ,Actors , Religious Fundamentalists,hooligans may come and go but ultimately people need to realise that they have to maintain their own principles ,integrity and morality to have peace of mind and be happy.The change has to come from within ones own person.

  • Diganta

    I understand your ideology and have sympathies too. But, I am afraid we can't have a better solution than democracy. Japan has re-emerged after Atom Bomb attacks. They also follow democracy. After all, politicians are representing us only, if our societies change, they will also change.

  • ano-tanii-guy

    While it is true to some extent that our politicians are our mirrors it is not always the case:

    eg Singapore was a lawless den of pirates and smugglers which the Malaysians detached from their country to rid themselves of this pestilence--and look where their leaders took them.
    Chinese in China and Chinese in Taiwan--look where their leaders took them.
    Socialist India and Post-liberalization India see the change?Same people different policies.
    Anyway the article expresses dismay at the failings of the leaders not at democracy itself.

  • Roto Chobin


    I am sorry for belated reply as I was away from my hometown for almost a month.

    To be very frank, I do not bare my soul usually for pickings and sympathies but to contribute and help in a small way so that the world community may realize and get themselves into better shape. On the contrary, I feel great pity and sorrow for the people who seems to know everything whilst they are actually novice and paralytic.

    I reckon the democracy is a vast subject (and has become a cliché nowadays) as one has to understand and keep in mind the distinction amongst political, social and economic democracy when we use the term democracy. Without social and economic democracy, political democracy is not sufficient and the word democracy becomes a sheer farce. Therefore, a republic cannot be called a democratic republic where the people have rights to vote but no rice. Besides, I didn’t drop a hint in the entire article that the democracy is baneful. But I have always believed that the democracy can be really advantageous. And it will be desirable as long as it is for the people, of the people and by the people. But the grim pictures draw attention to the lacunae in Indian democracy and say that it is an old wives’ tale. As of now, it has limited itself to adult franchise, and it no longer infuses with the spirit of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as it profess in the Indian constitution.

    Japan has re-emerged after the nuclear holocaust because their people wanted to, because they had zeal. They didn’t wait for democracy to change their lives, their societies and their system. Believe it or not, in India, we cast our vote not to change our society but we cast it in a hope that the elected politicians may change our society for us. In the end, it is the demo that includes (perhaps) you and me who generally ushers in autocracy.

Post a Comment