Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Tamasha is Fight (Club) to follow inner self

Still from Tamasha 
Looking at the trailer of this movie I was sure about the beginning of the story - a corporate guy (I prefer to call it an IT guy as I can relate to it) who is bored of his daily routine life of 8 hrs working, parties with colleagues, corporate etiquettes, formal 'how are you?' type questions. To take a break from these things he goes on a vacation (it was not explicitly stated in trailer that whether this vacation was permanent or temporary?). He lands up in the Corsica, an island to the south of France's mainland. This island is another new find by Director(Imtiyaaz Ali) who had earlier shot in several European countries. Frankly speaking this office routine things were too much generalised in this Imtiyaaz Ali's movie. India is different man, here we have more than just individual life. We have institutions of marriage, community, society, religion, politics, cricket, movies etc which will always pressurise the guy or gal to follow routine circus. Anyways, let's jump towards real crux of the movie.

Similarities with some top Hollywood movies of 1990s -
Still from Fight Club (1999)
Movie is ahead of the typical Bollywood movies but it is still far behind the Hollywood movies from which it looks to be inspired. 2 movies which I can directly mention here are Fight Club (1999) and American Beauty (1999). Common thing about these movies is that both of these were released in 1990s American times when corporate routine was making life of upper middle class strata of society quite more than bored. American Beauty portrays frustration coming in the life of many characters right from the age group of teenage to mid-life crisis adults. Then, each of the character seeks freedom from this daily American lifestyle. But, Tamasha has more similarity with Fight Club (1999). Fight Club is about an insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, moves into a dilapidated house, forms an underground fight club, pours out all his frustration on the structured society. 
Stills from Fight Club (1999)
Just take a look at the scene when hero shows his insane nature to his boss. How Ved behaves with his boss is very similar to how the hero of fight club does when confronted by his boss over hero's recently changed irresponsible behaviour. This one for me counts as one highpoint as hero discovers himself, finds courage to follow his heart, and is free to do whatever he thinks is right irrespective of the societal pressure. Cheers!

Similarity with Imtiyaaz's earlier movies -
Still from Tamasha 
Another similarity is with earlier movies of Imtiyaaz Ali himself, mostly Jab we met. Deepika's happy go lucky character (like Jab we met's Geet) helps Ved find his inner self.

Some Indian relationship tadka -

So, what are the differences in this Bollywood drama when compared to Hollywood movies from which it looks inspired? As observed in Fight Club, hero finds truth or his inner self by himself but when you come to the reality of Indian movies they will put a character of girlfriend anyhow. They brainstorm really hard on how to put it in or how can they find any other way of adding some songs.

Also, you get to see flavour of 3-idiots in it. Remember the scene where Madhvan convinces his father that his passion lies in wildlife Photography and not in Engineering. Our hero in Tamasha uses some innovative ways to convince his father that for him what Sharma ji thinks hardly matters?

Finding inner self -
Still from Tamasha 
The story is not that unusual but lived by many in our generation of choosing career for merely monetary benefits over career of interest. The person sacrifices his interest where he could give his best and not just be a mediocre person for the rest of life. Point is not to live same year every year until we die. Point taken, but the main fallacy with movie is Imtiyaaz assumes somewhat idealistic situations for this inner self to be discovered like Ved belongs to Upper middle class family, has a high profile job in which offers him all desired luxurious life. It would have been better had Imtiyaaz Ali followed story of that Rickshaw guy too till the end. This would have been helpful to drive a point home that being from lower class doesn't mean you can't follow your talent. Another point Imtiyaaz ignores completely is institution of family. Tell me when was the last time you saw parents not pressurising their child for a marriage after a well settled career. We don't see this pressure being built up on either of Ved or Tara though they have continued with their jobs for 4+ years. Lucky Ved & Tara, I must say.

Ranbir has done some refreshing acting in this one. Also, there's a colourful Corsica, Deepika as well as treat of North Indian folk singing. Don't miss Tamasha if you have enjoyed Imtiyaaz's earlier movies like Jab we met and Rockstar. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Transition of Kejriwal into a seasoned pragmatic politician

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal speaking in monsoon session 2015 of Delhi assembly. Photo is inset is of Kejriwal from 2011-12

I have been watching Arvind Kejriwal's politics since the inception of his pet project Aam Aadmi Party. I have seen him struggling, I have seen him fighting, I have seen him taking battle to the opponents homeground, I have felt his emotional breakdown after people didn't choose his crystal clear non-corruptible politics, I have seen him rise again professionally and finally I have seen him compromising to the certain extent with the political reality of India and its people.

Now, he has secured a mandate and heading a majority government in Delhi. But, people often ignore the experiences this guy had gone through his journey from April-May 2014 until the formation of provincial government in Delhi. He probably seen the heart less nation who is not ready to stand with him firmly on anti corruption issue. So, here came a point when the man had to change his ways. He realised the necessity of some compromises needed to be done in politics. In the process some of the guys like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav who were not willing to diverge even slightly from core issues were sidelined. Meanwhile Delhi govt's advertisement budget is being utilised to promote Kejriwal not just across Delhi but across the major Indian cities via Newspapers ad.

As per the statistics released, till June, 2015 end Kejriwal govt had spent Rs 526 crore which is larger amount than erstwhile Sheila Dixit lead Congress government. Also, one more compulsion in politics is that you fix your party office bearers or volunteers on some govt commissions or authorities. There are around 81 such cases where some posts with healthy emoluments were given to close people, one can cite an example of Delhi Jal Board authority. If you apply strictest rules of integrity and non corrupt behaviour then this behaviour too looks wrong.

Having said all this, one can't deny the fact that slowly but steadily he's fulfilling his promises. From electricity bills, water, expenditure on health, education, marshals for women security to Wifi facility the things are happening smoothly. After fulfilling these promises, Kejriwal has set the stage for one more confrontation with Centre over the Full Statehood to Delhi. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and CPI(M) have come close to anti corruption crusader in the meantime. It is very likely that issue will be raised by CPI(M) and JDU's Sharad Yadav in Rajyasabha in upcoming monsoon session. The thing which JDU and CPI(M) getting in return is the technological, strategic knowledge share by Kejriwal and team which will tell it's future in Bihar elections to be help in September this year.

While Kejriwal is taking on centre and making it a Centre-State issue by creating a perception of attack on cooperative federalism Congress is not able to project opposition to union govt. Yes, Rahul Gandhi had shown some signs of revival but that is no match to expertise of an IITian. If things continue like this it is very likely that we will see a Neo front of AAP, JDU, CPM lead by Mr Kerjriwal going into 2019 battle which is very likely to open the gates of 7 RCR to this man.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Mr Dear Leader, don't try to intrude our private cyber space

Recently one popular leader has launched an Android app to connect to people and I have observed that it asks you permissions to read Wifi connection information, Device ID and call information. If you accept it then you are legally allowing that Leader to use your private information.
Screenshot of mobile screen
before beginning of installation

Everytime you install some android app usually it asks you to accept certain conditions like you are allowing them to use your camera, your GPS location, your call log etc. Once you accept these conditions you are legally allowing someone to use your private data which can be sometimes sensitive. This data can be used to snoop on you. They can even read your Whatsapp conversations if you accept such conditions before installing an app. So, remember to be sure of things before proceeding with app and be double sure in case it comes from a government related person who does have alleged record of ordering snooping on a woman in Bangalore, if you know what I mean ;-)

One more thing, I would like to add at the end. It is an offence, if some govt related person is snooping on you or trying to intrude your private space. It is in violation of the fundamental right to privacy as Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which contains a guarantee of personal liberty and it is obvious that personal liberty also involves the right to privacy.

Let's also look at the latest judgement of Supreme Court of India in which it upheld Right to Privacy. In Ram Jethmalani vs Union of India, 2011 delivered by Justices P. Sathasivam and H.L. Gokhale, it read-
Right to privacy is an integral part of right to life. This is a cherished constitutional value, and it is important that human beings be allowed domains of freedom that are free of public scrutiny unless they act in an unlawful manner…."

So, keep your eyes, ears open to snoopers at the top of the power ladder.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A piece of solace

How do you solve the problem your friend is facing ranging from some philosophical dilemma, relationship issues to depression kind ones. You try to grasp the data, check the authenticity of it and process it. How do you check the authenticity of data?
-You simply look into their eyes for genuineness and some extra data signal bits that you could extract. This is how you perform the steps if more than one person is involved.

But, how do you do it if it is only you and your subconscious and super subconscious left with this problem. Let's try to find a try and error method for it.

Once in a while you have to step up to a mirror, look in your own eyes and try to answer few of the questions that have traumatised your subconscious.

I guess it is one of the way of achieving salvation or may be just a false feeling of salvation atleast.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

When it was the time

When it was the right time you didn't do anything,
Now crying over almost everything

Darkness is a shallow bliss, but one thing is sure that it won't betray you ever at least

Up above the dark sky, is a space of infinity which no one ever wants to explore, unless they are scientists of hardcore

Keep the sorrow of twilight to yourself for there are no takers for it, Everyone is pretending to be human rather when they are just pieces on a Chessboard

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Using casteist politics as per convenience

With the latest instance of IIT Madras a view has formed that those who speak against caste system can't belong to BJP and RSS. Though it is true to some extent but we can't paint everyone in BJP as casteist.

Let's look at composition among other political parties too. For example if we take a look at spectre of all political parties except BSP and Janta Parivar almost all parties have individuals who don't like reservation system including newly formed anti corruption AAP party. It is, I must say I sad thing in Indian political system that no party can claim to be non casteist. Each and every party at some or other time has used caste as per their convenience and accusing others of using caste politics. Let's look at some of the examples -

Indian National Congress - I will cite a recent example of Maratha reservation and Jat reservation given in Maharashtra and North India respectively in the hope to gather votes

BJP - In run upto last 2 phase of General elections 2014, Narendra Modi distorted Priyanka Gandhi's "Neech Rajniti" (Low level politics) statement to play the victim and portray himself as one of the backwards. Here, he said to electorates, they don't like me and call me a "Nichi Jatwala"(Lower caste guy).
A second example is a more recent one where Bihar BJP leaders participated in Kushwaha caste conference. They are trying to appropriate legacy of King Ashok of 3rd century BC as one from Kushwaha community.

AAP - Apart from saying that "I am a Baniya too" and "why are you attacking Agarwal community"(This one was an similar instance to what happened earlier in case of Narendra Modi and Priyanka Gandhi only difference being here Kejriwal played Modi a victim and BJP did a Priyanka by using controversial word like Gotra in their advertisement in newspapers), there is not any big example to cite in their case. It would be interesting to see how they keep themselves away from this phenomenon.

I think, I need not give any example of BSP, SP, AIADMK, Shivsena, RJD etc.

Phtoo credits - DNA 

So, why this happens? It's not that simple to simply blame politicians. Most of them are forced into this because of us. As VN Gadgil, a veteran Congress politician once said, "In India, people don't cast their vote, they vote their castes". This effect is still there though there has been an improvement and if people find a good leader to vote to or a good local Leader, they vote for him irrespective of his community or surname, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Keeping your heroes alive via Twitter

Screenshot of @DrunkVinodMehta's Bio

When I started using Twitter for the first time in 2009, mostly what I saw there was some accounts which will share Movie quotes. Then came an era of political campaign over twitter. But amidst all this one interesting thing I noticed is that, there were accounts of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, Winston Churchill, BhagatSingh as well. These accounts are probably run by the people who admire them and often quote what their heroes said or written at one time in past.

These are the very early heroes but then I saw some accounts of living generational legends like the one of Vinod Mehta which goes by name @DrunkVinodMehta. Within a very shorter time this account got very popular among non BJP group. That account or as we call it handle claims to tweet in the same spirit as Vinod Mehta. In March we received a bad news about Mehta saab's demise but this account still is continuing in the same spirit, with same vigour putting forward views as if they were of Vinod Mehta's once. It makes us feel that Mehta is still alive and writing, speaking. A wonderful feeling it is.

Same can be said of some of other accounts of famous celebrities who are No more but these handles keep their spirit alive in this social media generation.  

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The song which is still relevant in 2015

Ever since the 1947 most of Indian politicians have betrayed trust of common man. This song is from a Marathi movie Sinhasan which was released in 1979. Story unfolds with a journalist covering state's opposition and ruling parties. In the end he feels betrayed as both opposition and ruling groups have joined hands for their greed of power while the real issues of unemployment, poverty, discrimination based on caste/class remains unsolved.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Making separatists corrupt by awarding a role in government

I am writing this blog after the recent controversy about Musarrat Alam took place in the state of Jammu Kashmir. Mufti government which is in alliance with Hindu Nationalist BJP has ordered release of alleged separatist Alam. The Supreme Court had asked state govt why they kept Alam in jail without zero charges.

There is a common Indian conscience on the matter that, any separatist no matter how peaceful he/she is should be jailed and there shouldn’t be any talks held with him/her. BJP is being charged by many that they are playing an opportunist in this whole drama. This is because in the past since birth of RSS, JanSangh days these nationalist people have always opposed any concessions to Kashmiri Separatists, they are opposed to Article 370 which provides JK state with special powers cum status. But, it is known to all that in last decade BJP has softened its idealist stand on many of the core issues because they have realized that what they did in past was just a political compulsion. It's not just BJP but Nation has witnessed the dilution of hardline principle by Shivsena too over the topics of Hindutva, Secularism, Valentine’s Day, Women’s rights, Reservation to backward castes. This only proves that once you are in power you shed your extremist stand to make a wider appeal and it is obvious that no one will invest in your state if you can’t give a riot free, liberal environment.

The country should welcome BJP and PM Modi when they are diluting their earlier hard stand for the so called peace and development of Kashmir valley.

Now, let’s come back to question whether Musarrat Alam should have been released or not?
A common Indian opinion as I have pointed out in my article is against release of separatist. But, people in Delhi should not give commentary on JK is my personal opinion for they don’t know the ground realities of Kashmir. Mufti govt is an elected govt and not any dictatorship, so first of all calling Mufti a pro Pakistani CM is uncalled for.

Flag of Kashmir
How do you stop the insurgency? There can be many solutions to it but Punjab and Nagaland are some of the successful experiments by then Rajiv Gandhi government to stop insurgence and bring to mainstream the rebellions. Solution is bringing rebels into politics. Make them a member of government body. In the best case they will strive to make peace with centre and work for development of region, in worst case they will do the corruption and make some money which is not such a bad case when compared to insurgency. At last they will give up on earlier separatist stand.

Let’s repeat the examples of Nagaland & Punjab in Jammu and Kashmir too. Prime Minister Modi is heading in the right direction. Whether you like it or not but the Kashmir problem will soon be resolved and 2 decades later we would be wondering whether there was any problem at all.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Most beautiful first lady of all time

One and only Jackie Kennedy qualifies for this award. Such a gracious and heart warmening lady she was. She had toured India in 1962. India's relations with Unitettyd States remained smooth until her Husband John F Kennedy was assassinated. After which bilateral relations suffered which got smoothed only after Indian economy was liberalised in 1991 by Dr Manmohan Singh.
Jacqueline Kennedy (32) at Taj Mahal posing for a photo during her visit to India (March, 1962)

Plural flavor of Indian Secularism

I have seen many Indian politicians visiting religious places of all the religions in India. In last few decades we have seen that they have been often criticized by culturally right semi-literate people.
I advice them to take out some time and read some history books on Indian culture right from 4000 BC to today. I bet they will come to know about great tradition of plural culture respected by then Samrat Ashoka and Akbar.

Now, let's come back to current year. I think it is not wrong on part of politician when he visits a religious place, but precaution should be taken by him in a diverse country like India. If you are visiting a temple then you should also treat Mosques and Churches with same parameter. Let me put forth some letter conversation between conservative Rajendra Prasad who was president in 1950's and liberal Nehru who was Indian prime minister at that time. Situation is Rajendra babu was invited for inauguration of restored Somnath Temple in Gujarat. 

Nehru wrote to him -
I feel that it would be better if you did not preside over this function.’
Rejendra babu in his speech there said -
‘I respect all religions and on occasion visit a church, a mosque, a dargah and a gurdwara.’ 
This should seal the debate. It is not that only Hindu politicians visit Mosques, if you google a little you will find that contemporary J & K CM Omar Abdullah used to visti visit temple in a state where Hindus are in minorities. One can wish to call it tokenism but I want to urge that since this tokenism reassures minority community that their rights would be upheld, I find it any time better than majoritarianism.

Also, there are some elements in India one comes from Hyderabad and another from Gujarat. You will not find them visiting religious places of other religion. I don't want to name them. If you are wise you know them. One last request keep your eyes open to differentiate between Secularism and pseudo-Secularism at the same time do differentiate between Nationalism and Religious Nationalism too.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

Misguiding in the name of Ambedkar

These days a debate has been initiated by some mischievous elements in the Society about Dr B R Ambedkar's stand about the words Secular and Socialist in preamble of the constitution. Meanwhile, Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry’s Republic Day print advertisement on Monday omitted the words "socialist, secular" in the image of the Preamble to the Constitution. After which some people on social media started a petition to present strong disapproval to this act by govt of India.
While some other defended this act of government.

So, when were these words added to constitution and by whom? 

These words were added to the preamble in 42nd amendment by Indira Gandh govt in 1976 but were not removed by Janta Party govt when they came to power in 1977. Though these words were not inducted in the original preamble, a spirit of Social and Secular nature was always there as one can identify by reading preamble and if not sure by further reading the 11 volumes of working of constituent assembly as recorded.

Original unamended preamble
the constitution of India 

Let's try to gather some facts i.e some real quotes from Ambedkar. I will quote him. Some of these quotes have directly taken from 11 volumes of parliamentary / constituent assembly debate.


This is not mine but Ambedkar's own quote -
It (secular state) does not mean that we shall not take into consideration the religious sentiments of the people. All that a secular state means that this Parliament shall not be competent to impose any particular religion upon the rest of the people. That is the only limitation that the Constitution recognises
He further says -
The State should guarantee to its citizens the liberty of conscience and the free exercise of his religion including the right to profess, to preach and to convert within limits compatible with public order and morality
I interpret the above lines as Indian state will preserve plural culture of nation. Hence, you cannot doubt the secular credentials of this man though we can agree on a fact that word Secular is inherently expressed in Fraternity.


Now, coming to his views on Socialist state. His various works and articles shows that Ambedkar believed in State Socialism in which he advocated private property of the individual. He said-
My social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity. My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science. I have derived them from the teachings of my master, the Buddha.
Did you see the word equality in above mentioned quote? Yes, right, he was a proponent of mixed economy but at the same time we cannot ignore the fact that his life was dedicated to struggle against oppression of Caste system which is different from Class system prevalent in Western world. He always believed in the system of state socialism in which there would be a classless and caste less society and without forming a caste less society one cannot achieve objectives of Socialism ie class less society.

In short we can describe him as a person who advocated a purely secular state like what today France is and free market economy with special consideration to upheaval of oppressed classes.

At the most we can call him economically at the center and in religious context a non-communal or a plural person respecting diversity of culture in India.