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Showing posts from January, 2014

Movie Review: Gabhricha Paus

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The 2009 Marathi film, "Gabhricha Paus" has a plot that addresses simple aspirations of Indian farmers, the eternal urge in the human race to survive against all odds. The film is temporally set in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra against the backdrop of a drought. In Marathi, the film's title would translate to "The Bastard Rain", which is mostly hurled as an abuse given the unpredictable nature of rains. 

The plot of the movie rotates around the farmer Kisna (Girish Kulkarni) and his struggle to grow cotton. Farmer suicides have become commonplace due to failed rains. Hence, his wife Alka (Sonali Kulkarni) sends her son along with him wherever he goes. The complex and tense character graph of Kisna is portrayed really well by Girish Kulkarni. Girish is effortlessly expressive, moving the audience to feel with him for the failure of the rains in an intricately woven fabric of rural India. The young son too does not over-act unlike other films. 

The film also a…

Developed India

On this republic day, I'd like to discuss something else. The concept has been on my mind since late last year . It's funny how we tend to think elections are a general thing but when they are not. Come to think of it, it is our one vote that goes on to decide the kind of governance we would have for five years. This elections, however, brings us to an important threshold not just in our life but also in threshold of India, a threshold that divides the best from the rest. 

While it is essential to make an informed opinion based on the predictions of economists, the opinions of leaders and also the voices of businessmen from across the world. The global investment banking and investment management firm Goldman Sachs in 2008 claimed that India will be the second global economic superpower by 2050. Does being the "second best" bring about a mood of elation and pride? Ask yourself is being the second best enough? Is this what we as Indians would want? Is being second the …

Movie Review: Chingaari

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Celluloid realism makes waves. Kalpana Lajmi's "Chingaari" is one such film which pushes for socio-religious reform and the ugly nexus between sexual oppression and religion. Based on an Assamese short story titled "The Postman and The Prostitute" by the late. Bhupen Hazarika, Chingaari is filled with flaming colours such as red, green and black. The film explores rural fanaticism through the miseries of a prostitute. It further explores various facades of womanhood. 
Set in Rangpur village, the film revolves around a group of prostitutes with Ila Arun as the main head. The house is a feast of raunchy repartees and has terrifying sexual innuendos which reach blood-curdling proportions when the village priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun Chakraborty) pays a visit to Basanti (Sushmita Sen). The scenes of sexual repression filmed on Sushmita Sen and Mithun Chakraborty become too repressive and graphic. 
To a point, I felt that subtlety in depicting their sexual friction wou…

Empowered Governance

In reality, our states need a new system of governance. A system that says: minimum government, maximum governance. The idea of empowered governance recognises this conflict between dreams and practice and is shaped by our vision for a developed India. The past ten years in India have seen a stagnating growth rate, policy paralysis, a complete breakdown of communication among the government, industrial slowdown and constant inflation. Thus, making it nearly a wasted decade.

Change is not impossible and it most certainly does not require miracles to get things back. Common sense and political will are the key points that are required now and three months is the minimum time gap to be given in order to reverse the despondency the country is in now. The idea, of course, is to ensure empowered governance. A few ideas that can be implemented to ensure that empowered governance is possible are:

* Subsidies: Our socialist leanings ensure that we cannot deviate from our welfare policies. Howeve…

Cultural Slavery

A nation's ruler depends on the ambitions, aspirations and faith of individuals of a country. Rulers too are bound by the decisions that individuals of a country take. The future and progress of a nation are determined by the dreams few visionaries dare to dream. If the government is incapable of protecting the nation, then it is up to teachers to rise and awaken the nation. We must give up self-interest, pride and petty quarrels for the nation.

If we do not rise above our quarrels and pride, cultural slavery will slowly overtake our society. A nation is not defeated until it can safeguard its culture and values. Can the nation be torn into pieces in the name of caste and religion be able to safeguard its culture from invaders? If conquerors wish to spread their roots here, then they will have to attack our culture that binds our people and they will, if we are not careful. If we let go our cultural heritage, then our downfall is certain. Experience teaches us that defeated nations…

Movie Review: Digant

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It is not always that one finds movies made in regional dialects. Hence, the 2012 Konkani movie "Digant" based on the Dhangar community is originally based on an adaptation by a story written by Prasad Lolayekar. 

The movie title, "Digant", translates to boundless in Konkani revolves around a man from the Dhangar or shepherd community who is content with his life. However, his seemingly ordinary life takes a turn when his son joins a school and grows to be an architect with an intent to settle down in the city. Movies with such storylines often tend to slip into a preachy mode. Issues such as identity or about the need to be in touch with one's roots are often raised through the medium of movies. Thankfully, Digant is a refreshing change and does not venture into that space. 

There is certainly no doubt that the definition for freedom for each individual is different yet the film tries to define the concept of freedom and stability at multiple levels. For the fat…

Movie Review: Amrapali

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The story of the legendary dancer Amrapali, renowned for her extraordinary beauty is an immensely fascinating one. For the uninitiated, Amrapali was the royal courtesan of Vaishali, situated roughly around present day Bihar in 500 BCE. Prince Ajatshatru, the king of the Magadha empire, who falls in love with her after he attacks Vaishali. The story of Amrapali and elaborate descriptions of her extraordinary beauty find mention in old Pali and Buddhist traditions. 

The 1966 film made by Lekh Tandon featuring veteran dancer-actress Vyjayanthimala in the title role as Amrapali makes considerable impact. While the story of the film is not built on the standard tale of star-crossed lovers but a clash of ideologies. Ajatshatru (Sunil Dutt), the emperor of Magadha has been unable to get Vaishali into submission. He announces an attack on Vaishali against the wishes of his commander-in-chief Veer (Premnath) citing that the Magadhan army is not ready for full blown battles. He promptly informs …

The Role of Teachers in Society

The teachers and the assembly will be glorified when the nation is glorified. The nation will be glorified when it is competent and successful in upholding its ancient values and traditions. The nation will be competent and successful when the teachers are successful in fulfilling their responsibility. A teacher will be called successful when s/he is successful in developing national character in every individual. If a person is devoid of nationalism or is unaware of his/her nationalism, then it is the teacher's failure. 

Our experience is witness that an absence of national character is what has resulted in the nation's glory being insulted. We lost due to lack of knowledge before we could lose to bad governance. We could not make our educators aware of our nationalism and our nationalism was shattered before our own eyes. Teachers failed to arouse nationalism and increase the competence of this nation. If a teacher accepts defeat, it will be fatal for the nation. So, the chan…