Sunday, February 05, 2006

the revolutionaries of rang de basanti


Looks like I had stopped my yapping for quite some time now. But a movie that I watched yesterday evening compelled me to jot something up. The movie was Rang De Basanti, another Aamir Khan-Jai Hind type of movie following the Lagaan and Mangal Panday - the Rising note.

What can you say when you see twenty somethings from college dorms sporting jeans, sneakers and gulping beer all day ? The last thing that can be your guess is the fact that they are revolutionaries trying to make a change in the society. They do not have trimmed pointed mustaches, do not passionately pen poems praising the motherland, do not secretly meet and bomb trains or break bridges, do not discuss Lenin and Che - nothing that the revolutionaries of our history books have been painted with. All these spoilt kids do is to smoke uncontrollably, drink erratically, blame the society for their status and make unpleasant jokes at wrong moments..

Steps in a English girl who awakens their inner spirit unknowingly by forcing them to act as the Bhagat Singh and friends in her documentary. Rapid turn of events kindles their innermost emotions and these youngsters don the avatar of the Indian revolutionaries of the early 20th century to ignite the fire in the hearts and minds of millions of youth who are in slumber. Sounds a nice story. Infact the blending of the original Bhagat Singh saga with that of the current is done well. Except for Aamir Khan, the rest all fit well in their role and looked like University students too. Aamir was a good Azad character, but the Univ 5 year passout was pushing it too hard. The movie itself was done decent, taking a dig at politicians (like Fernandez), Sangh Parivars and the like. The climax was a tough digest, but the movie in its entirety was indeed enjoyable.

But the bigger question is what if this is true ? Is this the kind of awakening that we will need ? Do the youth of today get pushed so much that they have to resort to violence and dramatics if they have to be heard ? While some of the scenes of Rang De Basanti may have been overcooked, it is not far fetched from reality. We do see our Armed forces laying lives because of corrupted ministries. We do see government & officials walk out scot free after long trials which have little hope of ending in one lifetime anyway. We do see people who open their mouth being locked up and permanently silenced. And if this is a trend that continues, don't the youth of the country, who are willing to make a change, get pushed to the extreme where they are forced to resort to violence and theatrics ?

While there are still many questions lingering about the credibility of the movie, the message that the movie passes is indeed powerful. One doesn't need to stand on the side and crib about what is going wrong. One doesn't need to resign to fate and claim that nothing can be done. One doesn't need to run away from reality submitting to faithlessness. Make the change, be a part of the movement; it just takes people with passion to drive a positive change.

Bhagat Singh and his friends created history by displaying passion and love for the nation and displaying the willingness to save the nation. Age was not a factor. Fear was not a factor. Their unbridled patriotism and faith in the future pushed them to stand up against a mighty oppressing empire. If the current governments pretty much operate the same way, it may not be too late for us to see more & more Bhagat Singhs emerge from the nook and corners of the society to stand up against evil. But caution. There is only a thin line of difference between revolutionaries who fight for justice and terrorists. If the potentials of the potential Bhagat Singhs were to be tapped by wrong hands, we will not have a nation saving battle, but a bloodbath by fanatics.

Inquilab Zindabad.