Happy Independence Day (part II)

I am feeling an outburst of patriotism so continuing in the same vein as my last post (the one where I talk about about how my patriotism has changed over the years), let me share a few scenes/songs I remember (perhaps it as interesting coincidence that A.R. Rahman is the composer of the musical score in all three):

First, a clip from the movie Roja.  In this scene, a militant Kashmiri separatist sets the Indian flag ablaze and this prompts an intense reaction from the hero, a typically mild-mannered almost nerdy crypto-analyst who’s been taken hostage.  The hero jumps on the burning flag in an attempt to put out the flames with his body.  Of course the scene is overly dramatic (in keeping with popular cinematic tradition) but it did leave a lasting impression on my 13-year old mind.  Please note that the director of this movie, Mani Ratnam, is not typically prone to creating statist propaganda – his other movies Dil Se and Bombay are strongly critical of state-sponsored and state-incited violence while Roja focuses more on the emotional and political aspects of hostage crises.

Next, a scene/song from the movie, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, which in my opinion is probably the best Bhagat Singh movie made so far.  Bhagat Singh is often considered a militant freedom fighter against colonial rule but as the movie clearly shows, he was a strong adherent of non-violence except on rare occasions when he felt vigilante justice was appropriate.  In fact, the movie shows how he took great precautions to prevent innocent British and Indian civilians from getting hurt.

And finally, an exquisitely beautiful video directed by Bala and Kanika featuring, once again, the genius of A.R. Rahman.  Click on this link for the fascinating story behind this video.

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One Response to Happy Independence Day (part II)

  1. Dear Shyam,
    Our early years could not have been more identical. I identify with the school flag hoisting ceremonies as much as you every August and January. It’s a different matter that I have never been able to attend one since leaving school due to academic and professional commitments. Yet I see less cause for celebration and optimism than you. While recollections of the childhood patriotic fervour fills you with pride, all it does is fill me with a delicious sense of irony. While you profess to seeing great optimism for the future, all I visualise is a land spiralling hopelessly, not perhaps towards destruction; but towards intolerance and divisiveness that has scarcely been seen in the previous 65 odd years.
    You say we freed ourselves from colonialism; I say we took the worst evils of imperialism and amalgamated it into all the lamentable failings of the pre-British India, and under the oft abused banner of ‘our cultural pride’ have proceeded make the country unlike anything that a land of this magnitude and with such resources (human and material) should hope to be.
    I gain no pride in people waving the flag with gusto or to voices rising above the chorus during strains of the National Anthem. It is these very people who wave flags and post ‘glorious’ congratulatory messages on social networking sites , who will incite violence in Mumbai based upon totally unrelated communal violence in Assam. It is each and every one of these people who will have no qualms about happily contributing to the corruption that eats the system like a canker – whether it be bribing a policeman on a traffic signal or perpetrating a multi-million rupee scam in the government. Worse still are those who sit in their so-called protests, merely a shambolic statement of indignance of a community who given the first chance would do each and every one of the acts that the community it seeks to replace.
    Our media (print or otherwise) is an absolute joke, the common citizens are so enmeshed in petty interpersonal bigotry that they could be hardly realise that each and every one of them contributes to the filth we reside in , and as for our governance and the beaurocracy….well….!!!
    The video and the lyrics of “The Who” song “We Dont Get Fooled Again” appeal far more to me in every sense than those videos posted by you.

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