Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Go Light your bulb...Swades, We the People

We watched Ashutosh Gowarikar’s movie Swades over the course of the past weekend and both Seemz and myself were sufficiently impressed with the storyline, narration, technical quality and the ensemble cast of the movie. Definitely a refreshing good variant story compared to the regular run of the mill trash being proliferated by Bollywood these days And for once, the King of Hamming and overacting, Shah Rukh Khan has done a commendable job in the lead role as Mohan Bhargav, a scientist working at NASA, who designs satellites that monitor weather patterns from space. Shah Rukh has acted this role with sincerity and brings a measure of conviction to his character and holds back just that much in this role, which would have otherwise rendered his performance ‘over-the-top’, like the rest of his Chopra/Johar movies. What triumphs over everything is the script and if one were to take away the jingoistic, xenophobic and socialistic Bollywood pandering, it tells a good story about the scientist who finds his calling in life. Though this movie has been labeled too preachy by the media, we cannot look away from the fact about the story of a country that “could have been” viz. Mera Bharat Mahan. What we get fed incessantly by the media is that we are this great rising economic power which is well on its way towards economic global domination in the near future . This is what was being tom-tom’d by all and sundry since the 80’s with the software revolution and liberalization brought about by Rajiv Gandhi/ Sam Piroda and the likes. Then why is it that on the other hand we still are considered one of the poorest nations on the face of this earth ?

Check out Dilip’s D’souza’s excellent article in Rediff on the poverty situation in India as it currently stands here. Places like Bihar, areas of UP, Orissa and many other poorer states in the country are still waiting for the “Green” revolution, let alone the technology revolution. Be it economic progress, sports, warfare, technology, holding sway over world politics, we seem to be falling short in every single endeavor. Why ? Corruption is rife in the country, very few to do the right things, too many mouths to feed compounded with leaders and the bureaucracy inclined to line their own pockets and play petty politics, has left us where we are today, dirt poor. Just buzzwords like ‘India Shining’, economic superpower or Asian tigers, does not a great nation make.

Pardon the Digression, here since yours truly also falls into the mold of the hypocrite, armchair preachy pontificator who has no qualms in dispensing jingoistic wisdom in favor of getting ones hands dirty. But it is a yeoman’s effort for an individual since there are too many constraints that conspire against a single entity. What is needed are a few hundred thousand Mohan Bhargav’s, working at the grassroots and doing the right things so that many more light bulbs may be lit in many more houses all across the great country of ours. The story for Swades was based on a true story of two engineers from Kerala who helped bring electricity to some remote village in Maharashtra. This is how we can get India shining, I guess, one remote village at a time.


Blogger Anshul said...

It really depicts the complexities of any transition process and the intricacies involved within. I agree with you, Sourin! Kudos to Ashutosh and an excellent write-up from you.

Go - Sourin!

10:43 AM  

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