Monday, January 30, 2006

Rang de Basanti? Really?

I am well aware that this entry comes agonisingly close to being the n^n^nth entry in the cyberworld about the latest flick... not an unexpected achievement for a movie that has replaced a simple "Hi! How are you" by "Hi! Rang De Basanti Dekhi?" in as many recent conversations as i can remember. Now that is what you call impact.

I guess what makes it different is the fact that it makes us think... about what our generation stands for in the contemporary world, and most importantly, what should the embodiments of this generation stand for? Sparing the cinematic melodrama (I am not sure whether that's even a word?) there doesn't exist even the remotest possibility of the most charged youth icon being able to put a spanner in corrupt defense deals, much less pull of the glaring (putting it mildly) of outcomes (I dont plan to add a spoiler to the movie, so let us leave it here).

So does it mean that we remain silent spectators as all this keeps on happening to our country? Do we restrict patriotism to convenience, to a patriotism which ceases to subsist whenever a slightest pain is involved? Is there nothing we can do to at least prevent the society from dipping deeper into the filth that it has got itself into? Well, respectively, I guess not, I hope not and DEFINITELY not.

My take is, you don’t need to go and die for your country in order to be a patriot. You become one when you put the wrapper of the chocolate you just ate in your pocket until you find a dustbin. You become one when you refuse to be put up for sale in dowry market when marriages are concerned. You become one when you pay your taxes when you should. You become one when you decide not to indulge in practices like nepotism and bribery when in relevant positions.

And before signing off, kudos to Rang de Basanti for making the youth think so much.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saluting the Ultimate Patriot

"We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood."

These are the words of a man who set out to create a destiny out of despair. The words that inspired a whole generation to rise out of oblivion and into the annals of history as one of the most daring and ambitious forces ever. Be it the legendary "Khooni Hastakshar" or the celebrated "Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, Main Tumhe Aazadi Doonga", all his actions were hallmarks of an Indian to the core.

Did he really pass away in a crash in Taiwan? Did Stalin really refer to him in present tense, long after his supposed death, in an intercepted military communication?

Maybe defying even the inevitability called death seems fair on Netaji, who had already transcended quite a lot of boundaries and defied quite a lot of foes in his quest for an Independent India. But, more significantly, if he did live to see an independent India, is this the one he would have given his life for?

And do even a percent of Indians remember 23 Jan as the day this great son of the Motherland was born?

Some Other Quotes

"Give me blood and I shall give you freedom" was one of the most popular statements made by him, whereby he urged the people of India to join him in the nationalist movement. Spoken at a rally of Indians in Burma, July 4, 1944

"No real change in history has ever been acheived by discussions."

"As soldiers, you will always have to cherish and live up to the three-ideals of faithfulness, duty and sacrifice. Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible. If you, too, want to be invincible, engrave these three ideals in the innermost core of your hearts". - TO DELHI, TO DELHI
Speech at a military review of the Indian National Army, July 5, 1943.

"We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live- the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood."

"Indian nationalism is inspired by the highest ideals of the human race, satyam (the true), shivam (the god), sundaram (the beautiful). Nationalism In India has... roused the creative faculties which for centuries had been lying dormant In our people...'.

"I have no doubt in my mind that our chief national problems relating to the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease and the scientific production and distribution can be tackled only along socialistic lines... ." February 1938

"Gird up your loins for the task that now lies ahead. I had asked you for men, money and materials. I have got them in generous measure. Now I demand more of you. Men, money and materials cannot by themselves bring victory or freedom. We must have the motive- power that will inspire us to brave deeds and heroic exploits."

....'It is our duty to pay for our liberty with our own blood. The freedom that we shall win through our sacrifice and exertions, we shall be able to preserve with our own strength.' ....."

"Jai Hind" was his slogan.