Friday, April 07, 2006

A generation awakens...only to find another generation asleep.

The Indian media must be taking pride from the fact, that their exetensive coverage and campaign for justice in the Jessica Lal case worked as a catalyst for a thorough investigation, once again.

SMS polls...'Is this the travesty of Justice?'...'Is this the death of Indian constitution?'...the so-called public outburst burst at the seams, only to land up into TV news channels and newspapers. But in the midst of all this, how are we to be certain of the magnanimity of this outcry? Did the entire nation surely and whole-heartedly question the existing judiciary? Or was it just the cosmospolitan cities which participated in these polls through mobile phone armed-working classes?

Yes, youngsters were definitely up-in-arms. Black days in colleges, student unions taking morchas towards India Gate, assumptions that it was the 'Rang De Basanti' effect and several others taking pride to appear in front of television cameras with a candle - we've seen it all.

All of the above samples comprise quite a considerable part of India's population, but then, what about the rest? A generation was found sleeping, not bothered or perhaps even not informed of the existing fury of the class outrage in cities. Perhaps they didn't want to spend that precious rupee in sending a crucial SMS to television channels? Hell, what do they care? Let me illustrate this point more clearly.

At the third screening of Rang De Basanti at a B-grade single screen cinema hall in the suburbs, I was witness to this great economic divide which is perhaps the drawing line of fury on the Jessica Lal case too. Its a populist cinema hall, (India has thousands like these) the stalls are usually packed with whistle-blowers who'll feast their eyes on your sister's beauty, gaze at your pop-corn wistfully and cry hoarse into their cell-phones non-chalantly, while the movie is on.

While RDB provoked rebellious sentiments from the multiplex audiences and also saw a sudden spurt in tissue paper sales after its release, it was clear that the film had touched many hearts and most importantly provoked them into action. But stall audiences found sadistic pleasure in watching Sharman Joshi die, mocked at scenes where Soha Ali Khan breaks down over Madhavan's death and yes, giggled to see Aamir crying in the company of the 'gori'. Yes, they did genuinely enjoy 'Maa ki aankh' and 'Bhain di takke', but considering the fact, that most of the stall audiences staged a disappointed walk-out at martyrdom of the film's leading boys, this definitely illustrates simplistic mind-sets.

This indeed is the very section of India's population, a very large section in fact, which doesnt seem bothered by national issues. Yes, they'll be up in arms over religious and political issues, but take note - these are 'issues'. And issues generally are senseless discussions and outrages over selfish matters. But when it comes to crusading for something through mass agitations, for something which is oh-so-genuinely wrong from each and every perspective - they're not bothered.

This is the very section of our population which only cares about 4 things - food, clothing, shelter and yes, sex. Lots of it. Most of them may be voyeurs, but there's a reason why films like 'Mujhe Pyaar Karo' and 'Chinese Kama Sutra'still run to packed houses on Fridays.

To believe that the Jessica Lal case spurred a national outrage would be an over-rated statement. It was in-fact limited only through cosmopolitan cities, the news-hungry titillating media, politicians, educational institutions and the middle-classes. All of them armed with mobile-phones.


CaprivillA said...

u r right i guess.. d major population dat comprises of this general category, doesnt reli giv a flyin fcuk abt Lal's case or ny such other cases (except issues wch r pertaining to their self interest) However, i think education (literacy) is d key 2 open d eyes of these major croud (aam janta) of India.

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