Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Walking The Talk. Take Law Into Your Hands

Recently a colleague and I decided to watch a movie. Considering all the movies showing at various theatres, their show timings, proximity of the theatre to our place of work, and then our mutual interest, one movie seemed more suitable than all others.

Dabang. Starring salman khan.

For some reason, I was not too keen but said ok.
A few hours before we had planned to leave office, my colleague received a huge workload and apologized for having to cancel the plan.

He need not have apologized, for I was not upset. It actually came to me as a relief. I would not have to infringe my principles and later feel uncomfortable about it.

A few years ago, when salman khan in a state of drunkenness ran his car over a footpath in Bombay, killed half a dozen people and falsely implicated his driver in the crime while escaping himself, I was furious. I am sure many were.
When sanjay dutt went to bed with dawood ibrahim or some gangster from the underworld who masterminded the Bombay blasts in which many people died, I was enraged. Many were.

When shiny ahuja raped his maid, when fardeen khan was caught smuggling drugs, I was disgusted at how much filth was hidden behind those designer decked polished glamorous surfaces. Many were.

Thanks to the judiciary in this country, salman got away scot free to continue doing his movies, to hunt down species on the verge of extinction for his pleasure and to drink and kill more people on the road. sanjay dutt is not yet behind the bars after all these years with the blood of hundreds of fellow Bombay-ites on his hands.
Talk show hosts sympathize with him, ask him how he coped with those difficult days of court trials and make the police look like criminals for harassing a saint like him.

And what about public anger?

People fret and fume for a while.

And then go back to the cinema halls to applaud the rogues – Sanjay Dutt disguised as a disciple of Gandhi, salman khan disguised as a dutiful son worshipping his parents.

People adorn their bedroom walls with huge posters of these hooligans.

They watch Zoom TV to find out what these guys eat, what they wear and who they sleep with.

Like dogs pouncing on people and licking, they run to these crooks and beg for autographs and have pictures taken with them.

Anger and Indigntion : What could have been and what should have been the potent weapons with which to punish these criminals has been reduced to impotent mewing and barking.

And how do people justify their complacency, their indifference?
We are very clever. Anything under the Sun can be justified and we know just how to do it.

“That’s his personal life. We only like him as an actor. We should be able to differentiate between different roles played by people and not get mixed up.”

If each one of us in this country resolved never to watch a salman khan movie again, would that not punish him enough for his crime?

If each one of us resolved never to watch a sanjay dutt movie ever again, would that not be the end of his career? Would there be a greater punishment for him? Would that not recompense the murder of hundreds of innocent people who died in the blast?

If these offenders are getting away scot free with their crime and are merrymaking with one hit movie after another, is it not because of us?

Is the court alone responsible for dispensing justice? And who is the court doing justice for? For itself? For the sake of law?
NO. It’s for our sake. It’s for the sake of people, for the sake of society. For you and me. What’s the point of the court doing justice if you and I, for whom justice is being dispensed continue to embrace the guilty?
Are we not defeating our own purpose?
When at a personal level, we don’t care about justice, do we even have the right to expect the courts to carry out their duty?

We don’t even want to consider these uncomfortable questions. All we care about is our weekend entertainment. Society, people and country may go up in flames. As long as we enjoy our movie and songs…

To suit our convenience we coin new ideas that don’t make sense.
We create a ‘Personal life, professional life, public life, political life and social life and other lives’ and such fragments for people around us so we can stylishly criticize all the wrong with them like dutiful and aware citizens and yet not have to sacrifice the benefits we get from their association. How convenient!

People exist in their entirety. People exist as wholesome beings. Everything in nature exists as a whole. There are no fragments.
We create fragments of them for our convenience.

Agree all those in the world of glamour have skeletons in their cupboard, like all politicians do. Only degree of depravity varies. If people were to be idealistic, they should not watch movies at all nor should they vote. That’s not what I am asking for.
What I am saying is that we will have to draw a line between idealism and apathy. And each one has to draw that line for himself.

Some introspection needed…
It is rightly said that a society deserves the system it gets. It remains for us to ask ourselves if we deserve to be killed by a drunkard in our sleep, if we deserve to be ripped apart in a bomb blast.

Empowerment does not merely means having access to internet. Empowerment also means realizing that we have the power to make a real difference. And exercising that power.
Through action. And through inaction.

A generalization of this problem is the one that involves the two extremes of idealism and apathy. Being totally idealistic makes living in this world impossible. But being apathetic will soon eliminate the necessity for idealism as there will be no life left on this planet!
Therefore, what we need is a balance between the two and like I said, each one has to draw the line for himself.
But not asking ourselves the uncomfortable questions at all, being indifferent and apathetic to the issues of our society, being individualistic as opposed to being collectivistic, not having a strong community sense… are the things that bother me and make me write; hoping that at least a few people will read, understand and become inspired to change the way they live.


This post is a part of a series that I started a few months ago and forgot for a while. You may want to read the first of this series.

Walking The Talk


popsie said...

Very well said. Can't agree more!

Sowmya said...

Thanks Popsie for visiting this space and leaving a comment.

And I loved your blog template. Very vibrant.

Pallavi Shahi said...

Just had to read through, pause and applaud. You brought back my misplaced/displaced disgust for these guys. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

How precise you are in your contemplation. Truly enlightening.
Unfortunately we live in a country that boasts of itself as a 'Holy Cow'. Too bad.

Sowmya said...

Thanks Pallavi.

For visiting me. For leaving me a comment. And a comment that made me very happy :)

I think more disgusting is the lack of self respect of people who support these anti social elements by going to the cinema halls and watching their movies.

Rishi said...


I have seen both Dabangg and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Dabangg I don't know why, but Lage Raho Munnabhai was a classic in its own way. Well I am not here to justify, I thought I will try but you have already cut that out :-).
So I think I fall in the category of one who is indifferent to these stuff. But having said all these and also I am not sure if going forward I will do something about it, but I must applaud the clarity you have brought about something I read long back but never thought much or understood much, "Society deserves the system it gets". Connection is clear and I cannot deny that with some explanation.