do not bother about Indian masses
11th marked the birth centenary of Lok Nayak JP, one of the
truly great heroes of modern India. Every Indian has to be
thankful to him for his spirited and courageous fight against
the 1975 emergency, and but for him we could not have escaped
from the clutches of a dictatorial rule. His name and memory
as a conscience keeper of our nation are imprinted in the
minds of many grateful people.
if you consider the attitudes of the well-off and the issues
on which the media's attention is focused, one has to believe
that the 60th birthday bash of the matinee idol Amitabh Bachan,
is far more important to the nation than anything else. I
was absolutely amazed by the amount of time and coverage given
by the mainstream media for this extravaganza! Some television
channels have even had live coverage of the dinner in honour
of the star in Mumbai in their national news!
only shows the all-pervasive influence of the make-believe
world of cinema on the psyche and imagination of ordinary
Indians. There is something seriously wrong with a society
which respects myth more than reality, fiction more than fact,
lies more than truth and above all celluloid more than real
media giving disproportionate coverage to irrelevant non-events
is not an accident. In many ways the mass media reflect the
prevailing attitudes of the affluent and well-heeled sections
of our society, in other words the 'elites'. Increasingly
we seem to worship power and money for their own sake, and
have no qualms how they are acquired or used. This in turn
leads to complete apathy to the condition of the bulk of our
being a socialist or Marxist, one can seek to build a society
which provides fair opportunities for vertical mobility for
every single child born. Instead, the privileged classes in
our country are zealously guarding their often undeserved
'elite' status. Curiously, these false elites develop a sense
of insecurity in the midst of the underprivileged many. We
seek to fortify ourselves and somehow hope to protect our
children from the poverty and filth around. But the moment
we walk out of our homes, we cannot but be affected by the
overflowing drains, menace of mosquitoes, traffic congestion,
pollution in our cities and corruption everywhere. This only
leads to more insecurity, apathy, and alienation.
other, extremely disturbing response of the false elites is
narcissism and self-absorption of a revolting kind. Our preoccupation
with designer-made dresses, fancy cars, fabulous jewels, extravagant
weddings and huge birthday bashes to the exclusion of everything
else is a testimony to this extreme insensitivity and surrealism.
films offer probably the only source of entertainment and
escape from the travails of life to the bulk of the people.
Great actors and indeed, great achievers in any field need
to be respected and admired. But a society that loses its
sense of proportion in these matters is either decadent or
The net result is that the million or so elites in all walks
of life - politics, business, administration, professions,
and academics - are increasingly disconnected from our people.
We are slowly becoming colonists in our own country. By all
means, let us have a good time. Seeking happiness, or even
pleasure, is our birthright. But can we look at the bigger
picture, and focus on building a harmonious and peaceful society,
which ultimately spreads more happiness and good cheer around?