This brings me to a rather ironic thought: think about it with me for a moment will you…all of you? No, really…I want you to think with me here. OK, here goes: I am sure you have seen the film ‘Rang De Basanti’, truly well made, isn’t it? An amazing story, professional acting, well written, well directed, beautiful songs, everything that an engrossing story must have. I loved it, I was affected by it; in fact, I was touched by it. However, there were some people who said that the mother in the film is shown in a coma till the dead pilot’s friends make things right and extract the so-called ‘revenge’ for their friend who gave everything to his country but was humiliated in death. A bit unfair, people say, since it is truly based on Maa’s struggle…and she did and achieved all that and more by using purely non-violent means and probably with far more tact and prudence, while the rest of us were in a coma.
My argument was that even if I were the film-maker, I’d make it the same way as Rakaysh Mehra did because say whatever you want, the truth is that a non-violent struggle that took 4 long years of frustration, pain, humiliation and hopelessness does not make as good or sellable a story as 5 young men dying in a hail of bullets after correcting the society’s wrongs by doing something rebellious and risky! At the end of the day, the movie must sell and make money, or it wouldn’t be worth the producer’s time.
However, all due credit to the makers of the film. I do honestly believe that the movie, it’s story and the way it was handled, was made not only to make money, but also to force the younger generation to think: What is it that THEY can do for their country, instead of just cursing the system? Can they become part of it? Can they reform it from inside? Can they change it instead of leaving it in the hands of people most ill-suited to run it and then standing back and saying ‘India mein yehi hotaa hai…saalaa system hee kharaab hai’? and getting away with it? I am sure the movie-makers had that noble thought and it has indeed come out well in their effort, even with all the grand-standing and glamourisation. I applaud their motives.