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Movies are movies- life goes on as usual
By Arun Gopinath
March 12, 2008

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We probably knew this but sometimes we pretend that we don’t. We like to live in the world of make believe at least for a little time, just for the pleasure of it. In 2007, Chak De India got released- it was a dream movie, something that Indian cinema had been waiting for over many years. Many believed that a movie like this could lead to a renaissance of

Chak De India

hockey which is supposed to be our national game- in naught but name. There were many hockey legends who had thought that a revival helped by a movie is actually possible. But look at yesterday’s newspapers and you will know, films however good or path breaking never change anything for a period long enough to bring a permanent change. The best a film can do is provide the spark, initiate the change. But the rest has to be done by us- the people, we have to fan the fire, fuel the change and drive it forward. But most of us are blissfully complacent to notice the beautifully initiated process of change dying away.

What was in yesterday’s newspaper? Well, an Indian hockey player looking defeated as jubilant England players romped after scoring the second goal in an Olympic qualifier. The Indian hockey team will not fly to Beijing this year for the Olympics- for the first time in 8 decades India will not be part of Olympic hockey- films don’t change anything. The song Chak De India- which was released as a hockey anthem is now heard more or only when the Indian Men in Blue take the field (cricket). Well cricket is having a great time and so we can leave it alone. The point is that the change that many hoped Chak De India would bring is almost gone and that is wishful thinking, practically it is fully lost.

The change that Taare Zameen Par has suggested is another such instance. The chance is still there to give life to what Aamir Khan and Co. have so beautifully told us ‘every child is special’, every child has talents and has to be nurtured not forced or coerced. Yes, there has been a lot of talk about the movie and its relevance and dyslexia is not an unfamiliar word now but if care is not taken this chance too could slip. Taare Zameen Par too could become another lost effort in changing the society for the better.

When Rang De Basanti and Yuva released they carried a strong message- of youth activism. For a while there were voices, flutters and lots of groups and communities that were inspired but very sadly that phase too faded away. One such organization is Lok Paritran- surely you all have heard the name. The political party formed by young IIT alumni to wipe out corruption and provide a transparent democracy. It was there in 2006, but now we do not hear enough about it. Is it still out there, do we need another Rang De Basanti or Yuva to give the spark. This time, if and when the spark comes don’t let it die - fan, fuel it and protect it till it is ablaze. High hopes, you might be thinking.

Yes, movies will be movies- life goes on.

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