Saturday, June 17, 2006

Look Beyond the Illusion!

Look Beyond the Illusion!
The smash hit film 'Rang de Basanti’ calls out to a generation that seems to have everything going for it: cash, conveniences and clear consciences. It is about a tragedy that strikes suddenly in the lives of a group of youngsters who seem to live only to party. The tragedy shakes them up terribly and awakens them to the iniquities in the political system. In the manner of anarchists, they wipe out the perpetrators of evil, and get killed in the process. It is a very dramatic death; a thing of moments only, of bullets that kill swiftly: a film scene that has a laughing hero waiting for the fate that he knows is going to get him.
No time for penitence, afterthoughts, or soul searching. Like everything else he’s ever done in his life.

I am worried about how very young viewers will interpret the film. Why is it I find something very wrong with this ‘Rang De Basanti’ generation? It seems to me to be a generation which has never been denied anything by its loving and indulgent parents. It has been allowed adult privileges minus adult responsibilities. It has, in addition, continued to be granted the privileges of childhood.
The parents seem to be saying, Go ahead, beta, you can stay in Papa’s and Mamma’s house for as long as you please, and you can do it all. You can binge on clothes- and shoes-shopping, fast food, parties, alcohol and sex, even guns if you will, and if you should make a mess of your life, we will sort it all out for you in the end.

The lesson we have to teach all children is this: You can’t get away from the consequences of your actions. You can’t kill someone and then put things right after that. Nothing you do will reverse your actions or undo what you have done. Real penitence is a sign of a good character, but it doesn’t wash the slate clean. Nor can you escape from your core self. You have to live with who you are and what you make of your life.

It is difficult to identify heroes and role models for the citizens of our county in the protagonists of ‘Rang De Basanti’. Their heroic deaths don’t come across as a sacrifice, but as the finale to a series of wilful acts of self-indulgent self-destruction.

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