Cinema as a tool of social change ?

Harijim asked : “Can cinema be a tool for political change and can we make a film in 2 months flat here in India that will have a definitive effect on the coming elections and the whole region in general?”
I think all art can be a tool of social change. Before Cinema became so popular poetry was a great tool for the mobilization of emotion and sentiment. And passionate writings before that have caused revolutions. Some of the best Art is born out of rebellion. Out of repression. Unless it is born out of yearning, Spiritual or otherwise. However Cinema can question, but is unlikely to give effective answers. It would be arrogant to do so, because then it just becomes a stereotype. Propaganda. It can suggest ways to change through the film makers own conscience and the moral choices he/she makes in telling the story.
My own favorite film of mine is Bandit Queen. It was born out of an anger I felt not only against what I saw, but also against myself because of not having seen it before. And I believe it caused people to pause and question. By making them angry. Often the anger is expressed against the artist, but thats OK.
I do wish more film were films of the artist’s conscience. But it’s a big ask in an art form which is so expensive. And of course it is possible to shoot a film in 2 months. Masoom, Bandit Queen and Elizabeth were all shot in that time period. It is not the filming but the writing and the editing that takes a long time.

41 Responses to “Cinema as a tool of social change ?”

  1. For sure all forms of Arts can be for social change! I guess in terms of cost there is the indie films which you mentioned on here you have started to dabble in…Also as you have talked about on here in the past there is new media..
    So YouTube!… One person and their camera or webcam even!
    Shekhar ever thought about opening up your own YouTube channel!? đŸ™‚
    Even Monty Phython has one now! I’m was born the last year their TV show aired so dont know much about them before You Tube but I found this hilarious clip of theirs that still seems to me applicable today…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxOu1DyVQV8&eurl=http://www.facebook.com/home.php&feature=player_embedded
    By the way speaking of social change…look what people’s own voices did on Facebook…it made them pulled their new Terms of Service (TOS):
    Hence my mood since Wed! :):
    Babita says Yay! Facebook has reverted away from their new TOS! Yay! Power to the people!
    We live in exciting times as you have written in the past about how new media is gonna change the world!

  2. justbe says:

    “I think all art can be a tool of social change”
    “I do wish more film were films of the artist’s conscience”
    FINE Shekhar. Very much so.
    But my concerning question to YOU have always been –
    ‘Can Cinema evoke the veiwers conscience at large or NO?
    or/and Can Cinema evoke ‘the spirit’ in some way?’
    (As Ramakrishna or Ramanamaharishi had put IT somewhere that we all are spiritual being having a human experience. So for any significant change to happen at any level social or political it roots must be at the spiritual consciousness, otherwise the rest all is play of gunas. An effective/truly required change happens out of a unifying play/role of shiva and shakti, mind body heart and soul)
    ..still further reframed –
    ‘Can Cinema be a tool for spiritual change?’
    ‘Can Cinema evoke ‘the spiritual consciouness’ in some way?’
    See why i ask this:: we talk of east and west, we talk of mind, and we talk of possibilities that can be gripped by going beyond mind, we talk of bodies and water bodies, heart and the pain of following ones heart and we talk of soul and the emerging/merging dance of mind-body and heart-soul. But how many out there(in the life’s playgound/karam-bhoomi) are really mindfull and soulfull. And how many out there even know about the true possibilty of it.
    My question again is –
    Can Cinema be used as a tool in some way to communicate THAT effectively?
    p.s.
    Dear Shekhar, For once I would like to hear answers to these straight from the horse’s mouth. And don’t mind right now you are my horse. Your response on this could be really inspirational to me in settling/setting free certain corners of my mind and could also make me more communicative/constructive about the medium of cinema/tool of communication which flows naturally through me in areas said above.

  3. Mee says:

    In India street plays play a very big role in shaping and influencing and question our envirionmnet. It may not be a huge phenomena in Bombay but if you go into Tier 2 mkts you will see the impact such story telling has on communities.
    Today , while I agree that cinema is a tool to use to raise social awareness and sensitivity, TV too plays an equally powerful role in impacting everyday lives. People are far more credibly influenced by the Digital media than ever before today and there is every day eveidence to see and know how this medium will start shaping lives, influencing behaviours – having said this- a good story is a good story is a good story- and if said well , no matter which media, it will capture the imagination.
    I do wish more film were films of the artist’s conscience. And I wish it wasn’t such a big ask after-all. When will the Venture capitalists and fund donors come into play?!

  4. shekhar says:

    justbe : yes cinema can be a tool of spiritual change – i wanted to do that with Buddha – bit the financiers wanted to maek a film on Buddha and I wanted to make a really meaningful film on Buddhism,
    One is a folk tale, and the other an attempt to take the audience through a journey of self discovery.
    The answers to your questions therefore : YES
    shekhar

  5. justbe says:

    Dear Harb, While reading my post #2 I just felt if i could add to my reference of ramakrishna/ramana*. So here I am doing that, in a way inviting you too to answer the same post which awaits Shekhar’s response as a filmaker and the being he is.
    *(As Ramakrishna or Ramanamaharishi had put IT somewhere that we all are spiritual being having a human experience. So for any significant change to happen at any level social or political its roots are at the spiritual consciousness, otherwise ‘the rest’ all is play of gunas OR in Harb’s words is governed by the four forces in accordance with the universal scheme of things. An effective/true and truly required change happens out of a unifying play/role of shiva and shakti, mind body heart and soul)

  6. harijim says:

    Hi Justbe, I acknowledge your point.But elections are around the corner and energies need to be focussed there but yes I agree with what you say.Shekhar’s already worked on the Buddha theme for a long time now.Deepak Chopra’s even written a book called Buddha and I’m sure Shekhar has something to do with it as they are quite close.
    ******
    HERE’s the BIG IDEA SHEKHAR:
    Lets have an open thread on “General elections 2009”
    Everyone who is destined to will contribute.
    One comment can be of 100 words only and each blogger can only comment once in 24 hours.And the dead line for the thread to freeze will be 20th March(one month).
    Then we find a publisher who can publish this thread/blog and sell/distribute the thread as a book all over India and the world if the demand exists.
    It will be intersting to see its effect on elections especially the youth and the educated who may feel inspired to take some less aware along also.
    (This dynastic pattern thats appearing everywhere could be dangerous especially in the current global economic meltdown. Somethings got to be done.We shouldn’t get accused of sitting hand on hand as helpless witnesses.)

  7. justbe says:

    here is a 2-minute showcase film,
    for/on teachers, on the state of self-motivational level of most teachers in rural education, made by a NID student.
    we all are teachers (and learners) at some/all levels. I guess it can be shared here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDN2ayelets

  8. Harb says:

    Dear justbe:
    LOL, I in fact already replied to your post but somehow I posted it on the thread: “Looking for a hot bath?”
    Now you can look there at post #19.

  9. justbe says:

    hi harijim, There is nothing against effort. For the ones who come forward and do what one is tuned to do is the way to be. And then you have already said that those who are destined to(in other words naturally attuned) contribute would contribute. No place for accusations. Even no blaming on destiny.
    Open thread on General Elections 2009, welcome!
    But general elections 2009: what about it??
    In what direction would the youth or the educated may be inspired?? in what way, in what direction?? as if one way, whatever it is, is some farbetter or purer than the other way?? Is there a clear cut way/leader visible?? or a clear cut party??
    The only way the vote is gonna make a difference is either to have BJP or Congress?? what other intentions do you have/or people on this blog may have that can have the desired effect so to say??
    Not pretty clear. The only thing that projects clearly on me is that – whatever the outcome, the effort can be in the direction of bringing out a general awareness that energies can freely flow only when the chosen PARTY gets an absolute/pretty good majority. A coalition GOVT is not what we need now, and is not the need of now.

  10. Harb says:

    It is one thing to talk, quite an other to walk the talk.
    It is one thing to condemn the politicians quite an other to actually become politicians and control/rule people.
    There was a friend of mine who spoke much against politicians. He himself first joined at some sub division as SDO and made a mess of the sub-division. He distributed money from his govt chest and was eventually expelled from the service. Then he joined politics and was eventually given an independant charge as Chairman of a certain Board. He made a like mess there too. He could not help the needy take loans, his babus ran the board making a fool of him. He was very close to me yet I could not help even one very needy person take loan from that board through him.
    Anyway, the other day a horrifying thought came to my mind: what if the present politicians too become wise and prefer to sit at home? God save they are driven by ego and its consequent cut-throat power-play today. But what if they too go beyond thier phase of ego and think what the hell, why not sit at home and enjoy the sunshine rather than remain always on your toes and also get abused by all and sundary at their back. What do they get in return? They cannot eat more than what they eat already. They cannot take their money alongwith when they die. Horryfying because after all at present they are keeping things under control to some extent. What if that too is gone!
    2. Why dynastic rule is sooo wrong? More so if every person is to be elected through votes and not nominated/appointed as Kings used to do?
    It is a fact that a film-maker’s progenies know more about films, not only through their genes but also because they have been brought up in the relevant environment; a farmer’s know more about farming, a philosophers know more about philosophy and so on.
    And if one were to say that power corrupts, wouldn’t a few generations down the line it will also take the persons under question to the other side, that is towards honesty. I dont think Rahul, Omar, Sachin Pilot and others of their generation in politics are that corrupt, though to rule they have to win elections and to win elections they have to arrange money in some way.
    Also to add that dynastic rule is not that prevalent as it seems to be: If one will think out of the box, one will find very few dynastic rulers at countries level: Obama, Manmohan, Zardari, Chinese PM/President, Putin, Gordon and so on do not belong to any dynasty. In fact I dont find very many. It may be so at state levels in India, but it is certainly not the case at the level of countries.

  11. justbe says:

    dear shekhar, thankx. maybe sometime you could talk about it elaboratively in your own way, involving a few more examples of films/directors in this direction.

  12. Harb says:

    Dear Justbe: Just to reply to your querry again directly:
    Yes you are right.
    First the spiritual dimension of an individual, family, community, people, nation, global culture makes a quantum jump to the next higher level and then that enetity’s mind and body reorganise themselves ‘there’ or around that dimension. As per the words in my book “order begins to take place at the next higher level leaving the previous world to chaos.”
    And yes, cinema can be one of the most potent tools to raise anybody’s spiritual dimension, simply because spiritual dimension can only be approached direcly, that is, without the medium of specially the overly analysing intellect and so it can be best done through cinema, and may prove only second to the direct touch of a master.
    I cannot say though any director will be advanced enough to make such a film. However, sometime back I saw a film on Ramakrishana in which Mithun Chakarbarti plays Ramakrishana and that was quite effective. It had the power to send a ripe soul to samadhi. At least I felt like going into samadhi seeing it and have been wishing to see it again eversince though cannot find it.
    Harb

  13. Ritu says:

    It is a chicken and egg situation Shekhar. Does cinema *reflect* the mood of a nation or does it *affect* the mood of a nation? I think the need for social change comes from the masses and cinema simply reflects it. It can be used to a certain degree to **subtly** direct a thought in a certain direction. But eventually it will work only if the nation is in the mood to accept that stream of thought.
    Indian cinema has seen the IPTA communists in the 40s and 50s bringing their ideology to the medium, the audience accepted it then because it was in that frame of mind post-independence. But today you cannot make a ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ or ‘Rahi’ or even ‘Shri 420’ work or even use it for a subtle message. The audience today is not receptive to a communist bent of mind.
    By and large cinema at best can act as the nation’s conscience keeper, but we gave up that role long ago. At the end of the day there is a common energy that ties an era to it’s art, they both feed each other.

  14. Neeta says:

    I would think the effect of cinema or television is subtle and doesn’t occur in a radical way. It shapes some of the personal and social attitudes and nuances but I haven’t observed it bringing about the social change we desire here.
    Also, not everything in cinema is an art form and not every beholder has beauty in the eyes. And this has worked against desirable social change.
    Ofcourse this is not to undermine the fact that an art form, being more of a personal journey, is priceless in itself. So it is more of a desire to keep the expression true than to effect an outer social change.
    Social change requires sustained effort by an individual at self-upliftment and the upliftment of others. And cinema can be one of the factors for this along with many others.

  15. harijim says:

    @9 Justbe thats the whole idea.We don’t know what this experiment will lead to.Maybe a pre-emptry evolutionary jump to a new awareness in India about India and its place in the world.One thing I’m sure we’ll ourselves all be surpised by what we write by the 15th 16th day.
    @10 Harb no wonder someone said,”nothng grows under a banyan tree”.Nobody’s criticising politicians here, the debate is to choose the right ones in the coming elections with the right vision .And first of all trying to define what that vision should be by letting people who want to have a say have their say.Please read more clearly and be constructive and alive rather than being fatalistic.Things do happen when people apply their minds to it.

  16. Harb says:

    lol hari, only the talk about dynastic rule was really related to you.
    The rest of the message was general.
    The impression of overcriticism of politicians was gained from TV channles. Sometimes they do go to the other extreme and make a mockery of whole political class while they themselves are not all white. Moreover all they have to do is talk. And I do know how different is talk from actual walk in all spheres of life.
    And you have not seen real banyon trees which we saw at the very beginning of our lives and before whose images we were forced to rub our noses daily. It is an other matter now to do so on your own. I thought I rather freed you from the influences of all banyon trees and enabled you to see for yourself “dharti hor pare hor hor” and not just listen it from any banyon tree’s mouth with bowed head.
    Perhaps you feel it in your mind in the present case but as I realy feel yours may be time to go beyond mind and this may be nature’s way/provocation for you to do so. Ask yourself who sees the banyon tree rather than focus on any banyon tree and you will see no banyon tree but the fully ‘lit up’ sky beyond.
    Moreover please give a thought to your tendency to overly advise/criticise people here who have spent more than half centuries in the battle of life. You ask one to do more do this or that, an other to see out of the box, to still an other to see more clearly, it according to me is to focus just on banyon trees. Focus on what YOU are doing and have to do.
    In this connection I fully understand and endorse what you have said in your lines:
    “the debate is to choose the right ones in the coming elections with the right vision . And first of all trying to define what that vision should be by letting people who want to have a say have their say…”
    I did not comment on this previously becasue it was not this clear from your previous post. Let us begin with your piece.
    And lastly, who needs to be under any oppression of ghar ka banyon tree lol.

  17. a film made with the specific purpose of creating a social change will, i think, be inferior art with only a time/topic bound appeal.it becomes propoganda – didactic art. art should not be moralised.
    true art is what is made in utter honesty. by honesty, i suppose i dont mean strict adherence to factual, empirical truth. it should be an honest representation of the perception of the artist/film maker with no compromise whatsoever
    to extaneous factors, considerations and pressures.
    that truth is truly beautiful.
    yes. if an artist feels strongly about an issue and translates his feelings into a film, the work will no doubt bcome a work of art with lasting and universal appeal.
    guess thta explains the appeal of Bandit Queen.

  18. harijim says:

    With political vendetta converting to court battles and using state intstitutions to intimidate the political opponents becoming the order of the day, does one think democracy will remain democratic.The powerful princes will use muscle and money to create more muscle and money to corrupt and influence state institutions to remain victorious.And if two princes decide to have an inner understanding to keep ruling alternatly we will be back to the despotic rule by divine Kings as in the past,now rather two to look after each other’s interest.
    Can one ignore we’ve had a political fight right in the CEC’s office itself this month with the CEC and one of the two Election Commisioners falling out with each other and the President of the country(supposed to be neutral) taking a clear-cut side of UPA’s stand.That shows the level of rot in the system even the visible tip of the iceberg has not been spared.
    Internet and too much TV seems to have fogged the vision of the people who don’t even see whats going on.If Vajapayee is on a ventilator does that mean Bofors never happened or that Quattorochi wasn’t aquitted by the Argentinians on the behest of the US? Is Laloo whose fodder scam is still doing the rounds of courts being projected as PM?Can we have Communists come in and tackle the show when Capitalism is anyways wounded badly? Is Mayawati ripe for the top seat this time around? Suddenly we have the Commission on Ram Mandir/Babri Masjid issue getting prepared to give its verdict before elections.
    The youth of the country are its only hope to maintain reason and freedom.If somehow we could reach out to them and get more independant educated youth to put in their nomination papers.The above politicians are on their last laps and mostly in their present profession not out of choice but because they are constrained there by the tigers they are riding.
    Churchil once said If those Indians are left to rule themselves they’ll make the biggest mess of it.Maybe its time for some positive politics or we’ll have to concede to Churchil’s prophecy.
    (And by the way Justbe,shouldn’t we leave the Congress/BJP thing behind now? This is going to be the 2nd decade of the 21st Century and we should be looking at a THIRD FRONT with MANY YOUNG INDEPENDANT NEW MPs COMPLETING the NEXT 5 YEARS in NEW DELHI.Probably these young ones will be as blackberry and internet savvy as Barrak Obama and would not just prefer going with the flow but also guiding the flow as leaders and putting their feet down where need be.Wouldn’t we love our own young counterpart to Milliband doing the rounds of the Earth for our Govt.? Can we allow IAS officers to complain(after 62 years of freedom and education) that they are handicapped because their bosses are uneducated,unaware,probably with criminal records,corrupt,repugnant to reason etc etc.God doesn’t hate reason really(why would He have created it in the first place?) but only asks to use it judiciously while leaving results to His scheme of things.)
    *****
    Had we formally started the thread proposed I wouldn’t have exceeded my 100 word limit for today.Sorry for being long.

  19. Balwant Gurunay says:

    Dear Shekhar Bhai,
    You have produced great cinema and picked up some ground breaking themes. May I take this opportunity to request you to bless this theme with your creative genius.
    “LOVE EVERY ONE IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR COLOUR, CREED, CASTE AND RELIGION. IF YOU WANT TO BE RELIGIOUS, ENTER NOT THE GATE OF ANY ORGANISED RELIGION
    RELIGION IS BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, A VERY PERSONAL AND PIOUS RELATIONSHIP. WHAT HAS PANDIT,MAULVI,BHAI OR A PRIEST GOT TO DO BETWEN GOD AND YOU. PLEASE DONT TELL ME that GOD LISTENS TO THESE GUYS MORE THAN YOU.
    THINK WHAT THESE ORGANISED RELIGIONS HAVE DONE! RIOTS, WARS, TERROR.
    ORGANISED RELIGION PUTS PEOPLE IN GROUPS MOTIVATING THEM TO BE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GROUPS, BUT TRUE RELIGION IS THE RELIGION OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD.
    EVERY RELIGION TALKS OF LOVE BUT IF LOVING YOUR OWN PEOPLE MEANS HATING EVERYBODY ELSE, IT IS THE QUINTESSENCE OF SELFISHNESS AND BRUTALITY”.
    Today India is moving towards being a super power in terms of economy and political clout externaly, internationaly but at the same time internaly it is being threatened from being a super culture by narrow minded regional and religious tunnel views being selfishly furthered by our political leaders and this is what I and many of us see as the biggest threat to our nations very roots.If some thing can be done by you on this theme it shall be considered your greatest service to motherland in particular and humanity in general and the coming generations shall always remain thankfull to you.
    Balwant Gurunay.

  20. Harb says:

    Dear harijim, here is my piece of writing as suggested by you. I have not bothered to count the words because I dont think it is really necessary. I have just written the piece submitting to your suggestion but dont expect many people will follow suit. Anyway, it can give you an idea of my method of ‘flowing with the flow.” I take with equanimity whatever comes my way because I am neither for nor against anything. If making such an effort has come my way I am ready for it, I have written my piece with all my heart, but if no result ensues from it then so be it, I am equally at peace. Then over to Lord Krishana lol.
    *******
    Dear, dear fellow Indians!
    No day could be more auspicious to share with you certain concernes regarding the coming elections which I and a few of my friends have in our minds keeping in view the future of our great country.
    On the one hand, recalling our mastery in the software designing field in the last few years, our economic surge on the world scale, our winning the first-time gold and other medals at the last olympics and to top it all our taking
    the hollywood world by storm today by winning 9 straight Oscars one is left in no doubt that the time of India to regain its ancient glory and be one of the leading countries of the world has arrived.
    While on the other hand, from clouds of anarchy and instability in our neighbourhood made more monstrous by the possibility of nuclear weapons slipping into wrong hands leading even to the possibility of making the area an arena for a third world war, to the possibility of more and more Mumbai-like terrorist attacks as a consequence, to the almost uneducated, self-centered and criminal-like behaviour of most of our politicians sends a shiver down one’s spine as to whether this country can even remain united not to talk of its becoming great.
    Any sensitive soul of India would have wept from his heart if not actually hearing sage-like speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s helpless words a few days ago cursing certain politicians for their unruly almost goonda-like beahviour in the Lok Sabha. “May you all be defeated,” he had lamented.
    No doubt we are at the crossroads of history.
    Wise say such are the times to make or break something, somebody, an individual, a country, a nation.
    Either we can think right thoughts, take right decisions and follow them with right actions and make our great country jump to a new awarenes and work-culture compatible with the great possibilities enumerated in paragraph first above, that is, of achieving its ancient glory and leading place in the comity of nations, or, we can let ourselves be taken over by lethargy, laid-back devil-may-care attitude or even worse, by our own local self-interests to let the things run the way they are so long as they serve our own petty interests and behave as if nothing really worrysome is happening. Or at the most leave it to the politicians. With the inevitable result that sooner or later it will go the way of neighourhood, into anarchy, into divisions and ultimately into death as a country.
    It is time to choose. It is time to choose almost between life and death as a country.
    We, some friends, have made our choice. We have choosen life.
    We have found ourselves unable to forget the India of yore, the India which gave birth to almost God-like rishis, munis, fakirs, saints, fighter-saints, kings and princes; the India which gave birth to Vedas, Upanishadas, Gitas
    and Granths full of wisdom derived from the wisdom-wells of all regions and religions, the India whose spirituality reached the godly heights of seeing all as One, all as God. While in the West one William Wordsworth talked of
    seeing the world in a grain of sand and was celebrated for that, here it is the reality for almost everbody.
    And so here we move further to choose what right thoughts to think, what right decisions to take, what right actions and work-culture to adopt and then share them with you. With the full hope that just as we have brought these words and thoughts right from our hearts, similarly, you all will follow them in the same way – right from the heart, that is, with utmost earnestness, as if your very own life is at stake and not of some
    distant entity called country India.
    Now below I will enumerate what right thoughts to think, what right decisions to make, what right actions to adopt.
    A. Right thoughts:
    1. I am an Indian first and Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian etc later. No doubt I cannot forget my religion which is really the core of my being but I will for this very reason keep it strictly to myself. It will be sort of my most secret pact with my God. In the open I will not take part in any of those religious affairs/activities which will have the potential to harm my country in any way.
    2. I am an Indian first and Punjabi, Haryanavi, Himachali, Bihari, Maharashtrian, Gujrati etc etc later. No doubt I cannot forget my state but not at the cost of my country, India. I will think of my state as a part of India and not in isolation. If I am really honest I am sure I will not face any difficulty in serving both equally well at any time.
    3. I am an Indian first and my individual self later. I recall that it was not always so and understand the necessity of it being so now. Because extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures and moreover, I would better try to keep my country alive even at the cost of myself now rather than lose my country and make my life even more miserable alive than dead like Palestinian people later.
    4. I would not blame anybody because of their past/past actions, but only because of their actions from now on. I will keep myself free from any depressing thoughts of the past if any by constantly reminding myself of Lord Krishana’s words in Bhagvad Gita “What happened was for the good”. Moreover, I know paradigm shifts in people’s awarenesses cannot be brought by keeping them bound to their pasts. It is an experience really of the soul and for it to happen people’s souls will have to be set free of their pasts.
    B. Right Decisions:
    1. I will take decisions concerning the coming elections and even later guided by the above explained right thoughts. As a consequence, I will not caste my vote on the basis of my religion, region, self-interest or under
    influence of anybody’s past. I will judge everybody what and how he is doing now.
    2. I know I cannot decide about the goodness or badness of parties in general, especially the main parties and, moreover, know that there are good and bad people in all the parties. So I will choose the best available candidate from my area to caste my vote irrespective of to which party he/she belongs. I am sure good people in any party will do good/spread goodness allaround while bad people will do/spread badness. I am sure my this decision will discourage parties from giving party tickets to bad people in future.
    3. I will not be influenced by anybody’s money nor of muscle power and would keep in mind that nobody will be watching me while casting my vote so I will do what is really in my mind rather than out of any fear.
    4. I have full faith in the ancient philosophy of India that everybody is wise at the bottom so I will always stand by the idea of democracy even if sometimes its results may not look that good apparently. I am sure people’s inherent goodness/wisdom will show itself sooner or later.
    C. Right Action:
    1. I will act as per the right thoughts and decisions given above.
    2. I will acquaint more and more people of my area with the ideas contained in this paper.
    3. I will honestly educate people as to the goodness or badness of candidates of my area and will urge them to vote for the good candidate.
    4. I will shun earning money or other perks by wrong means post elections.
    5. I will shun giving or receiving favours.
    6. I will not approach people in power for any personal gains.
    7. I will work to the best of my ability and power.
    8. I will set examples for people to follow and will patiently expect them to follow on their own by overcoming their past prejudices/weaknesses step by step rather than force myself on them. I know paradigm shifts are led at first only by a few people, not by crowds. Crowds will first have to be mentally prepared obviously by persuasion, by helping them understand certain things at their own pace rather than by force. Force can be used later only on the exceptional few who prove themselves to be beyond reformation by persuasion, by any other means in fact.
    With this my dear dear countrymen, I close my paper. I earnestly hope that mother India shows you its inherent mysterious ‘light’ at this critical juncture which enlightens you enough to see the truth in the above words and morevoer, gives you strength enough to follow them in true spirit.

  21. Harb says:

    A few comments I received at an other blog may interest some of you here and may even set some thoughts rolling…
    *******
    I enjoyed reading your essay very much. Any story or writing which rings true on a human level has the power to awaken and inspire consciousness no matter what nationality.
    And I must say being from the USA, you sound very much like Thomas Jefferson.
    Keep up the good work, you may have found a new calling.
    Bonnie
    ********
    I say, Harb, that’s passionate.
    I sense a power in that which CAN change things. You are right there in it, seething with alchemic transformation, a leaven which can leaven the whole, and which certainly upticks my heart
    Ed (UK)
    *********
    I agree about recapturing India’s past. It just bothers me sometimes that so many people are willing to be content talking about a glorious past. They do nothing about having an equally glorious now. They bask in the glory that was instead of working for the glory that could be. Your attempt to do the latter is like a breathe of fresh air.
    Dara (Indian)
    Harb

  22. Chaitali says:

    I think Cinema can be really effective.
    Movies have different level of impact on different people. How about a movie, where we show the strategists working for the prime minister?
    We take few of the many issues, that needs to be resolved. Then we choose the best way to resolve it.

  23. Harb says:

    Shekhar, please if you can do it remove the previous revised message and in its place put the following one. Here I have added a couple of more points. No problem if you cannot.
    *******
    An Open Manifesto by a Concerned Indian for all Concerned Indians and especially the Youth regarding the coming General Elections.
    February 23, 2009
    Dear, dear fellow countrymen!
    No day could be more auspicious to share with you certain concernes regarding the coming elections which I and a few of my friends have in our minds keeping in view the future of our great country.
    On the one hand, recalling our mastery in the software designing field in the last few years, our economic surge on the world scale, our winning the first-time gold and other medals at the last olympics and to top it all our taking the Hollywood world by storm today by winning 9 straight Oscars one is left in no doubt that the time of India to regain its ancient glory and be one of the leading countries of the world has arrived.
    While on the other hand, from clouds of anarchy and instability in our neighbourhood made more monstrous by the possibility of nuclear weapons slipping into wrong hands leading even to the possibility of making the area an arena for a third world war, to the possibility of more and more Mumbai-like terrorist attacks as a consequence, to the almost uneducated, self-centered and criminal-like behaviour of most of our politicians sends a shiver down one’s spine as to whether this country can remain even united not to talk of its becoming great.
    Any sensitive soul of India would have wept from his heart if not literally hearing speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s helpless words a few days ago cursing certain politicians for their unruly, goonda-like beahviour in the Lok Sabha.
    “May you all be defeated,” he had lamented.
    No doubt we are at the crossroads of history.
    Wise say such are the times to make or break something, somebody, an individual, a country, a nation.
    Either we can think right thoughts, take right decisions and follow them with right actions and make our great country jump to a new level of awarenes and work-culture compatible with the great possibilities enumerated in paragraph first above, that is, of achieving its ancient glory and leading place in the comity of nations, or,we can let ourselves be taken over by lethargy, laid-back devil-may-care attitude or even worse, by our own local self-interests to let the things drift the way they are so long as they serve our own petty interests and behave as if nothing really worrysome is happening. With the inevitable result that sooner or later it will go the way of neighourhood, into anarchy, into divisions and ultimately into death as a country.
    It is time to choose. It is time to choose almost between life and death as a country.
    We, some friends, have made our choice. We have chosen life.
    We have found ourselves unable to forget the India of yore, the India which gave birth to almost God-like gurus, rishis, munis, fakirs, saints, fighter-saints, kings and princes; the India which gave birth to Vedas, Upanishadas, Gitas and Granths full of wisdom derived from the wisdom-wells of all regions and religions, the India whose spiritual reach touched the godly heights of seeing all as One, indeed seeing all as God. While in the West one William Wordsworth talked of seeing the world in a grain of sand and was celebrated for that, here it is the reality for almost everybody thanks to it.
    And so here we move further to choose what right thoughts to think, what right decisions to take, what right actions and work-culture to adopt and then share them with you. With the full hope that just as we have brought these words and thoughts right from our hearts, similarly, you too will follow them right from your heart, that is, with utmost earnestness, as if your very own life is at stake and not of some distant entity called country India.
    Now below I will enumerate what right thoughts to think, what right decisions to make, what right actions to adopt for your kind consideration.
    A. Right thoughts:
    1. I am an Indian first and Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian etc later. No doubt I cannot forget my religion which is really the core of my being but for this very reason I will keep it strictly to myself. I will take it as my most secret pact with God. So that I will not take part in any of those religious affairs/activities in the open which will have the potential to harm my country in any way.
    2. I am an Indian first and Utter Pardeshi, Punjabi, Haryanavi, Himachali, Bihari, Maharashtrian, Gujrati etc later. No doubt I cannot forget my state but I will think of my state only as a part of India and not in isolation. If I am really honest I am sure I will not face any difficulty in serving both equally well at all times.
    3. I am an Indian first and my individual-self later. I recall that it was not always so and understand and accept the necessity of it being so now. Because extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures and moreover, I would better try to keep my country alive even at the cost of myself now rather than lose my country and make my life even more miserable alive than dead like Palestinian people later. By so doing I will at least be ensuring a home for my future generations not to forget the future generations of India.
    4. I would not blame anybody because of their past/past actions, but only because of their actions from now on. I will keep myself free from any depressing thoughts regarding past if any by constantly reminding myself of Lord Krishana’s
    words in Bhagvad Gita “What happened was for the good”. I know paradigm shifts in people’s awarenesses cannot be brought about by keeping them bound to their pasts. It is an experience really of the soul and for it to happen people’s
    souls will have to be set free of their pasts.
    5. I will envision more and more role for youth in the future because I know that not only are they full of fresh energy but even more importantly, are free from the burdens of the past. Yet I will not allow this at the cost of respect for the elders, because I know that elders did no less in their own times to bring us to the state now where we can at least breathe, think and act freely.
    6. I will prefer inner wealth of knowledge and wisdom over outer wealth of assets and luxuries. And so will expend far more energy on gaining the former compared to the latter.
    7. I think it is time to be leaders unto ourselves and improve whatever things we want to improve rather than wait for the leaders from outside. I will have to be the leader at least for my small world around me myself. I am sure this way some day the whole of India will stand up on its own feet to improve things to really usher into a revolution from within.
    B. Right Decisions:
    1. I will take decisions concerning the coming elections and even later guided by the above-explained right thoughts. As a consequence, I will not caste my vote on the basis of my religion, region, self-interest or under the influence of anybody’s past. I will judge everybody what and how he is doing now.
    2. I know I cannot decide about the goodness or badness of parties in general, especially the main parties and, moreover, know that there are good and bad people in all the parties. So I will choose the best available candidate from my area to caste my vote irrespective of to which party he/she belongs. I am sure good people in any party will do good/spread goodness all around while bad people will do/spread badness. I am sure going ahead my this decision will discourage
    parties from giving party tickets to bad people in future.
    3. I will not be influenced by anybody’s money nor of muscle power and would keep in mind that nobody will be watching me while casting my vote so that I will caste my vote in favour of the person I have freely decided and not out of any fear.
    4. I will neither make any vulgar display of outer wealth myself nor appreciate anybody doing so. I will educate people to shun it in favour of inner wealth of knowledge and wisdom. I will not vote for the candidate who does such vulgar displays himself.
    5. I have full faith in the ancient philosophy of India that everybody is wise from the core of his being so I will always stand by the idea of democracy even if sometimes its results may not look apparently that good. I am sure people’s
    inherent goodness/wisdom will show itself sooner or later.
    C. Right Action:
    1. I will act as per the right thoughts and decisions given above.
    2. I will acquaint more and more people of my area with the ideas contained in this paper even by publishing and distributing it if need be. However, for the time being I will take care not to fall into unnecessary confrontations with anybdoy to ensure my kind of people grow in numbers enough before we can act more freely.
    3. I will educate people as to the good points and bad points of candidates of my area and will urge them to vote for the good and comparatively honest candidate. I know it will be very difficult to find completely honest candidates so long as people have to spend money on elections and so, I will term comparatively honest candidates as those candidates who collect money only for elections and not for making personal assets. I will not be easily swayed by the mere outer goodness and honesty of people because I know there are some people who look good and honest only because they are more clever at concealing their bad actions than others. I will go deeply into this aspect with my friends as time passes.
    4. I will shun earning money or other perks by wrong means from now on myself.
    5. I will shun giving or receiving favours.
    6. I will not approach anybody/people in power for any personal gains.
    7. I will work to the best of my ability, power and efficiency. I will do my best to remove the notion that “work to rule is like strike” from people’s minds.
    8. I will set examples for people to follow and will patiently wait for them to follow on their own by overcoming their past prejudices and weaknesses step by step rather than force myself on them and expect immediate results. I know paradigm shifts are led at first only by a few people, not by crowds. Crowds will first have to be mentally prepared obviously by persuasion, by helping them understand certain things at their own pace, by motivation rather than by force. Force can be used only later on the exceptional few who prove themselves to be beyond reformation by persuasion or by any other means.
    With this my dear dear countrymen, I close my paper. I earnestly hope that mother India shows you its inherent mysterious ‘light’ at this critical juncture which enlightens you enough to see the truth in the above words and gives you
    strength enough to follow them in true spirit.
    A Concerned Indian
    Jai Ho, Jai Hind

  24. Harb says:

    Anybody who has anything meaningful to say regarding the coming General Elections may join http://www.7rcr.com a site started by a well-meaning NRI (USA) friend.
    By the way 7rcr stands for 7, race course road, the official residence of the Prime Minister of India. He wil explain why he has chosen this name at the above site.
    Harb

  25. harijim says:

    I wish pure idealism worked.But it doesn’t because the realities of temporal and practical/pragmatic life wash away the magic woven by words in a few hours.So I would rather welcome everyone with warts and all, for none among us is perfect or milk-bathed as they say.Lets attempt to make India and the world better despite all our imperfections and handicaps.
    Considering this fact, the proposal was that if we as concerned,educated and aware Indians(with realistic experiences) could create a self-disciplined interactive dialogue,over a period of one month,wherein people’s real concerns could be laid out on the table(even non-Indians maybe,for if someone has a reasonable thing to say no harm in letting him or her express as this is not official anyway and a reason unheard would always be problematic later if ignored or not vented out-it would be foolish to think that with black economy so rampant outer forces don’t influence elections in India). Then from there we find the new India lurking somewhere within ourselves and bare it for all to see and judge for themselves and decide how they vote.
    Then sell(even if nominally priced) and not freely distribute the thread in printed form, for India is not one person’s country but everyone’s equally.And if this dialogue is destined to be read by many it will sell.Free distribution of pamphlets will become a kind of propaganda in itself.Who will pay for printing and distribution and to what interest.
    lets let the caravan which thinks and is concerned for India’s future increase by everyone’s independent will, not any single one’s persuation.For if it is not to be so then so it not be.
    Some concerns:
    With Bangladesh,Pakistan and Sri lanka in exterme turmoil seemingly orchestrated in view of the elecions in the subcontinent and given the fact that this subcontinent was preparing for a strong SAARC about two decades back when there was no EU and suddenly someone writes’Clash of civilisations and remaking of world order’ and there is a strong EU and no SAARC,no Middle-eastern Unity,almost no AU,and China’s march stopped by a recession makes the world look like a very sinister place.
    While US is seemingly haunted by recession and has a choclaty Obama for its smiling and smoothtalking posterboy, there have been agencies in the west known for doing things clandestinely with even the so-called President sometimes not aware of whats going on. The most powerful democracy has a history of putting their leaders to rest when the vested and invisible interests think that the prez might know too much or has lost his viability. But if some people are prepetually paranoid that shouldn’t stop sensible people from discussing progressive reason especially when the motive is to cohabit peacefully and prosperously without brooding over the past while also putting up with the paranoia of the habitual.
    In my opinion it would be good for all to accept colonization and modernisation lead by the west as destiny and God’s will and rather than trying to undo the past, think of a better future collectively. Lets usher a time in history when the west is able to repentantly apologise unprovoked, for there misdeeds with misty eyes and we kiss their wet cheeks with warmth saying “Its alright, its all part of growing up.But atleast stop the trickestry and trampling upon others now.Does not your bible tell you not to eat the forbidden fruit again and again”.
    No doubt the westeners gave India its national identity. Britain of the times would have loved to form many small countries like Africa to be able to keep a check and remote control them in some way later.But destiny interweened in the form of a weak Britain fatigued from WW2 with no leaverage to have its way while a strong willed Sardar Patel got all princes in line.At the stake of his personal health and life he united an India much bigger than Britain obviously to latter’s nightmare.US sharing a common lineage and under north atlantic treaty is playing the strong and powerful young son to Britain and keeping a check(looking after)on the erstwhile colonies seeing that no mishaps take place owing to a sour history.
    But we should ask ourselves why would have destiny helped us be a grand successful functioning democracy while many other countries turned banana republics, dictatorships or fell into outright anarchy.Was it to just be vengeful? Or was it to prove our ancient philosophy by outdoing others and rather leading others by example in the matters of peace,prosperity and forgiveness.
    ***
    Real talk is effective even if steared by idealism by all concerned than one-way idealistic lecturing or emotional appealing because people have now stopped playing ball to the latter.
    The point of the experiment could be to help ourselves evolve into new aware voters for our own regions while still voting realistically but with a new realism.
    How would one buy the contention that while one has had his icecream by wrong means the other who has yet not is expected now to just listen to good words of the satisfied been-there-and-done-it coverted idealist and forgo his ice-cream while he’s neither been-there-nore-done-it and nor does he know what is right and what wrong bacause what should be right is not giving him his icecream and what should be wrong he hasn’t tried. He would first need to be ensured that he gets his icecream by rightful means or he might opt to wait to sermonise others after he has filled his cup.
    One couldn’t also be sure about the old worldly proposal that we give more importance to the country than our individual lives in this age of on-choice immigration.Isn’t that how politicians of the yore prepared ‘shaheeds’ in the making(Or even what the Jehadis are doing in madrassas)so that they could rule the country after the brain-washed are dead.

  26. Harb says:

    Yes, yes, one must give the devil (of ice cream here)its due as I have always said. Nothing like if one can do so by right means.

  27. harijim says:

    Why call it devil at all, Harb, and create unnecessary scare. Lets just call it the body,as it is.
    And right means yes,’cause wrong means will catch up, sooner or later.

  28. Harb says:

    As long as there is something (desire) which others have ‘been there and done it’ and one wants to ‘be there and do it’ so long that something binds one and that which binds one is considered to be devil compared to that which frees one, which is really the divine in us.
    Of course both come in the scheme of things but then neither more nor less than Hitler and Mother Terssa.
    May be that no longer remains devil/binding for the new generation because the old generation has killed much of him even at the cost of getting abused from the new goody goody generation.
    Surely wrong means will catch up, those wrong means which are yet in the garb of right means and those which are really wrong means. Even otherwise it is a matter of time to see if one really goes there and do it by so-supposed right means. The real achievement will be though to go beyond the URGE to go there and do it. And mind you so long it is there one is always in the danger of falling for socalled wrong means.
    Moreover, as mostly these are the wishes and desires pertaining to the body no problem if someone wants to call it give the body its due, you know I meant this very things, even going beyond I meant for the whole body of the culture.

  29. Harb says:

    An other smaller version of post 23:
    The Prime Minister (virtual) of India addresses the Nation from his “official” residence http://www.7rcr.com (that is, 7 Race Course Road Com):
    Dear Countrymen!
    It gives me great pleasure to address you from this virtual platform because it will help me to reach directly to your souls and souls are indeed the ones which I want to reach in these extraordinary times.
    Bodies could be different – could belong to different regions, religions and stratas of socity, minds could be different – could be full of different regional, religious and intellectual prides and prejudices, but souls of a collective entity cannot be different. The soul is always one.
    The Soul of India is one.
    I want to address the Soul of India.
    Why I say these are the extraordinary times? I need not have to go far to explain.
    Even as I am writing this, the TV Channel Aaj Tak is airing its 10 pm special programme titled “Sawdhan Hindustan.” In it the Channel is warning India that it is being surrounded by instable and almost disintegrating neighbours from all sides and it should remain extraordinarily alert if it wants to save the same fate for itself.
    Pakistan, Afganistan and even Bangla Desh are being taken over inch by inch by Taliban. This frightening prospect is being further confounded by more and more dangerous developments by the day, what with Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaj Sharif being disqualified to fight future elections just today thus throwing its political climate into further chaos, Bangla Desh’s infamous Bangladesh Rifles openly rebelling against its Army to put stability of newly formed government of Sheikh Hasina into jeopardy, while Afganistan is already in a perpetual state of receiving such doses of destabilisation daily.
    Seeing the above in the light of the fact that Pakistan has nuclear bomb which could go into Taliban and eventually Al Queda hands any time, a most dreadful prospect for America, it would not be an exaggeration to fear full-scale armed intervention by America in the near future if not full scale third world war on our borders. And, God forbid, if this later eventuality happenes, it may lead to the use of even nuclear bombs once again in the history of the world.
    And I have yet not said a word about the picture inside India, about increasing possibility of Mumbai-like terrorist attacks because of the above, about the economic recession engulfing the whole world and its consequences for our ecountry which had just begun to develop wings in this respect etc.
    Nor I have said a word yet about the equally worrying political climate inside the country. Where, to say the least, statesmen have become politicians, politicians have become petty politicians, petty politicians have become outright muscle men and goondas of whosoever is in power, or whosoever can buy them. The elders are faltering, the middle agers have no political legs of their own, the youth are lacking confidence to take their place, with the result that criminals and people with money and muscle power are increasingly calling the shots in the body politic of our country.
    Amen. But…
    Such one-sided happenings do not make a times extraordinary. These could represent bad times but not extraordinary times. Extraordinary times are the ones when alongside the bad happenings there happen good ones of equal importance and intensity so that a little more pressure on either side could make an individual, a people, a nation tilt either way. Either make a paradigm shift to a new, higher order or fall to the ground in total chaos.
    Deep diviners of things know it which is why right before the extraordinary times of the happening of French Revolution great French writer Charles Dickens began his world-famous novel ” A Tale of Two Cities” with the lines: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It was the best of times because he could see in it the coming of French Revolution, it was the worst of times because in it the common people of France were under the most brutal oppression of French Aristocracy in their history. And this is not the only example.
    So…
    Yes, you have guessed right, my fellow countrymen!
    I also see alongside the present bad happenings in and around India a number of good happenings of equal importance and intensity as well which could well lead our country into its own Revolution of sorts – Indian Revolution.
    We have for the first time won so many Oscars for our people, we have for the first time won gold and so many other medals in the Olympics, we have for the first time reached the moon with our own rocket, we have for the first time reached almost double digit growth in our economy, our businessmen have steadily spread their wings throughout the world, we have set an example by making world’s cheapest car, we have shown the world once again that as ever when things go to deeper levels as from hard ware to soft ware we are the masters. We had already proved it when one of our geniuses had invented zero, when our spirituality had reached to the very home of the One/God through its philosophy of Advaita Vedanta.
    Do you think, my dear countrymen, these extraordinary things are happening now just by chance?
    Doesn’t these show that our spirit is racing ahead even though our body, the body of India is caught for a while in chaotic conditions without and within? Isn’t it clear that we are moving towards a higher order even while we are falling into chaos in terms of body? Perhaps it is the way of evolution: body does join later after getting rejuvenated and reorgansied.
    And in fact I know for sure it is so. You must also think with me that it is so and then our task will become clear.
    1. We have to understand the extraordinary times well – that these times contain within them the seeds of an Indian Revolution in the not so distant future – towards which our spirit is already racing.
    2. We must act in the light of this understanding and rejuvenate and reorganise our physical and political body-systems to ensure its achievment.
    For details about further practical action to achieve the same please refer to the Right Thoughts, Right Decisions and Right Actions part of my already given ‘address’ here under the title “A Dream Manifesto for the coming Indian General Elections.”
    Amen once again!

  30. harijim says:

    I agree with #29
    Regarding #28 There is no problem with having the desire to be-there-and-do-it if one wants to do it like Narayan Murthy or Barack Obama or Manmohan Singh or even winning Oscars or Olympic golds or world cups for that matter.The problem arises when one takes the route even of Dawood Abrahim or Osama bin laden or Prabhakaran to fulfil such desires.While I acknowledge the latter too are products of their extraordinary circumstances but however hard there lives might have been, their lives are not for emulation.Yes if one is again forced like the bandit Queen the results would naturally be different.But that is a reaction to what the society’s imperfections did to them not an aspiration or desire to have achieved some thing extraordinary within rightful limits.
    I would request once again to keep personal matters out of this debate.I’ll, as I always have, answer each of your questions if you really want me to.But this is not the forum for that.Besides if your generation wants a certificate of greatness I for one give it to you while we are the “goody goody” generation doing “wrong in the garb of right”.What do you want us to do, beat the shit out of someone?Does one think that if things come to that it would matter who’s who.One shouldn’t tempt nature,as you always say, and especially I may add if its trying the hardest to be good.
    Perhaps using some of your divinising tactics on this generation also might help you understand us better.

  31. Harb says:

    Nobody said dont go there and do it, nobody talked of whom to emulate and whom to not, the discussion was simply regarding the BODILY desires (Obviously I had only fulfilled my bodily desires by going there and doing it and not those which Narayana Murti or Manmohan Singh stand for so it was natural for me to take your words as pertaining to bodily desires only which you further confirmed by asking to use the word body instead of devil as also by talking of ice cream))and the use of the phrase “give the devil its due” in place of “give the body its due”. And the answer I gave was that the word devil was used becasue bodily desires according the spiritual texts you so often quote belong to tamasic qualities which will ultimately have to be transcended. Hence a bit bady name of devil in place of normal, body.
    Moreover sometimes one uses a phrase in vogue to convey a point more comprehensively because ultimately it will not only be the desires of your own body but of the body which is around you comrpsing of your family and relatives which have certain expectations from you in the form of duties and responsibilities. Until you give all of them their due according to the place you are at they will not let you live in the peace needed to do some higher work. Devil covers all the physical, emotional world related to you while body may have been taken literally as your body.
    Regarding beating the shit, beat the shit if you must out of the button inside yourself which gets so easily pushed, by asking yourself why it gets so easily pushed, beat the shit out of the button which forces you to demean/value-judge/ridicule all elders here and there.
    After many days of hectic acitivity spanning the whole world what with attending Oscar-related ceremonies, parties, giving interveiws not to talk of attending to his own work and taken-over by jet-lags Shekhar still squeezes some time to be with his bloggers if even for a few seconds and luckily gives a few lines of rare simplicity, sublimity and beauty. And you lose no time in ridiculing him by equating his lines with opinum of the masses citing Marx, with a child’s cry for Ma, Ma etc. (While I felt his physical/mental tiredness even from here and given the state going through which he must have written those lines requested him to take some rest ‘there.’)
    Even otherwise as at the end of our lives we will go to the ‘permanent sleep’ then why we spend so many hours sleeping daily? )Or why we take naps in the day even though we know a few hours ahead is the night itself? Beat the shit out of this tendecny to criticise poeple specifically elders unecessairly who have fought many a battles of life and still countinuing, on the basis of your shallow and frivolous understanding.
    These very people whom you ridicule made you goody goody in the sense that they did all the dirty work to bring you to the present state where you no longer have to dip your hands in the same dirt to enjoy those good things. Nothing bad so for but the problem arises when you begin to sermonise the same people regarding goodness, regarding this and that, that and this, thus making them bady bady in an effort to project yourself goody goody. And when this happens at your job and those elders, now your seniors screw you up because of your wrong behaviour then you make your parents/relatives beg this politician or that acquaintance to help you set things right. Is it not corruption? Don”t tell me they force you to do wrong things, the problem is never your not doing those things but rather trying to be oneup by giving goody goody lectures to them on the lines I have explained above. And it can well be understood from ameesage a few days back you wrote here in hich your XEN was seen rolling his eyes from one corner to an other. Why should you sit on him thus like a superbaap looking at his eyes. He too might have not done any wrong if his father also had enough acres of land for him to make his both ends meet.
    No need to do bad, to beat the shit out of anybody, and why for, just restraint yourself using your by now famous free will to leave the elders free, to themselves, if not to respect them. Set your own example for future but let them who are past their prime live on their own. You are welcome not to do corruption you may not co-operate with them on this but you need not cross-examine them on this count for their past actions. Leave it to them whose job it is, or if you feel so compelled to eradicate corruption do so by organising a group and take on corrupt people too as a group and not individually, otherwise that will just be to ploy to serve/pamper your own in some way. Doesn’t the same Bible which you told me about also say “Judge not so that you may not be judged?”
    And the threat contained in your words “Does one think that if things come to that it would matter who is who” is not heard by me for the first time nor I am in any doubt towards whom it is directed though it has come on the record for the first time. But it has no effect on me either way.
    Tempting nature will atleast bring the reality out that if you are TRYING to be good you are now not good and so stop hiding this fact by calling all others bad. Instead admit it, admit that it is in yourself, bring it out by writing, by telling anybody in whom you have confidence, show it the light of the day by bringing it out in the open in the above way, hold it in front of you, become conscious of it and then think on means how to get rid of it. In all probability then it will go away on its own accord. It is the only way it can be got rid of and not by hiding it, projecting it on others and always remaining in fear of it. Otherwise you will always remain in the danger of its erupting irrespective of whether one tempts nature or not, it will find its own ways to get tempted. Many many english pictures are full of such tempting episodes were one to come to that and I know most of them you have seen in your childhood already and have had great influence on you and even given you ideas. In sum, throwing it on others only helps you hide your own defects, stop it and accept your own defects and work on them and they will go away. There s nothing in the world which cannot be got rid of or which learned person like you cannot outgrow.
    ALTERNATIVELY, THIS IS MY LAST POST REGARDING THIS TO YOU, YOU MAY GO ON YOUR OWN, I WILL NOT RESPOND TO/INTERFERE IN YOUR WRITINGS IN ANYWAY, BUT THEN IF SOME DAY WHAT IS INSIDE AND FINALLY ERUPTS DONT BLAME IT ON ME, I WILL NOT BE SAYING A WORD FROM NOW ON NEITHER HERE NOR OUTSIDE, HERE IS FOR THE RECORD. It will be yourself responsible for yourself all the way.
    Bon Voyage!
    PS: And dont hold anything which you have against me, I want all truth come out. I want to see for myself my shortcomings so that these too are overcome. Otherwise I am better bad than good. I am not longer personal, I am public now.

  32. Harb says:

    I may also add that had it not for your similar behaviour towards Raj Babar who even telephoned you for a meety role in his film on Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the high recommendation of Bary John you would be a star today.
    Were you able to walk the talk you would have been in Mumbai even before that doing films, that is, when Bary John impressed by your talent gave you A certificate and told you to head straight for Mumbai, that you will be wasting your talent if you did not and opted for any other work and despite your famous free will you got entangled in you know what.

  33. harijim says:

    Get out of the guilt dear harb.Nobody’s calling you bad.You are not the issue here.
    ***
    While I think the west needs to start respecting there elders a little more.The east vice versa.

  34. harijim says:

    Nor am I the issue here for that matter.

  35. harijim says:

    Talking of getting ideas from literature and films-not for nothing was ‘Oliver’s twist’
    a classic.
    I couldn’t get the crime in getting ideas from films(even tempting ones).
    You pluck an 11 year old from his natural environs and send him thousands of Kms to fend for himself where he gets ideas from other brats sent there with similar ill-gotten money.Just check out my photograph before leaving Punjab and after returning back and you’ll get all answers you need for this life regarding me.You miserable @#!*.
    I was always on my own.For you I would have died long ago.I am living despite you not because of you.
    Enjoy your public life.

  36. harijim says:

    How many elders would physically push and throw their grown up 32 yr old sons in front of his wife and kids?And how many sons would choose not to retaliate?

  37. harijim says:

    Regarding begging from politicians:
    Any one who knows me knows I have never even asked anyone or any politicians let alone beg for any favours neither ever while getting a job or transfers.
    Yes when someone sours my ears as to how close a minister or CM is to him/her I ask him/her to prove it by getting a wrongful transfer stopped.For if power is not used for the good what worth is the power then.
    And its funny when such things come from people who got their only job ever by his father approaching a politician and getting him the job straight up.And when its his turn to have known somebody to stop the wrong being done to his son he has not a single aquaintance in 60 years of his life who could really help to get a transfer stopped.On the other hand is making fun of his son who on his own is trying to see if people in power are interested in doing any good.
    I don’t have to project myself as anything.Neither am I here for a certificate nor is anyone so childish here that he/she gets tricked into my false pretentions.I am what I am and thats what I write.As someone pointed out If I wanted any favours wouldn’t I be doing,saying and writing what I percieve my Xen would want or my father would want or Shekhar would want.I write from the heart and I don’t see why that should trouble anybody because its not against any single individual.
    Raj Babbar’s film on Ranjit Singh got shelved midway because of his political problems with SP and Congress who were in power in UP and Centre respectively.Besides it was not destined to be at that level and quality.
    By the way what did I get into:
    Getting married to a poor girl whom I loved and spending good 10 years with her having two wonderful kids with her.Seeing what the real world(even the closest ones) are like when you are not succesful.Getting first hand experience for 10 years how the govt. really works.I don’t repent for one moment the decisions I took because they were the right decisions.Yes at times I have had to struggle,fight not only others but even the most closest and thus came to understand the true meanings of the sacred texts.
    The acrage being mentioned again and again was forced down my throat in my earlier years and I developed a life accordingly with my kids being born. Let their be no doubt I will return every paisa with interest and you know I would.
    Even after getting my job without depending on anyone I was happy to go on cycle to my Office and live in Govt. accomodation as I was doing in my earlier years.And this house and the little car was provided by the self-proclaimed Godfatherly don so that his sons might not get out of his control.
    Yes I am not a naive revolter either against my parents(whose well being I’ve always sought)or the corrupt because I understand the malice deeply and know very well that localised and temporary drama won’t help until the black economy is addressed at a larger scale,which might need efforts from both the govt. at centre and mobilisation of public opinion in favour of transparency and white economy.And these are few of the other statements I wanted to make with my Cinema.
    The world is changing.Every other day we read about the US govt. pressing UBS and other swissbanks to disclose and return money to the tune of a couple of hundred billion dollars deposited while evading taxes in such safe havens.Such havens jeopardise both the sacredness of world economy and its volumes.
    My Xen has enough property for a family of four and the trouble is not with my lecturing anybody but not signing the dotted line as they would want knowing well its not in the best interests of the people on whose behalf I draw my salary.
    The other day people wanting to criticise me for its own sake while I know very well and even got confirmed that the person critisizing had not even watched Slumdog millionare.It was pointless.
    I could have remained silent but saw no point in adding on repressed karma to fructify even more bitterly later so I let it out.My cinema is not going to be a cinema of revolt but one of positive possibilities.My ‘dance’ is not that of Shiva the destroyer but Vishnu/Hari the preserver.So I don’t need such karmic baggage.

  38. harijim says:

    Dear Harb,
    I want to apologise.I got provoked and carried away.But I would request you to keep it this way without letting our relationship affect our blogging either mutually or any other way.
    I am also just trying to fulfil my destiny here.I have thought many a time to not come back to this blog but still I keep coming back.And no I am not addicted.
    Regards,
    harijim

  39. harijim says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I think I need to apologise to you too, for many things.So kindly accept my apologies.
    regards,
    harijim

  40. Harb says:

    My forgiveness is already in everybody’s fixed deposit for ever no matter what happens. Because I know all are fulfilling their destiny in whatever way.
    No need to stop writing on the blog. However, it would be better if we do not respond to each other’s post. At least I will not.

  41. d says:

    Mr Kapur,
    The word going around is that you are producing the remake of a Telegu blockbuster named Happy Days. How involved will you be in this project and would you describe it as “tool of change” cenema?

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