Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Independence Day

So it will be a Happy Independence Day after all. The Box Office is keeping producers of this movie happy and that the lead character's name is Happy is only, well, a happy co-incidence.

Abhinav Bindra's win at Beijing has exhausted all possible phrases with the word gold in it. With so many (more) news channels and newspapers(and some more) around, no wonder everything looks and sounds the same. So this Independence Day, all of India, which, to the news channels consists of everyone in their air-conditioned, glass-walled news studios and those whose who overwhelm them with text messages and emails will celebrate the arrival of India on the world scene (Have you already forgotten the nuclear deal?) and the emergence of a confident, self-assured youth here in India. Thank you Abhinav, if not for you, we'd have had a very gloomy Independence Day celebration or so our newsmen and women would have liked us to believe. Left with nothing but the increasing inflation and rising costs, they would have perhaps shed a tear or two(damn, it's already raining, why add to people's misery?) about the floods down South or would've gone on about how freedom is not all that happy as a certain government is making others dance to its tunes, rather not to dance to any tunes.

Rabbi's second album is out and Bilqis(Jinhe Naaz Hai) perhaps captures my sentiments best. I still remember talking about the short public memory with Sap while the Satyendra Dubey episode was making the headlines and I now wonder if any of us still remembers him. What I did not know was about Navleen Kumar. A social worker fighting for the land rights of tribals in Nallasopara, Thane District, she died on receiving 19 stabs on June 19, 2000. She was fighting against the powerful Thakur family which has built nothing less than an empire in those parts of the Mumbai suburbs. Strange enough that I did not come across this earlier, as Nallasopara is very close to Boisar which I (used to) visit quite often. Rabbi remembers her in Bilqis(Jinhe Naaz Hai) along with Shanmugan Manjunath and Bilqis Bano. Here's the video -

We're still a young country and have a long way to go. And long way in the life time of a country usually means centuries. Neither are we going to rule the world tomorrow nor will we cease to exist as a country the day after. Someone please go tell that to our media persons. Or am I asking for too much from them? What the hell, I'm free to think and wish in this country and that remains my wish for this Independence Day. That we try and nip this obsessive celebrity following and excessive consumerism in the bud or we'll end up as something else. Now, that's for another post. Enjoy the extended weekend. Did someone say Independence Day? What's that? Isn't that on July 4?

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