Much Ado About Nothing

The movie “Aarakshan” is the new hot potato. It is surrounded by all sorts of controversies, right from the speculation of being anti-reservation to containing dialogues that might stir proletariat sentiments. The apprehensions regarding the release of the movie are appreciable in the sense that this is the liberty that a democratic form of government endorses. But, at the same time, there is another aspect of the issue, which is much needed pabulum. It is not that the masses have never thought or talked about the reservation issue before!

This issue has gathered attention since time immemorial, even much before the script of the movie might have been anywhere in existence. So, it is not right to say that the movie might stir public sentiment. Anyone and everyone who has attended college knows about the reservation system prevalent in our country. An 18yr old is probably the best person to tell you about the quota system. The issue is not whether it is right or wrong, it is not a black and white case, there are grey shades and a common justification does not hold true for any school of thought.

What is worth giving a serious thought to is that when we were kids, we did not know about the caste system, about reservation or the quota system? The moment we were on the verge of seeking admission to college, we were exposed to it. We were introduced to the caste based society that our ancestors had created. Aren’t we creating a caste based society by means of such a system? On the other side, it’s not that we come to know about the social bifurcation only after entering college, it is only the intensity which differs. Knowing something and experiencing it firsthand are two different things altogether. I am not completely against the system but against the impact the system is leaving/ has left on our society, by bifurcating it on lines of caste.

Coming back to the movie, what Mr. P.L. Puniya and the SC/ST commission need to comprehend is that even if a movie demonstrates the mirror image of what is happening in the country i.e. with which we are well acquainted, cannot possibly stir public sentiment as we are dealing with it in our day to day life. However, aware of the notorious elements in our country that are always on the prowl for issues that disrupt national harmony, I respect the minister’s concern for national harmony. But our security forces are able enough to deal with the hooligans. Moreover, the movie has been banned by the machiavellianMachiavellian UP and Punjab state governments, what is worth giving a serious thought is the “coincidence” that these two states are going for poll in few days. This is just an effort to propiate the backward classes. Let’s not confuse it with concern shown by politicians.
All Ii am trying to say is that let’s not be paranoid about the kind of cinema being made in the country, cinematic liberty should be respected, and let’s not jump to conclusions, probably the movie portrays some aspect of the issue which has been neglected.

For instance, consider a pseudo situation in which a Dalit is denied entry into a temple or is not allowed to drink water from the same well as a Brahmin. How can a director show this on camera without portraying the ill treatment rendered at the hands of such Bbrahmins? What is being done by our “responsible” media is they show some extracts of the film, which are taken out of context without considering the complete thing, creating controversy.
Let’s give the movie a chance and be a mature audience and live up to the democratic principles of which we Indians boast. Let’s not reserve our thoughts and think the way we have been conditioned to, but let’s see different point of views and come to a consensus after doing so.

Saw the movie, nowhere is it even close to anti-reservation; in fact it is nowhere near to reservation. It has very less to offer if you are going with that mind set. It addresses more of the “coaching classes” issue, DISAPPOINTED…

Sanyam Kumar