India’s betrayal of Da Vinci

May 19th was one date I was waiting eagerly for. That would have been the day, when a book that caught the imagination of millions and the first of its kind to get main stream appreciation for a secret that so many speak of in hushed tones, was finally being released for general viewing. I was waiting to watch it because as a normal movie buff, I wanted to see how well a director can handle a well written and a much acclaimed book. Its June 3rd today and there is still no sight of the movie anywhere in my country.

I feel alienated in my own nation these days. Here is a movie that is written, directed, produced and performed by Catholics, a movie that the pope himself is said to have seen, a movie that is running in Rome as well as in Israel but in Hyderabad its banned. It was banned 12hrs before its release here because the catholic community warned the govt of dire consequences if they approve and release the film. How is it not black mail? And why is the government yielding to this sort black mail?

It’s unfortunate that in a country of 1.2 billion people, the most powerful person is a Christian and following this precedent, the people of AP with its population of 100million have chosen another Christian to lead the state. Now, faith does not matter and it is a personal issue but at some level, where is respect for the people’s trust and mandate here?

I know of a hazar movies in Telugu where gods come down to the earth, drink alcohol, ogle at girls of the earth and there was never a word of protest from anyone here. Its humor and it is taken that way. I have seen instances of Ganesha being a part of witty one-liners but these same ministers never even uttered a word against it. But now, for this movie, there are scores of ministers who are taking a moral high ground and condemning it.

The issue at hand is not this movie but the general state of affairs here. A couple of days back a hard working English Professor from Hyderabad committed suicide and in his farewell note spoke about how this system has cheated him for 40yrs and how he has absolutely no interest in living in a nation that disowned him. He never distinguished between OC and BC students but from the age of 15 this man has been cheated every time because of these reservations. Now if some choose to call it cowardice, please feel free to do so and smirk at him, but the general feeling of most people who have to fight it out fair and square for survival here, are the same as that man’s.

In the last couple of weeks, my girlfriend’s been pissed at me because she believes I am running away from this country. She is angry at me because instead of slugging it out here and trying to contribute something to my nation, I am choosing the easy way out to lead a comfortable life in a foreign land. She is right. I am running away and I am not apologetic about it. I am being fucked here time after time and to the government, I belong to the last tier of the community for whom they care.

I cannot stop my car at a sensitive junction to let someone get off my car on a Friday Afternoon because this may lead to a jam and tempers can fly off. There is police everywhere and I don’t matter because there are protecting communal harmony! Parade Grounds, the largest public grounds in Hyderabad are full every Sunday with mass congregations to covert my own brothers! Do you ever find a guard to as much as regulate parking near temples of the holiest of festival days? Nah, our votes don’t matter so why should these babus waste time and personnel?

It’s frustrating at times to see so much oppression taking place. Some of my best friends follow faiths of their choice and this has never come in the way of our friendship. Never did any of us have any differences based on our faith and I am sure that is the case with millions of people in India. We are proud that we are a nation that has public holidays for celebrating festivals of 4 different faiths. That’s how we are and we are proud of that. But does it mean that the majority are the ones who have to get snubbed all the time?

Gujarat is a contentious issue and I don’t believe in those kinds of radical solutions like ethnic cleansing and stuff. But isn’t it a state’s major responsibility to maintain a sense of equality among the populace? Why should we get screwed because of small interest groups who lack education and survive because of corruption and brutal force? Why should my extended family, which for the first time has come together to enjoy a Saturday at the movies, be robbed of this experience due to personal agendas and vote bank politics?

I am glad am getting away from here. For a while I thought I could make a life out here but there seems no way for me but to “run away”. I am angry all the time these days. Reservations, pseudo secularism, and discrimination among brothers, moral policing, and personal agenda’s… it’s getting crazy. Even the community service initiative is not making me optimistic because every time there is someone or the other who questions my commitment and asks me why a simple problem like child labor and not AIDS or Women’s Right’s or Nature or some other issue? What I don’t get is how the fuck does it matter?

Maybe I am over reacting or maybe I am just taking things too seriously, but I am too pissed these days to even think rationally. And I guess only when I clear things up for myself and accept everything around me like the way it is will I get to be peaceful again. And I am still controlling my urge to look for a print online to download Da Vinci Code.

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8 thoughts on “India’s betrayal of Da Vinci”

  1. Well, dont worry about The Da Vinci Code. You’ll get to watch it anyway, for the same reason this country is, as they say, “fucked up”, because there’ll be underground circulation of DVDs.

    Well, dont worry about leaving the country also. If you go there and earn a quick buck and come back (please do… well, you may have to come back, you want to or not… I have this gut feeling that they’ll throw us all out of their country one day), you could be earning some good foreign exchange for the country. :p

    PS: Well, I’m learning to look at the positive side of things these days. :p

  2. Ravi,

    I understand the frustration you express. There are things one does not want to go back to, there are things one wishes do not exist.. but such things are sometimes.. the gospels.. no pun. One could fight them with all his will.. or, could play the cat.

    It’s not wrong to.. let’s say.. walk away from things one does not like/approve. Such flight could be construed as many things by many. Construals are not our problem.. something I am sure you ought to ‘ve understood by now. To stand and fight it out, to be the valiant knight, the Randian hero.. is the celebrated way to do it. Well.. subtler ways exist too.

    Everything said (or not) and done (or not).. lemme tell you.. “you” ‘ve no reason to be a frustrated soul.. and that is the best compliment I could give you.

    P.S. I thought after such a long post.. you deserve a longer reply :p

  3. Guys,

    After reading both ur comments the first thing i felt was that both of you have crossed a bridge where as I am still dilly-dallying.

    Anyways, thanks for those words above, they have instilled a sense of semblance especially coming from my own ilk.

  4. Ravi

    If you read the book and didnt like it, there is a gud chance that you might end up liking this movie..

    Anyway, it is really sad to see the way our politiicians are turning our country into. I was shocked to hear the news of davinci code being banned in a country like india. For gods sake, even americans and english people didnt had any problem with that…

    as you said , sometimes i feel iam better off being in USA though i miss my hometown very much…

  5. Its funny, everyone who comes over here likes India better than when they were actually there. Of course, once you get that central air conditioning, its damn hard to move back, but still, you can get your daily dose of nostalgia without the filth and corruption(well at least without the filth) through a number of ways. We’ve got temples in every town, movie theaters, satellite channels.
    Btw, Ayn Rand can suck it.
    See, we have just as many crazies in america as there are in India, the only thing is, this country’s big enough for you to never meet them. Plus you gotta stay out of the midwest. This country’s more fundamentalist than iran, i mean every one mile you can find a church (not counting major cities). All the religious crazies have been coming to this country since oh…the 16th century; except there’s enough pressure and policing from the state that they can’t resort to violence here. Plus there’s not enough people of that special group they hate so they mainly stay quiet. Like I said, its a big fucking country. So they make money and send money back home to continue the violence elsewhere.
    You’ll find everything from nazis to rss to black panthers in this country. But if you don’t want no beef, they ain’t got no beef.
    The one group that they do have enough people of to hate though, are the hispanics. Hence all this bullshit talk about immigration.
    If you can brother, come to this country, and continue with your life. Do what you want. At least that much freedom is available here, and its for EVERYONE.

  6. Bhai, Am coming. Am coming.

    Freedom. I always felt it was more here but that’s also the problem.

    What’s sad is even tough most here are of the same race, we still find ways and means to distinguish ourselves and identify with a particular group and seek redemption.

  7. Ravi, I didn’t know you were going through such emotional upheavel until I read your post. It can get very disturbing and frustrating at times. I guess that was one of the reason I decided to leave. But it can be the same everywhere. 🙂


  8. Dude,

    I have been in the US for sometime and believe me, the only thing this place is good for is Sex. In all other cases u are a Visa Slave..

    I am planning to return soon 🙂

    I hope people like u should too. Make sustainable investments and return.. best thing u can do.. cheers!

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