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.