Monday, September 01, 2008

Amu

Had watched this a month back, but never got around to writing about it. I quite liked it. Some patchy acting by supporting cast( I wonder what was Brinda doing there? ) , and a rather non polished look, reminds you of those parallel cinema movies of the 70s-80s sometimes. Good acting by Konkona of course, ( I absolutely love her!) Overall a story well told, ( and of course we don't know what the government edited out)

And it is rather interesting isn't it, that its a part of our history thats so thoroughly buried and forgotten. It was quite real and close when it happened. I remember distinctly standing on the roof of the house we then stayed in, counting the burning houses all around. There were at least 5-6 visible from the relatively short 2nd storey roof. The policeman shooing us kids away and telling us there was a curfew on. The playtime discussions of whose father was keeping mid night vigils and how. Did I wonder then why my father didn't ?

I don't think I wondered then, or for many years after that. But watching Amu recently and the subsequent discussions with nn who feels quite strongly about the whole issue did result in some get me thinking about some things.

Yes it was a pretty blatant state instigated/organised/ condoned/ and finally forgotten violence. No justice was ever served, and every 5-6 years you still get a random feature on some show about the widows still fighting for justice. But the fact is that not only is the whole thing forgottten, its been forgotten with a vengeance. That this movie was buried is pertinent, because not only was it buried, it was buried so effectively that most of us didn't even hear about it. Which is somewhat different from the burial for all the other bombay/gujarat movies, whose banning evokes much coverage.

So the obvious question of why its forgotten, perhaps isn't that hard to answer. After all who benefits from raking it up ? Justice for all, as we all know, is just a platitude, there has to be some mileage somewhere for someone important for anything to happen, which isn't the case here.

The other question, more interesting perhaps is, what changed? What changed in such a way that it became a 0 mileage issue? 2 decades back, when you boarded a DTC bus, and the sign said - 'seat ke neeche bamb ho sakta hai' , you glanced down if you saw a guy with a turban and beard. That changed. It changed so completely, that I'd forgotten that people ever had such prejudices. However, nowadays, we'll glance down if we see a guy in white cap and beard.
I don't know the answer to that one - what changed.

And of course there's the third question, should it be this way? That history should be rewritten, and books, movies and plays banned because they may raise questions? What if the questions are long forgotten? Is it any different if the questions are asked everyday anyway?

I don't think it should be this way, I guess I'm still young enough to believe in the ideals about justice. But the cost benefit equations seem more complex than they once did.

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