Atanu Dey On India's Development

Tell the Truth and Run like Hell

| 49 Comments

Actually, have your best running shoes on when you start telling people what they don’t want to hear. What they generally don’t want to hear is anything that shows them up to be boobs. They don’t want to hear that they are being screwed over by the government. Add to that the fact that they are also very proud of being a “democracy.” Which makes it especially painful for them because if you tell them that their government is raping them, they don’t want to know it because it would mean that they are complicit in their own rape. How does the government manage it, you may ask. One word: media.

David Hume recognized that over 240 years ago:

Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as FORCE is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.

(David Hume, “Of the First Principles of Government,” in Essays, Literary, Moral and Political.)[1]

Opinion is easy enough to manipulate if you control the channels of information. First of all, control the schools, and ensure that only those texts are allowed that the government approves of. Does this happen in India? You bet.

Next, control the newspapers with sticks. How? Well, you can always shut them down for some reason for the other and make the life of the editors miserable. Does this happen in India? Yes.

Next, control the newspapers with carrots. How? Take the tax payers’ money, then spend on advertisements in those newspapers (and magazines.) Does this happen in India? Yes. Check out this annual report of the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. In the year 2008-09, they spent over Rs 277 crores advertising in 4054 newspapers.

I don’t have the figures on hand, but remember that those Rs 277 crores is the spend from only ONE agency of the government — DAVP. There are scores of ministries — a few hundred — of the central and state governments. Together their ad budget must exceed Rs 2,000 crores. (Finding the actual numbers is left as an exercise for the really interested reader.)

Now let’s talk about the TV channels. TV is very popular. So the government makes sure that nothing bad about the government is ever broadcast on TV. How? Make sure that there are lots of circuses on TV.

How about radio? Well, the government only allows idiot DJ to talk on commercial FM. It does not allow current affairs and news. The government controls the radio that is heard by most Indians — All India Radio. And the government also owns the public TV channels — Doordarshan.

So there you have it. Indians are brainwashed into thinking that the Nehru-Gandhi family is destined to rule. Even the prime minister believes so. And if anyone ever doubts the honesty and rectitude of the prime minister (or the president), the brainwashed get their hackles up.

In my last post, I claimed that Blue Turban is a despicably dishonest man. I made the case that he shields crooks. He has done it repeatedly and no one ever pays for their corruption under this watch.

But is there a debate about this topic? No. Do some people find it unpalatable that I should call the Blue Turban a dishonest person? Yes. But they don’t argue the point. They just want to shoot the messenger.

I think that those who refuse to see that Indian politicians (Blue Turban not excepted) as corrupt are brainwashed. Nothing can penetrate that.

NOTES:

[1] David Hume quoted in THE POLITICS OF OBEDIENCE: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by ÉTIENNE DE LA BOÉTIE. (Hat tip: Abhijeet Singh.)

  • TiredProf

    “The government makes sure that nothing bad about the government is ever broadcast on [private] TV. How? Make sure that there are lots of circuses on TV.”

    Nyah. Private enterprise and TRP are enough to render Indian TV puerile and vapid. Read May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss by Arnab Roy.

  • SR

    Very True…

    In states like Tamil Nadu, every political party has (big or small) have a TV channel (and congress has two – just two for six major factions) and people have smartly started averaging news from multiple sources. And most of their time is filled with Soaps, Movies, Music and other useless stuff.

    State of newspaper is even more pathetic. Reporters are corrupt and so is the owners who want to make big money by all means.

    Unfortunately there is hardly any quality debate on several crucial issues affecting the nation / state / district (there are hundreds of them)
    The only hope is Internet and that has the ability to break the barrier in the next decade. I expect Internet Radio and TV to provide a good alternative to the present media.

    Let us hope for the best.

  • sriram

    needless to punctuate:
    FORCE is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion

    All the rest is a manifestation of people’s collective wisdom. Given this, I think we should seriously work on (if we want to) improving this wisdom at the grass-root levels (education? poverty? population control?)

  • larissa

    Indians are hopeless. Their national pastimeis watching soft porn i.e. Bollywood. I cannot watch a single of those movies to the end…Just a reflection of the state of culture. Why must businessmen cater to the lowest common denominator in terms of entertainment? Who says the poor man only wants to watch stupid movies? Why is he not entitled to watch something better? Because the business class does not give him something better as long as they know that they can make a buck out of people’s studidity. Its not just the government controlled media–just take a look at Bollywood…

  • Omkar

    I could not get the title of the post – … Run Like Hell

    Why run like hell? And where to run? Well, I am not talking of you, as you can run to the US!

  • Pushkar

    Watch Asstha channel 8-9 PM , to watch real face of our govt being shown, By Swami Ramdev and his collegues.

  • Sundried Atheist

    Man there are certainly some really weird characters on this blog commenting out of their arse.

    Ain’t kidding bro, check out this post

    Indians are hopeless.Their national pastimeis watching soft porn i.e. Bollywood. I cannot watch a single of those movies to the end…Just a reflection of the state of culture

    Aright, so we can fairly believe that the lady in question believes that most if not all Indians are hopeless. In other words, they are screwed for good and there is no hope for their redemption.
    Now let us ponder on her pearls further

    Who says the poor man only wants to watch stupid movies?

    I guess that would be you. Please read the your own post above where you said that Indians are hopeless. Do you guys see the contradiction. Not in a span of two or two posts but in a single post

    and then………

    Why is he not entitled to watch something better? Because the business class does not give him something better as long as they know that they can make a buck out of people’s studidity. Its not just the government controlled media–just take a look at Bollywood…

    Well can’t you identify the problem? Who are you blaming, the hopeless Indians or the media? Kindly make up your mind soon,Larissa, you are running out of rope now.
    Only a fool like you can think that a person who spends more than twelve hours working his arse off can enjoy theatre and something really intellectual. This cheap entertainment you are reffering to is the life soul of these people.
    If you really wish to do something about these people then do something about it. Ranting about how stupid we Indians are and how pathetic our existance is not going to help you, unless it is your cause to malign us with full blooded rhetoric.
    If you hate our country and our people so much then kindly stick to knitting or watching your elitist programs on US television. We don’t need advice from the likes of you who live in a foreign country and then comment on how miserable we Indians are. hushhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! run while you can.

  • veer

    larissa–> you sound like arundhati roy who is communist.go watch shabana azmi and javed akhtars jholawala movies if u please and let us enjoy. i bet you are from rich zamindar family who can afford to pursue arts.

    i bet you also are also appreciative of “highbrow” art of MF (guess its expansion) hussain ;-)

  • larissa

    No I don’t appreciate art of MF–. Does not mean I have to appreciate the low grade Bollywood industry–they try soooo hard to copy Hollywood–at least Hollywood is original in its banality…Indians have made some good movies (old ones mostly)…but as of now the movie industry is horrible…Indians always get mad when I tell them this and think you are a snob when you can’t stand Bollywood! That really makes you some kind of snob in their eyes. Ha! Does not mean I don’t like movies or I am communist–just don’t like the cheap imitation suff Bollywook churns out these days. Really gets on my nerves….I have seen some good old Indian movies–they are not Bollywood productions!

  • larissa

    Most of Bollywood is just grotesque. Can’t see why one has to like those movies. My father knew a famous film director. When asked why he made such bad movies, his response was that his audience was mostly working class–who has very scant source of other entertainment. But why must they have to watch such trash? His logic did not make sense. Better for him to be honest and say he makes money provding cheap entertainment to poor people. As if they are not entitled to higher forms of entertainment by virtue of being poor!

  • larissa

    Only a fool like you can think that a person who spends more than twelve hours working his arse off can enjoy theatre and something really intellectual. This cheap entertainment you are reffering to is the life soul of these people.

    No that is entirely false. Why can’t the film industry made a great movie for this kind of audience as well? You are the one who does not make much sense. This is the businessman’s logic to make a buck out of such folk. They are entitled to better movies just like everyone else. Ever heard of Tagore’s poems? They used to be sung by even people working in the fields. You mean to tell me that poor people can’t appreciate good movies? You are the one who is not logical like the director who tried to justify making bad movies.

    I always love the way Sundried Atheist pounces on whatever I have to say…Take a dip in the lake and cool off.

  • larissa

    If you really wish to do something about these people then do something about it. Ranting about how stupid we Indians are and how pathetic our existance is not going to help you, unless it is your cause to malign us with full blooded rhetoric.
    If you hate our country and our people so much then kindly stick to knitting or watching your elitist programs on US television. We don’t need advice from the likes of you who live in a foreign country and then comment on how miserable we Indians are. hushhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! run while you can.

    Whoooaaa! Hold on there! Saying the film industry sucks in India and has not produced much that is original seems to get on people’s nerves a lot! No I am not highbrow or whatever, just don’t like Bollywood–can you name one recent Bollywood movie which can be said to be a fantastic movie that people who are not even Indians might also like to watch because it is highly creative and original? I am not talking of old movies. Answer this question before you get all agitated.
    Now I don’t like watching cricket either. I gues that makes me an Indian hater? Incredible. Also coming from Sundried Atheist who considers himself very wise for his years and enjoys explaining concepts glibly to the audience :-) )

  • larissa

    @sundried atheist
    And one last thing sundried atheist, who said a good movie has to be “intellectual.” I am talking of originality here not cheap imitation.

  • http://mitraroger.spaces.live.com Raja Mitra

    What you say is only partially true. While it is true that mainstream newspapers don’t want to fall foul of the government of the day, for fear of losing out on ads from various ministries and departments, they are dependent on various other ads as well. This, in turn is dependent on their audited circulation figures. If there is an anti government sentiment running strongly in the state or in the country, most mainstream newspapers have to go along with that to an extent because their circulation figures would plummet otherwise.

    AIR & Doordarshan have been rendered largely incidental by a host of private FM channels on radio and hundreds of private TV channels. As someone correctly remarked, in many instances these are backed by various political parties, so if one were to surf across a number of TV news channels one would get all shades of views on the same topic and, after eliminating the extremes, the discerning viewer should be able to get to the truth reasonably easily.

    Two typical instances of such behaviours have been the trend on reporting about Shashi ‘Mundu’ Tharoor & Lalit ‘Ghapla’ Modi. When Tharoor was first appointed MoS for Foreign Affairs the media gushed about this ‘new age, smart & savvy’ politician without checking up his antecedents or some of his past track record. Hardly any mention was made about the U.S. assessment that he did not have the necessary ‘maturity and leadership qualities’ while rejecting his candidature for the position of Secy. General. Neither was his duplicity in getting Christa Giles promoted out of turn and installed in the office next to his on the 10th floor of the U.N. just because he was carrying on with her while still married to Tilottama Tharoor, mentioned. Added to this was the fact that Tharoor played the media beautifully, granting them many interviews, a host of vacuous and jejune sound-bites and his ‘tweets’ on top of that, getting most of them to eat out of his hands. Yet, when the shit hit the ceiling and the media figured out that the whole dubious business of his ‘haseena ki paseena’ (darling’s sweat equity) had turned public opinion against him, they turned against their ‘poster-boy’ and dropped him like a piece of red-hot coal.

    Modi’s story is fairly similar. Check out the very favourable coverage of IPL & Modi by most of the media before his tweet about Sunanda Pushkar’s equity in Rendezvous Events (or Sports?), the IPL Kochi franchise, stirred the hornet’s nest and the point I have made earlier will become amply clear.

    Incidentally, while on the subject, your good friend Mr. Blue Turban, within less than two weeks of making a public show of asking Shashi Tharoor to step down as the MoS for Foreign Affairs, is quietly moving him back again, a step at a time (check out the link below). Do you have any comments about this?
    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100503/jsp/frontpage/story_12405718.jsp

  • Oldtimer

    I doubt that Bollywood any longer is sustained by front-benchers who whistle and dance and throw money as their fav screen diva gyrates. Its revenues come now largely from the multiplex-goers and NRI crowd. The rootless setting of many plots involving Indians abroad, the Hinglish nature of the script, even the English titles are indicators of this transformation. In the last season, 3 Idiots was among the top ten box-office grossers world-wide (competing with Hollywood flicks like Avtar) and half of that money was generated outside of India. (Though I’d put this film in the “wholesome”, not “cheap”, entertainment category). The point is that Bollywood today is patronized mainly by the middleclass, not by toiling masses looking for an escape from daily misery.

  • Jay

    I agree with Larissa’s observation about the current crop of movies being churned out of Mumbai film industry – I utterly dislike the term ‘Bollywood’ :( – IMO the golden period of Indian cinema in general and Hindi cinema in particular is over, ended way back around ’82 or so, lasting exactly 50 years.

  • Sundried Atheist

    @Larissa, I really don’t give a rat’s ass to what an Elitist, out of touch with reality, whimsical and stupid woman has to has. Your comments are full of shit which actually show what is filled in your head.
    Everytime you post you launch a tirade against Indians. WTF is your problem, huh! You are not even an Indian. If you hate India so much stay home and don’t tell us what we should be doing.
    You have been shitting over this forum with your illogical, absurd and melacholic statements about Indian and Indians. Don’t try to pretent to be something you are not, which in your case would be an original thiker.

    @Jay, how can you read Larissa constatnt ranting about how pathetic we Indians are and agree with her. This female has been going all around this forum, making absolutely no positive contributions but only taking BS. She has a problem with Indian’s average man, she has a problem with everything about India and she would like to see an India that suits her image.
    I have only two words for someone like her, FUCK OFF.

  • Sundried Atheist

    Not so Oldtimer. I guess you should check out what most working classes do in the whever they have free time. They watch movies. In rural populations, movies are the only way out of the hard realities of life. Go to any rural place and you will get to see housefull theatres.

  • veer

    larissa–> why is copying bad? were all the topclass hi-tech goods made in japan invented in japan? there is no harm in taking something from west and making it better; china is now a superpower by copying the west.facebook is also a stolen idea and kaun banega crorepathi and bigg boss borrowed from britain (even original was won by an indian)!

    even your favourite poet tagore copied the tune of scotch auld lang syne to purano sei diner katha and even won nobel for it! even west acknowledge our creativity by giving OSCAR to dhileep kumar (ar rahman now) for slumdog millionaire.

  • Jay

    @Jay, how can you read Larissa constatnt ranting about how pathetic we Indians are and agree with her…

    @SundriedAtheist…I have only agreed with Larissa’s observation about the current crop of movies coming out of Mumbai and that doesn’t mean in anyway that I find the rest of her post in line with my view. No mitra, thats what you seem to view it as. Heck, I can say, even around four to five years back there were couple of good movies being made…now what you see in movies is pure westernised look and feel, and you feel like throwing up. I guess its like, to quote Lee Iacocca…More catholic than pope! :P in aping the west! After all, we Indians have been under subjugation of foreign rulers or foreign born rulers for more than a millennia…and heck even now we have an Italian lording over us from behind the throne!…and consequently we have lost our native identity and ave to look to other cultures, other civilizations to feel our worth. I don’t need to mention it to a knowledgeable person like you but its true…we might be free physically, but let me assure my friend we are now more than ever mentally slave of everything west or westernised concepts, things, ideas and what not!

  • larissa

    “I agree with Larissa’s observation about the current crop of movies being churned out of Mumbai film industry – I utterly dislike the term ‘Bollywood’ – IMO the golden period of Indian cinema in general and Hindi cinema in particular is over, ended way back around ‘82 or so, lasting exactly 50 years.
    Bpllywood–why does even the very name have to mimic “hollywood”?
    I guess sundried atheist just can’t take self-criticism. I notice when you corner people like that (who seem to think they are know it alls in everything) they make absurd statements that you are not Hindu and what not. Also for someone who tries to be rational(explaining historical concepts to people with very high notions of the validity of those opinions), he resorts to blurting obscenities, instead of showing me some logical reasons as to why Bollywood is so great! The fact that poor people watch movies does not mean that they have to be reduced to watching movies catering to the LCD. Maybe not all people fall asleep when watching Bollywood. I appreciate good movies–I have seen good movies and India once used to produce world class direcotrs such as Ray. It takes courage and some vision and talent to produce good movies–you might have to face the fact that you might not make a quick buck. You don’t even need too much money. I believe Ray’s best movies were made on a shoestring budget.
    Don’t worry insecure Indians always get offended when you tell then not everything about India is all that great–the worst being the current movie industry which produces the greatest amount of movies, not of which are world-class quality.
    I find Bollywood grotesque. After all, entertainment is just a relfection of a culture. I mentioned Bollywood because like most of the unreadable english print media, it’s also getting ever sleazier….
    If that makes me anti-Indian so be it….

    Sundried Atheist, if you think Bollywood is so great, give your reasons?
    @veer–copying is not bad. Its a matter of how you copy and if the copy is something unique and original. A culture copies and generates something of its own incorporating the copy. Take Japanese manufacturing which is just an improved upon version of Western technology. There is a difference between copying in the sense of aping and copying in the sense of producing something unique, utilizing the copy. A culture can do the latter–

  • larissa

    Wait a second–now my comments are going into moderation because of some comments about the movie industry! While sundried atheist’s cursing is allowed? What kind of censirship is that Atanu? Do you see how offended people like Sundried Atheist get when you show them that they are not wise as they think they are?
    Larissa

  • larissa

    now what you see in movies is pure westernised look and feel, and you feel like throwing up.

    thanks. At least not everyone thinks Bollywood is the greatest and are capable of criticism. You have no idea how you suddenly make enemies when you criticize “Bollywood”. Has happened to me at parties. This is not to say Indians are not capable of producing great movies, simply that the movie industry has produced nothing world-class as of late, and is focused on garnering the most receipts i.e. $$$ (you can see from the low quality films produced). I don’t mean to offend people who like such movies as people’s tastes differ. India has had great film directors such as Ray to take an example. What I am trying to get at is this not the same as in manufacturing and in other things? Can you name one product that India is known as a leader that others want imitate its know-how such as in the manufacturing of world class cars or shoes or textiles and what not? The movie industry is only part of a general phenomenon. Even after 60 years of independence India is not known for any brands…That might change in the future but considering the state of affairs one remains skeptical…

  • Jay


    >>…India has had great film directors such as Ray to take an example…

    @Larissa…I’ll admit that barring one movie of his — ’77 flick ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ which I have seen, I am not that eneamored of Ray that much, IMO there were far-far greater movie-makers than Ray, if you let me say so… :P who were not interested in portraying India’s poverty as a feast for Western eyes, like for eg. V Shantaram saab (his uber-classics like ’39 ‘Duniya Na Maane’ — a film way ahead of its times, ’57 classic ‘Do Aankhein Barah Haath’, ’72 ‘Pinjar’ et al), or films made under the banner of Bombay Talkies in 30s & 40s like Gyan Mukherji’s ‘Kismat’ in which Dada Monee played anti-hero for the first-time in Indian cinema — there are so-called film-critics & scholars who attribute this fact to who else but our dear Pak-lover SRK in ’93 flick ‘Baazigar’, that of playing anti-hero for the first time!), Bimal Roy’s classics like ‘Do Bigha Zameen’, ‘Sujata’, ‘Bandini’, Hrishi da’s ‘Anupama’, ‘Anand’, ‘Abhimaan’, ‘Jurmana’ et al, Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awara’, ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’…my point being all these greats and legends I have listed didn’t need to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…they portrayed it in such a manner that it rhymed with the average cine-going audiences!

  • pc

    Agree with larissa on bollywood. Anybody who can take three hours of such crap must be filled with shit in their head. Just because poor people may entertain themselves on bollywood and may even like it does not mean that I have to like it. Thats such a commie argument. This blog is a leader in saying what it thinks is true. After all, one of Atanu’s favourite themes is how indians (and they are mostly poor) keep voting the same bastards to power again and again, even though they are shafted by the goons that are our politicians.

    If bollywood is so bad, the TV programs are equally horrible. The serials that are aired these days are full of deceit, intrigue, superstition, people cheating one another. And people watch them all the time. Poor people too, everybodys got TV these days, even in a thatched hut. BUT THEY ARE WATCHING SHIT. ALL THE TIME. I AM NOT GOING TO RESPECT PEOPLE WHO WATCH SHIT ALL THE TIME. Nobody deserves this, even if they think they are having fun.

  • Chanakya P

    @Jay
    I agree with you that Ray was not the only talented movie-maker. However, this is a bit too much:

    “…who were not interested in portraying India’s poverty as a feast for Western eyes…” OR
    “…to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…”

    It would be doing a great disservice to Ray’s contribution to Indian cinema by comparing him with Danny Boyle(Slumdog Millionaire). Why I strongly dislike that movie deserves a lot more space than I am willing to give it.

    It was usually the “communistas” who levelled such accusations against him demanding that he make movies about “Modern India”, which in those days was not much different from the scenes he portrayed.
    Anybody who has seen Ray’s movies knows that he did not portray poverty or misery to belittle India but to show that life goes on regardless. His characters found joy and dignity in spite of life’s crushing blows.
    As Akira Kurosawa said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”
    You don’t have to belittle Ray to praise the other brilliant movie-makers of his time.

  • Kaffir

    Jay, your comment regarding Ray shows your ignorance of his movies. I think Chanakya has already responded aptly to your comment.

    If you watch “Pather Panchali” and all you come up with is “OMG!! Ray was peddling India’s poverty to his Western audiences” then that says a lot about your insecurity and your thinking than about Ray’s motives. The poverty shown in Apu trilogy is incidental and the film is about someone facing/overcoming odds in life. I have seen that film many times, and not once did that thought came to me, that Ray is peddling India’s poverty. By the way, the Apu trilogy was based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s book which was autobiographical in nature and was/is considered a classic in Bengali literature.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibhutibhushan_Bandopadhyay

    Now go ahead and blame Bibhutibhushan for writing about India’s poverty and peddling it to all who read his book.

    One more thing. Do you indulge in some critical analysis of your own, or simply parrot whatever you read (“Ray peddled poverty.”)? And do you know who said that about Ray and under what circumstances? It might be worthwhile if you do some research on it and find out the origins of that charge and its validity.

  • Kaffir

    Jay, I’m curious to know – are all great Indian directors and films in your list Hindi-speaking and made films in Hindi? Does that imply that you haven’t watched films in languages other than Hindi, or does it imply that you do not consider directors who don’t make Hindi films as great Indian directors? :)

    And why does Ray peddle poverty, whereas Bimal Roy’s “Do Bigha Zameen” doesn’t??

  • Kaffir

    Jay, one last thing. “Pather Panchali” is set during British times, so if it peddles any poverty, that’s more likely a reflection of British misrule and British policies/imperialism, rather than a reflection of India. Samjhe? :)

  • Jay

    >>…You don’t have to belittle Ray to praise the other brilliant movie-makers of his time.

    @Chanakya…its not my intention in any way to belittle Ray’s contribution to Indian cinema, and as I have already mentioned in my prev. post I have just seen only one movie of his, although I have read about his other gr8 works like ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Bhuvan Shome’, Apu trilogy et al, my point being there were other gr8 movie-makers too, whether in Hindi or regional cinemas that come into mind when discussing great Indian movies, why only Ray? Is it because whenever you heard or read Westerners discuss Indian movie scenario (this is about time before Mumbai film industry emerged on the world stage), it was always-always Ray’s films that were highlighted to show the ‘pathetic’ situations or images about India — I am not in any way doubting his sincerity or efforts in making those movies — like a stereotypical image that gets embedded in your brain! As for making up or elevating my opinion about him I sure will watch the classics I have mentioned and then, as an ordinary movie-buff, decide on his greatness.

    Moreover, if my opinion about him has offended your sensibilities, my sincere apologies!

  • Jay

    >>…Does that imply that you haven’t watched films in languages other than Hindi, or does it imply that you do not consider directors who don’t make Hindi films as great Indian directors?…

    @Kaffir…no…not at all! I have been quite fortunate to watch movies in other Indian languages other than Hindi and have enjoyed them tremendously no doubt, and IMO those gr8 works of art were indeed a pleasure to watch, and additionally world cinema too…like that of Akira Kurosawa or Costa Gavras or Stanley Kramer or Elia Kazan!

  • larissa

    @jay
    ” I have listed didn’t need to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…they portrayed it in such a manner that it rhymed with the average cine-going audiences!
    all these greats and legends I have listed didn’t need to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…they portrayed it in such a manner that it rhymed with the average cine-going audiences!”

    I just gave the one example of Ray because his cinematography techniques have inspired many great film directors–from Japanese, Iranian (Kiarostami) to American who say he was one of the greatest movie directors–
    As for portrayal of poverty I think Ray just portrayed what was familiar. In Pather Panchali its genteel poverty…It’s not the real harsh poverty you see so much in India…So I fail to understand what people mean my this. I remember my husband did not want to see this triology as it was too old he said and there was not much action…but after we watched it was quite unforgettable…This movie which cost around $3000 is said by many movie to be easily among the greatest 100 movies ever made…
    I hope India again produces real stuff–you know a good movie transcends culture–can be appreciated by anyone from any culture…

  • larissa

    @jay
    ” I have listed didn’t need to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…they portrayed it in such a manner that it rhymed with the average cine-going audiences!
    all these greats and legends I have listed didn’t need to portray the weakness or negativity of Indian society to serve their western audiences…they portrayed it in such a manner that it rhymed with the average cine-going audiences!”

    I just gave the one example of Ray because his cinematography techniques have inspired many great film directors–from Japanese, Iranian (Kiarostami) to American who say he was one of the greatest movie directors–
    As for portrayal of poverty I think Ray just portrayed what was familiar to him. In Pather Panchali it’s genteel poverty…. not the real harsh poverty you see so much in India…So I fail to understand when you say Ray is negative. I remember my husband did not want to see this triology as it was too old he said and there was not much action…but after we watched it was quite unforgettable…The first part of the Apu Triology which cost around $3000 to make is said by famous movie directors to be easily among the greatest 100 movies ever made…
    I hope India again produces real stuff–you know a good movie transcends culture–can be appreciated by anyone from any culture…

  • Jay

    Thanks Larissa and other commentators about highlighting ‘Paather Panchali’ and other gr8 works by Ray. :) As I mentioned earlier, I will sure watch these works of Ray and then form my opinion about him.

  • Jay

    …you know a good movie transcends culture–can be appreciated by anyone from any culture…

    @Larissa…completely agree with this statement of yours. It not only transcends culture but language barrier too!

  • veer

    larissa–>cinema should be paisa vasool. thats why we pay 300 rupees for ac hall in urban mall. art movies are good to win awards but why should a hardworking PATRIOTIC indian, toiling away for 16 hrs at a NIGHT SHIFT in CALL CENTER want to see poverty? at least if u wanna watch art films watch movies like MANTHAN which document the great MILK revolution in GUJARAT or GURU about DHIRUBHAI. sathyajith ray was a COMMUNIST, and his movies are regularly played in places like JNU!!! if u see his movie paras pathar (inspired by the ANOTHER COMMUNIST CHARLIE CHAPLIN) he make fun of BUSINESS COMMUNITIES as if its a CRIME to pursue money.even in his last movie AGANTHOOK, he advocates TRIBAL LIFESTYLE and decries capitalism not unlike that MAOIST VAMP, miss ARUNDHATHI SUZANNA ROY.karan johar movies like K3G however show us that its POSSIBLE to be PATRIOTIC INDIANS and stll wear DKNY and go to LONDON and NEW YORK.

  • Surya

    most bollywood movie goers DO KNOW that its all bunkum. After watching Haiti for 3 days I couldnt take it anymore. I started watching something less emotioanlly draining. No double standards here- I wont preach what I dont practice.

    On a side note, i think it was in 2007-8 that oscars gave top honors to ‘no country for old men’. Thats the tipping point really, I have no respect for oscars now. Please watch the DVD and come back, if you dont fall sick, i mean.

  • Kedar

    veer:

    Not saying you are wrong, but there are many simple folk like me who are equally hardworking and patriotic, but are averse to every single movie of the kind you mentioned. But the story doesnt stop there: we feel that “art movies” are equally boring.

    Unfortunately, we are stuck between two extremes where on one side we have these communist-films and on the other, karan johar type copied-from-west visual fanfare without substance.

    There is no Hrishikesh Mukherji today or B.R.Chpora today to give the masses the best they deserve. Prakash Jha, Mani Ratnam in Tamil movies, Ram Gopal Verma (when he used to make Telugu movies) are few people we still do look forward to, but the glitzy movies of the type you mentioned just dont cut it for us.

  • larissa

    “I have no respect for oscars now.”
    Well Hollywood sucks too—you can hardly watch most of those movies. Even when you tell Americans this, they usually agree wholeheartedly with you. Most movies today are made for a quick buck–
    As for masses, they will watch whatever is is fashion–and what is fashionable is decided by people with the money and power to change trends…When such folk cater to the LCD, then you can be sure that such things will be in fashion.

  • veer

    kedar–>ur right, but a guy like hrishkesh was just making films about his time, when forex was not available for foreign trips and economy was closed. now, due to unapologetic DEVELOPMENT these are available so karan johar is the new hrishikesh.

    oldtimer–>you have made a very wise observation,but we MUST NOT ENCOURAGE aamir khan, who is an opponent of MODIJI, and tried to halt his DEVELOPMENT in gujarat. i beseech every PATRIOT here to BOYCOTT all of his movies till he APOLOGIZE to every INDIAN for trying to stall DEMOCRACY in GUJARAT! he is indeed 3 IDIOTS ALL IN ONE!

    also, we must BOYCOTT GOVINDHA movies bcoz he is a CONGRESS mp, and most of his movies are ab EXTRAMARITAL and BIGAMY!

    ideally our movies must show INDIA in a POSITIVE LIGHT, with IT PROFESSIONALS and college STUDENTS having fun in discos and malls, reflecting our new emerging SUPERPOWER status.it should SHOW OUR SOLDIERS who have CRUSHED rogue invasions from our NEIGHBORS!it must SHOWCASE our SUPERIOR FAMILY VALUES!!

  • Kedar

    Veer:

    I am afraid you cant have it both ways:

    If people like what they see (Your words: “cinema should be paisa vasool”), the movie will be a hit, regardless of whether Govinda, SRK or Aamir Khan stars in it.

    However, if you want people not to see certain movies by certain actors/directors etc, you belong to the same category as Frau Larissa– you are being selective about movies for reasons other than pure “paisa wasool” entertainment.

  • veer

    kedar–> just bcoz u dont like her view does not mean u should call larissa a fraud. she is just misguided thats all :D

    but we must force directors and actors to cater to our taste by boycotting their movies. what if arundhathi roy makes a paisa vasool movie which you like? isnt it our patriotic duty to boycott it or she will use the money to fund all SHIT ACTIVITY and further denigrate india in INTERNATIONAL FORUM

  • Kedar

    Veer:
    Haha… I called her “Frau” (thats German for “Ms.”), not “Fraud” :)

    And regd. movies, my whole point was that your “paisa vasool” argument is a dual-edged sword.

  • Chanakya P

    Kedar:
    Fraulein’s the word… :)
    You don’t know if she’s taken, do you?

  • veer

    chanakya p–> if she was taken her name would be larissa ATHEIST LOL :D

  • Kaffir

    veer, with your exaggerated comments, are you poking fun at yourself, or at the “right-wingers”? I suspect it is the latter – your earnestness seems just a bit too earnest to be true. :)

  • veer

    Kaffir–>are you being sarcastic? next you will accuse modiji of making fun of INDIA???

  • Kedar

    Chanakya:
    >>You don’t know if she’s taken, do you?

    The specimen in question is married :)

  • Chanakya P

    Oh! Then Frau L it is. :)