I have 2 storylines to offer to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
The first one is very similar to his “Rang De Basanti” but with a few small changes
· Replace the no-hoper students with a set of genuinely sincere ones cutting across caste, class and religious lines (Hint – Youth for Equality) protesting and losing their lives over a divisive “reservation” policy
· Exchange the corrupt and arrogant “saffron” minister with an equally corrupt and arrogant HRD minister from the so called secular party, bent upon dividing youth on the lines of caste and religion
· Replace the young Hindutva zealot Laxman Pandey with a young communist or “social activist” who sees through the shallow game of the secularists and changes sides.
The second is a heartwarming story where a “Brahmin” Head-Priest of the Rameswaram Temple mentors the Muslim son of a boatman and supports his education, and the latter justifies the faith invested by the priest by rising to become India’s foremost rocket scientist and eventually its President.
Both stories are true, but both unfortunately are jarringly mismatched with Rakeyshjis view of the world and hence, will never come on the silver screen.
With Dilli 6, Rakeysh has clearly been emboldened by his backers to take on the anti-Hindu pontification to new heights. A sample list of the levers adopted by ROM in Dilli 6:
· Open mockery of the Ramayana using the Ram Lila as the background
· Subtle equation of the original being-who-can-do-no-wrong – Hanuman – to the Kala Bandar
· Portrayal of all Hindu characters as flawed (brothers fighting, the aged Lalaji with a Twinkie at home, Suresh the Photographer as a Lothario)
· Exaggeration of “Superstitious” Hindu beliefs eg a cow giving birth being given precedence over the Grandmother’s “ambulance”
· The “Dalit” garbage lady who is openly discriminated against, but is seen to shine in the end
· Portrayal of all Muslim characters as nice, sweet guys who offer jalebis in celebration of Hindu festivals and who are “provoked” by Hindus into retaliation – the eternal victimhood theory getting one more data point
· The “fakir” who holds a mirror – why ascribe a religion even to the conscience of the movie? Couldn’t ROM have used a generic madman, for example?
The list is endless.
Interestingly enough, a movie set in the heart of Delhi doesn’t even have a single Sikh character – to me this seems in stark contrast to what I’ve seen of Delhi – the genial, hard-working and hospitable Sardar seemed to be ubiquitous . Perhaps, in ROM’s ideal world, all of them have been eliminated as early as 1984 by his sponsors?
Rakeyshmian, real life is somewhat different. When your sponsors invite the beards from Swat to power in Delhi 2 years hence, you wouldn’t even be able to ply your trade. Heard that some Hollywood studio wants to release your movie in English. To your credit, I will say that you’ve done a much better job mocking the idea of India than Danny Boyle and his Slumdog. Wish you all the best in your quest feed off the corpse of the nation!
9 years ago