Monday, June 13, 2011

The Great Indian Tamasha

By: Reetasri Bhattacharjee

India knows its drama. The land has had many traditional forms of theaters be it in the forms of tamasha, jatra, nautanki or something else. Every part of the country has its own form of drama. Thanks to the Indian media and our very special politicians (and may I add the resurgent civil society groups?), there is never any dearth of drama in this country. I recently overheard a young boy telling that if you want entertainment watch the Hindi news channels! Probably nothing else describes the condition better.

The recent insurgence to fight against corruption has only heightened the drama. When Anna Hazare declared his resolution to fast, no one took him seriously. But within 24 hours, the real tamasha unfolded and immediately it became a media circus. I don’t want to go into the details of what happened. Too much has been said and written about the entire event. I will suffice by saying that everyone was entertained in process and probably the real fight against corruption got a true impetus.

However, if this wasn’t enough, came our very own yoga guru who changed the way Indians ate, drank, slept, etc in the last decade. He has taken it to himself now that if Hazare can fight against corruption almost single-handedly, he too can rake up an issue and fight it similarly. So came the issue of black money and our yoga guru becomes the self-appointed crusader for the ‘aam aadmi’.

Now this event has real drama. Usually it is said that films are inspired from real-life. But here is one exception where the opposite happened. A real-life event apparently seemed out of a film. Here I am mentioning Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live. The events of 4th June are a case in this regard. After midnight when the police attacked the sleeping crowd pof the Ramlila Maidan, one could literally feel the poor news channel crew hurriedly waking up to capture the events of a live tamasha. The shots that are now repeatedly shown on the channels are shaky (as was the case in the film), you could really feel the journalists and camera crew fighting to get the best shots. However, like in the film, the protagonist manages to escape from all this cacophony unseen. Can you believe 10,000 or more policemen, hordes of mediapersons did not see a single person escape!! And if this wasn’t enough, the very next day Baba Ramdev is seen wearing a salwar kameez in which he had apparently disguised himself to escape briefing the media about what had happened!! Now I say, beat this!! Impossible.

As I write this, the Baba’s condition is detoriating, the UPA is up in arms to protest the fight, the Sangh Parivar is dancing its way to support the Baba’s cause and there doesn’t seem to be a end to all this soon. As this drama continues, we the poor ‘aam aadmi’ can simply stay glued to our TV sets to see the tamasha unfold further. Who knows tomorrow, the Congress and Baba may declare to be long lost brothers!!!

This blog has been contributed by Reetasri Bhattacharjee a dear friend of mine. She is a regular blogger on blogspot and maintains the blog My Passing Moments


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