Saturday, June 30, 2007

Divide and Rule

The violence and all the politicking in Rajasthan in the beginning of this month is nothing but the ugly head of our country's skewed reservation policy showing itself. Our country's reservation policy may have begun with those who deserved to get a better chance after years of oppression and doing menial jobs, but now with everyone clamouring for a share of the reservation pie it's only about who has a larger share in the votes. The system is so big that there is more reservation than open competition in places like Tamil Nadu (the Backward State).

How can a country that is growing leaps and bounds in the world arena have it's people fighting to be called backward and most backward? People are actually willing to lay down their lives just to be tagged 'backward'! It's a wake-up call for any self-respecting person who loves this country even an iota, yet our politicians seem unperturbed in their quest to divide 'their' country into 'their' vote banks.

Ignoring the fundamental flaw in the concept of reservation in which the ends somehow seem to justify the means and which aims at redressing historic wrongs in a short term. When a portion of certain communities (definitely not communities as a whole) are getting a greater share of the power than they deserve it only leads to widespread discontentment among the rest.

Take Rajasthan for instance, everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that it's the act of the BJP government of including Jats into OBCs, which seems to have fanned the fire simmering inside. Now, Gujjars who are in the OBCs have the idea that their share of the pie has reduced, so, they now want to be included in the Scheduled Tribes. The Meenas who have been having a jolly good time think reservation is their birthright and are threatening to fight tooth and nail even with the slightest suggestion of giving up their exclusive access to the Scheduled Tribe 'Status' and reservation and all the trappings of 'power' that come with it.

Even though it's we the people who elect these bastards to power, even though it's the land of Gandhi, our politicians never rely on logic or reason when dealing with the people who elect them. Even most legitimate problems and issues are ignored by our politicians when presented to the government in a peaceful manner, the Gujjars seem to have understood this well and resorted to all those violence, and loss of lives, which they seem to feel is justified.

A warning to all those bastards ruling India, this is not the first, this won't be the last. Start using your heads, if you don't have a sane one start listening to those who have one before it becomes too late. You've succeeded in about 20 years, in what the Britishers failed for almost a century, You've mastered the art of 'Divide and Rule', it's not time to rejoice, it's time to introspect! Social Justice means eradicating even mention of the word caste not propagating it further by giving it more importance.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sivaji (சிவாஜி): Movie Review

The Movie opens with a masked man being taken through thousands of chest beating men and women and locked up in the central prison, when a co-prisoner asks him what crime he had committed, Super-Star turns around to say 'I tried to do good for the Country' and then Sivaji turns into flash back mode. Not a typical opening scene for a Rajnikanth film, but then this one's a Shankar film!

Without giving anything away, Sivaji, is about Software Engineer returning from the USA with 200 Crore Rupees to realise his dream of building engineering and medical colleges that provide free education on merit and how he has to endure bureaucratic red-tapism and corruption like the rest of us have to, when we go to any government office. Then there's the baddie Suman, who plays the quintessential businessman trying to undermine a potential competitor to his own engineering & medical college 'business' with every crooked method possible. In the meanwhile Sivaji manages to find a typical Tamil girl, Shriya, to fall in love with, woo her and dance around. When the twists and turns of the movie leave him penniless, how our Superstar fights back is the Second half. If you'll find Rajni as Sivaji rocking, just wait for climax when Rajni as MGR simply blows you away! MGR? Yup! that's suspense ;)

Rajni as Sivaji looks a good 25 years younger and pulls of another stellar performance in typical Rajni style, the chewing gum replaces Cigarette but the rest is pure Rajni formula. Shriya as the typical Tamil girl performs as much as her role allows her to, but is nothing more than a glam doll as in most Tamil movies. Vivek as Sivaji's side-kick seems a tad under utilised but then that's the way you feel about everyone else except Rajni in the film.

There are no mannerisms or punch lines to imitate, when Sivaji wants to deliver a punch line Vivek stops him and takes a dig at the rising stars of Cinema and walks away with all the claps! The Camera work and the sets deserve a mention, the music by A.R. Rahman are already topping the charts all around. The fight sequences give you a sense of déjà vu (Matrix style is old stuff now), there's nothing new but they're highly stylised. Like in any Shankar movie there's an over dose of computer generated effects and the songs are well shot in grand style, when you watch those you'll realise what went into the making of Indian Cinema's most expensive film ever.

The film delivers a social message against 'Black Money' and exhorts movie goers to 'realise the dream' of a developed India, but, falls terribly short on story and logic. Not a typical Shankar film, but then, this one's a Rajni film! Am I contradicting myself? No I'm not! There's something for the Rajni fan and something for those expecting another classy one from Shankar the perfectionist but if you go to any of the 17 movie halls showing Sivaji in Chennai City looking for either alone you'll end up a bit disappointed after all the hype. Go watch it for 3 hours of pure entertainment.

Check out pics of the Sivaji (சிவாஜி): Film Festival on my Picture Blog