S S Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Conclusion, also known as Baahubali 2, is around a month away from its release. It would be an understatement to say that there is high excitement for the film. There has hardly, if not never, been such high degree of eagerness for a film all over India.
The Prabhas and Rana Daggubati starrer will be releasing in a whopping 6500 screens in the country. This is the highest for a film in India. Hence, the film is predicted to amass the highest box office collections ever (at least till the time Robot 2.0 releases).
In fact, the eagerness is such that, God forbid, even if the film doesn’t turn out to be that impressive, it won’t be wrong to make a prediction that its business will still be big.
Let’s face it. The only thing that has united Indians all these decades has been cricket, whether you like it or not. But this is the first time that such a feat has been achieved by a film, at least in my lifetime. I have never seen a film bonding the whole of India like Bahaubali has. The fact that it is releasing in such huge number of screens is a proof of that.
So much so, that most of us either seem to have forgotten or are not bothered that its original language is Telugu and Tamil. (‘south Indian’ for many). Normally, one would expect a Hindi film to achieve such feat. But nobody is complaining.
Another proof of its extreme excitement is the number of views to its Hindi trailer. In just 11 days, it has garnered more than 3 crore 65 lakh views (only the Hindi trailer). On the other hand, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, a hardcore Hindi film with big stars like Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, has managed 2 crore 81 lakh views in almost two months. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees has been viewed just over 5 crore times in a long period of almost four months.
This speaks about the film’s pan India interest. On a lighter note, people from all over India are eager to find out why Katappa killed Baahubali. The social media is full of funny memes or posts asking this question. Seriously, how many of us ever expected a non-Hindi film to create such a scenario?
What it has indirectly shown is the power of regional cinema. The same happened last year with the Marathi movie Sairat. The film also found takers outside Maharashtra, something never achieved before by a Marathi film. This is also a wake-up call for those who shy away from watching a regional film saying it won’t interest them. If a film is high in appeal, it will cross state boundaries in India.
Like Baahubali 2 has. It’s neither a Telugu/ Tamil nor a south Indian film.
It’s an Indian film… Jai Mahishmati!
By: Keyur Seta
Hindi trailer of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion:
While we were busy analyzing the results of various municipal elections in Maharashtra, the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) imposed their downright sexist thoughts on the audience.
The board refused certificate to Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha. In other words, they feel the audience should NOT watch this film. The reasons stated by them have sexism written all over them.
In a letter given to the producers, the board justifies their act saying, “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious (sic) sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(viii), 2 (ix), 2(x), 2 (xi), 2 (xii) and 3 (I).”
Now, let’s break down their so-called justification. They have given away their sick thoughts in the first five words itself by stating that it’s a ‘lady oriented’ film. When you feel offended by female-oriented films, it speaks volumes about your sexist and pro-MCP mindset. You look at it as a threat to your deep-rooted patriarchal thoughts.
The second justification ‘their fantasy above life,’ means a female can’t be shown having fantasy. These people have had no problems all these years when a male, or ‘hero’ as they call it, fantasizes about a girl in various ways.
The other reasons – There are contanious (sic) sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society – don’t hold ground because the job of the CBFC is not that of a Moral Science teacher.
To make matters worse, Nihalani has justified their actions by sugarcoating it with ‘Indian culture’. He said to the media, “The aim is also to protect our culture and tradition. Our motto is right film should go to the public.”
He should remember that it’s a film CERTIFICATION board. So, their job is only to certify films according to age groups and not pass judgments on which films are ‘right films.’ This was also said by the Bombay High Court during the Udta Punjab fiasco last year. Nihalani and CBFC surely couldn’t have forgotten it so soon. After all, who can forget such huge national embarrassments?
And for your information, the issue is not just limited to a film. It is about how a group of individuals are forcing the people to walk onto their patriarchal path. It is also an attack on freedom of expression in one of world's largest democracies.
However, during every such fiascos by the CBFC, we just don’t tend to look beyond. We criticize Nihalani and other CBFC members but that’s about it. We clearly forget who appointed them and why they are still not removed.
It is the Central Government that had revamped the CBFC committee in 2015. It happened after Leela Samson, the previous chief, and her team resigned due to issues while certifying MSG: The Messenger. The members are handpicked supporters of government ideologies.
Therefore, it is the Central Government that is to be blamed for every attack on freedom of expression by the CBFC. The list of dictatorial blunders by the CBFC is long. So, despite this if they are still not removed, it only means that the government supports them and is propagating its dangerously regressive mindset through the CBFC.
If the government doesn’t support such ideologies, what is stopping them from removing Nihalani and others from the CBFC?
Are they so helpless and powerless?
Conclusion: The film industry needs to unite in huge numbers and protest for the removal of the current CBFC committee team. It has to happen or else we would be discussing the rubbish decisions by these dictators after every few weeks.
By: Keyur Seta
As soon as Demonetization was enforced on November 8, the first question that struck people was whether this move will help curb the menace of Black Money and corruption, as promised by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As I mentioned in my last post (HERE) on the issue, people like me, who have absolutely no knowledge in Economics or Finance, cannot answer this question.
However, you don’t need to be an expert in any subject to understand the extreme suffering experienced by a large number of people in the country. More than a month ago, the question was whether demonetization will succeed. Now, experts are trying to understand the extent at which demonetization will affect the country. In other words, it is a blunder.
Here are 6 reasons why defending demonetisation is like defending the indefensible:-
GPS joke: To support government’s move of introducing Rs 2000 note, news channels like Zee News and Aaj Tak ran programs explaining that the currency contains a chip that can be detected through satellite with the use of GPS technology. However, the news (?) not only turned out to be false but also a joke (watch VIDEO below). You can easily hoard black money in the Rs 2000 currency as well. If banning high value currency like Rs 500 and Rs 1000 can lessen the menace of black money, what exactly is the logic behind introducing Rs 2000 notes?
Instant backfiring: The above point was proven right even before 15 days of the decision. A number of members from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been caught with bundles of the new Rs 2000 notes. At the same time, banks are getting limited amounts of the new currency. So, how did your party men laid hands on the new notes in such large numbers? If this is not a scam, what is? (read news HERE and HERE)
Punishing innocents: Instead of affecting black money hoarders, the move has made life hell for people from small towns, villages and those involved in small business that run entirely on cash. Wage workers have been temporarily out of job (read news HERE). You don’t need to be an expert to know that a large section of our population has no bank accounts and there are many villages either without any banks or having banks are faraway places (read news HERE). How can you expect them to leave their daily work and stand in queues for hours?
And sorry, the logic of going cashless doesn’t apply to poor people who live from hand to mouth. Even city dwellers like me have just installed PayTM and that too out of force. Plus even in 2016, there are villages with no access to electricity. So, how on earth do you expect them to buy smart phones and install PayTM? Don’t tell me you had no idea about this despite being the PM of a country.
Justifying death? This is the biggest reason why demonetization has failed. In fact, even if it would have yielded fruitful results (which appears like a dream), it would have still been a failure if more than 50 countrymen (might be more unofficially) got killed in it. Of course, Bhakts have been making inhuman arguments that a large number of people die every day. But these people died after standing in long queues for hours. They were standing in queues only and only because of the decision. They weren’t standing there out of their will or just for fun. There are incidents where people died after not receiving medical attention as the patients’ families didn’t have new currency. How will you justify these deaths even if demonetization turns successful?
Mocking the helpless: Like I said in my previous post on the issue, what has annoyed me the most about this whole episode is the mocking and casual attitude of the PM despite these many deaths. Last month in Japan, he mocked those who are facing problems due to demonetization (see video below). He repeated it later by stating that even beggars have started using PayTM. Seriously? The only justification for this can be that it was his lookalike who spoke these things.
Political parties can party: This is the second biggest fiasco after deaths. Political parties are the ones with most number of black money, which is spent the most during elections. Nobody knows who pays for those 24/7 in-your-face-and-TV advertisement played during elections. Now, these parties have been given further relief to not disclose their funding in old currency. A notification (out of the many) says that they are exempted from scrutiny (read the news HERE). So, if the biggest source of black money isn’t going to face any problem, what exactly is the point of the whole exercise of demonetization?
- By: Keyur Seta
I live in a part of Mumbai (Dadar) which is nothing but concrete jungle. Hence, the mere sight of a mountain or any sort of nature makes me happy. So much so, that even a visit to the nearby hill station, Lonavala gets me excited. Therefore, one can only imagine my feeling when I landed in the picturesque Himalayan region of Dalhousie.
‘Delightful’ is the word. Well, you can add ‘healer’ too. The place delights and heals you, both at the same time. Delights with its amazing view of mountains and valleys. This coupled with the weather heals you externally and internally; the latter is more important for people from urban areas caught in a fast city life.
Have a look at the pictures:
People running the Dalhousie Public School have installed plants on both sides of the roads and that too with such beautiful, colourful stands. The bigger achievement is that there are no miscreants to damage it. This is one thing that comes to the mind of someone from Mumbai, where even a dust bin isn't safe!
Dainkund is a place with beautiful mountains, situation around 13 kilometers from Dalhousie. It has an army cantonment and a Kali Mata Temple, for which one requires to climb 1 kilometers up on a hill.
This steep road leads to Punchpula waterfall, which is close to Dalhousie. The route up the hill is dangerous. Precautionary measures are advised. After climbing up, I felt as if I achieved something. However, the real challenge was going down these huge steps. By the way, the waterfall was just a little stream.
Khajjiar is around an hour's drive away from Dalhousie. The place is known as Mini Switzerland. Going by the scenic beauty of it, the title looks justified. However, a couple of friends who visited the place few months ago witnessed much more greenery than what it was when we visited.
Caught this sight while we were on our way from Amritsar to Dalhousie.
Our vehicle stopped to fill petrol at this place just outside Dalhousie while we were on our way to Macleodganj. The sight instantly brought to my mind the first verse from 'Yun Hi Chala Chal' song from Swades - Dekhun jidhar bhi in rahon mein, Rang pighalte hai nigahon mein, Thandi hawa hai thandi chhaavn hai, Door woh jaane kiska gaon hai...
- By: Keyur Seta
The Demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and the introduction of Rs 2000 notes are garnering mixed reactions among the people of India. So, I and a couple of my friends - Padmanabh Subramanian and Ankit Tripathi - came up with this spoof on how the Common Man of Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday would think of Demonetisation if he is facing problems due to it.
This is it:-
Here are the words of it:
Main woh hoon jo aaj do hazaar ki note se darta hai. Main woh hoon jo ATM jata hai toh uski biwi ko lagta hai jung pe ja raha hai. Pata nahin bachega ya nahin. Har 2 ghante ke baad phone karti hai ki paise mile ki nahin, number aaya ki nahin. Darasal woh yeh jaan na chahti hai ki main zinda hoon ya nahin. Main woh hoon jo chunavi vaadon mein phasta hai. Kabhi jumlo mein.
Kala dhan kisi ka bhi ho, bewajah marta main hi hoon. Bheed toh dekhi hogi na aapne? Bheed mein se koi ek shakal chun lijiye, main woh hoon. I am just a stupid tax payer, wanting to jump ATM queues.
- By: Keyur Seta
No, I am not giving an opinion on whether the Demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and introduction of Rs 2000 notes is a good move. I have zero understanding of matters related to Money, Finance or Economics. After going through some expert opinions, I am assuming it’s a good move.
This write-up only looks at the situation from a logical and humanitarian point of view. The main aim or reason behind the demonetization exercise is to control the flow of Black Money in the country and to punish those who indulge in keeping undisclosed amount. Apart from this, it is also aimed at stopping the supply of counterfeit notes.
There is a saying, “It is fine if 100 criminals go unpunished, but it is not fine even if a single innocent gets punished.” The scenes taking place in the country since yesterday have made sure that this saying is continuously playing inside my head.
It is completely understandable that one has to face some inconvenience during such operations. I, along with many others, have no problems with it. There is dearth of Rs 100 notes while Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are finding no takers. It is okay for us because we have numerous options like online purchase, ATMs, net banking, etc.
However, we seem to have forgotten that a large chunk of Indian population doesn’t have bank accounts, leave alone net banking facility. How do you expect them to survive? As is seen from videos posted on the net, people have broken down as they have no cash for basic necessities. Just have a look at the insanely long queue outside a bank in Surat (below video). Have you ever seen such row of people ever? Are you assuming all of them are corrupt Black Money holders?
Such scenes clearly show that there was no planning whatsoever for an operation as massive as this one. But who is suffering the most due to their blunder? The Common Man, who pays his tax duly and has no black money like many of those millionaires. Know about the plight in detail by clicking HERE.
But I still wouldn’t have written this piece if I hadn’t seen Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, joking and mocking about the scenario during his speech in Japan yesterday. It was a mixture of shock and disgust to see him poke fun at the situation by citing few examples of helpless people. If this isn’t sadistic, what is? (Watch the video below)
That too coming from the PM of a country and that too after knowing about few deaths that took place due to the chaotic process! I guess he realized his folly, so he came up with an emotional speech today. Well played!
If this wasn’t enough, people are comparing the plight of the Common Man with that of our soldiers on the border. These are the same people who are ready to label anyone ‘Anti-national’ at the drop of a hat. So, isn’t using the Indian Army to hide your blunder an anti-national act?
After making innocent taxpayers suffer to this extent (including death), they better make life hell for the corrupt Black Money holders soon. I am sure you know the names. Let’s see when they go to jail.
“It is fine if 100 criminals go unpunished, but it is not fine even if a single innocent gets punished.”
- By: Keyur Seta
By: Keyur Seta
The Uri attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terrorists, which saw 19 Indian soldiers achieving martyrdom, saddened the nation. It also united the people of India above religion, region, caste and what not. However, the incident has also given rise to some intense hatred that is only making things worse.
The biggest example of this is the ban on Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil by Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COWAI) just because it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. This means that the film won’t release in single screens and few multiplexes in India.
Here are 5 reasons why hatred towards the film is senseless:-
1. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was shot much before the Uri attacks. In fact, the film had even completed its post-production by then. Fawad worked in the film through legal means and was given proper work visa by us. Films with Pakistani actors that released before the Uri attacks didn’t face any issue. Happy Bhag Jayegi, which released on August 26, saw Pakistani actress Momal Sheikh playing one of the important characters. There was no uproar and the film was appreciated. So, will you punish ADHM for its release date? Is it Rocket Science to understand that it takes months for a film to release after the completion of shoot?
When I spoke with Nitin Datar, president of COWAI, and asked as to why ADHM should suffer because of its release date, he had no clear answer to it. Read the news HERE.
2. Last year, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, gave a birthday surprise to Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, in order to develop friendly ties between both countries. This was also the time when Johar was shooting ADHM with Fawad. If you feel what the filmmaker did was wrong, what do they have to say about our PM’s gesture? You can be friendly with their PM but can’t work with their artists? I personally have nothing against Modi’s act. I found it worth appreciating. But this is clear double standard by those portraying Johar as a villain for signing Fawad in his film.
3. Ajay Devgn had signed Pakistani actor Ali Kazmi for Shivaay, which is releasing alongside ADHM on October 28 (read the news HERE). But things didn’t work out due to date issues. Nobody is having any problems with Devgn. After all, he too signed one. It is only Kazmi’s refusal that has turned Devgn into a hero.
4. A section of people and few political parties are justifying the ban since Fawad didn’t condemn the Uri attacks. Even if we assume it was wrong on his part, why make Johar suffer huge loses because of it? Fawad has already received his fee by the way.
5. For those who believe paying Pakistani actors amounts to funding terrorists, the same logic should apply to the money we pay to Pakistan through trade. Why nobody is speaking against banning trade between India and Pakistan? Why art and sports are made scapegoats always?
The issue is not just limited to a film. If Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is indeed banned, it will become an example of senselessness being given more importance than logic and the law of the land.
By: Keyur Seta
More than a week ago, we experienced a mix of tragedy and anger when 17 Indian soldiers were martyred at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir during a cross border attack by terrorists belonging to Pakistan. Needless to say, it is infuriating to see such news and the people behind this should be punished. It is high time Pakistan’s government, especially Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif come out openly against these cowardly acts and stop giving shelter to 26/11 attack mastermind, Hafeez Saeed.
However, this has given rise to demands from the aam junta that range from weird to extremely outrageous. Here are 6 questions to these Deshbhakts who seem to know everything as to how to handle this situation.
How can you ‘demand’ war?
We have seen people demanding food, clothing, shelter, justice, elimination of corruption, etc. But these days there has been a rising demand for war. In fact, a lot of people have been threatening the government on the issue. I have also read posts where people are giving deadlines to Indian government to wage a war. Seriously? People should understand that waging a war against a nation is not as simple as Bichhoo gang attacking Eagles gang like they did in Josh (1998).
I remember how some leaders from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, went too far in making some sweeping statements of teaching Pakistan a lesson when they were in the opposition. But that doesn’t mean you force them to attack Pakistan just because you are against BJP.
I don’t have any knowledge on how to deal with the situation. But I personally feel that the way other countries, including Afghanistan and Russia, are openly backing India against Pakistan sponsored terrorists is a positive sign.
Will you join the army?
It is easy to sit in your air-conditioned homes and post messages on social media with hashtags like #AttackPakistan. I have only one question to these people – Will you or any of your family members be joining the army to stop bullets from the other side? Some of you would give daily soap reactions even if asked to take the local train to central suburbs during peak hours. The question also goes out to ‘journalists’ like Arnab Goswami.
Waging a war would also mean that thousands of our soldiers would lose their lives. A war victory is a result of such extreme sacrifices. If you love our army, why haven’t you thought of this point?
Ever considered monetary factor?
Do you even know the amount of money we have spent in war? In 1971, it was Rs 200 crore. In the years to follow, the price of war artillery shot up to such an extent that the 1999 Kargil war cost us a staggering Rs 5000 crore PER WEEK. So, it is anybody’s guess as to how much it would cost us in 2016. Are we in a position to spend such unthinkable amount on war? You can imagine the increase in taxes if this happens. See more info HERE.
Will war solve the problem?
We won the 1999 Kargil War. But did it stop cross-border terrorism? It resumed after the war and we are still suffering. So, how can you guarantee that waging a war against Pakistan will solve the problem? More importantly, if the war takes place, our army would be fighting against Pakistan Army. The terrorists won’t take part, so finishing them off in the war is out of question. They would resume their activities once the war is over. What difference would it make to them if Pakistan loses the war? They are carrying out guerilla war, for God’s sake.
How is Award Wapsi issue related to this?
A message has gone viral on social media and What's App asking where is the Award Wapsi Brigade. Why no awards are returned as a reaction to the Uri attack? Well, the question itself is laughable. People returned their awards to protest against the government for the intolerance by Right Wing and BJP members. Nobody is returning their awards right now because they don't believe our government has any hand in carrying out the attacks. Do you really feel they are behind Uri attacks? Funnily enough, the question is raised by BJP supporters.
How is Fawad Khan responsible?
Imagine this – We boycott Pakistani artists from performing in India to ‘send across a message’ to Pakistani government. Do you think they would even care? Would they rethink their strategy by this move? The artists are earning here through legal means and it is not against the law to employ Pakistani actors. If you have the guts, try changing the law if you are so sure that it would affect the anti-India forces.
There is a demand for the banning of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees since the film involves Pakistani actors. This is to remind all those people that Happy Bhag Jayegi is still playing in theatres. Nobody has demanded a ban on this film although it has a Pakistani playing one of the leads. This easily proves how they target only films with big stars to earn their 15 minutes of fame.
How different is your mind than that of the terrorists?
I am quite shocked to see well-educated people demanding to kill each and every Pakistani. What are you smoking these days? Terrorists kill innocents. And in reply, you wish to do the same. So, basically there is no difference in the content of your mind and that of the terrorists. I am not at all sorry to say that you aren’t fit to be called human if you feel good to see innocents die. And if you believe each and every person in Pakistan is a terrorist, you seriously need a reality check.
By: Keyur Seta
Badminton player P V Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik have managed to save the face of the country at the ongoing Rio Olympics 2016 by winning a Silver and Bronze medal respectively. They came to India’s rescue when its medal tally was 0.
But what makes their feat more special is that it has come at a time when people from our political class and people from some ‘social’ organizations have been openly endorsing sexist views. So, in my opinion, they have defeated these bigots in such a way that now they have no place to hide their faces.
Just like the list of winners, here is a list of losers (quite literally) and the statements that ensured their rise to fame (read: shame).
“A girl should be married off after she turns 18. By the time they turn 25, they become so mature that they don’t listen to anyone… Girls’ feet are not on the ground due to education. Is it necessary for a girl to be adamant and run after her career? People talk about men-women equality. But is it possible to hide the weakness provided by nature?” - A leader of the group DURGA VAHINI (an arm of Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
(Watch from 3:50 onwards)
“Women’s duty is to carry out household chores.” - MOHAN BHAGWAT, RSS Chief
“If you want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are western influences. Our country's tradition asks girls to dress decently.” - MANOHAR LAL KHATTAR, Chief Minister of Haryana
“Women should dress in a way that earns them respect.” - KAILASH VIJAYVARGIYA, National General Secretary, BJP
“Girls night out is against Indian culture.” - MAHESH SHARMA, India’s Culture (???) Minister
“A girl should go out either with her husband or brother.” - ABU AZMI, Samajwadi Party Maharashtra President
(Feel free to add more if you come across any)
P V SINDHU Interview