I think the Gandhian philosophy has a lot going for it, except for the fact that it is associated with the Mahatma!
Here was a real canny salesman. Is it any wonder that we now have a film that is marketing his ideas? I am upto my gills with this Gandhigiri that the film Lage Raho Munnabhai has been promoting.
I watched the movie, but I won’t ever buy the T-shirt. As time-pass it worked well, but will someone please stop this nonsense about the non-preachy message it conveys and how it has reinvented Gandhi? If anything, it is preachy as hell. Just when I wanted to let out a laugh, I would have to adjust my face into a beatific smile because Bapu was hovering somewhere behind our hero. Damn.
The reinvention is more simplistic than Aesop’s Fables…it is like after every episode we are told, “And the moral of the story is…” I felt I was in school.
To be honest, it is the character of Circuit who is the most Gandhian, a philosophy the Mahatma preached but hardly practised himself. Circuit remains the backroom guy, the kingmaker, so to speak, he is grounded, he has almost no desires for himself, he does not expect forgiveness, and he is ostensibly celibate…he does not watch the chicks or flirt with them…
As for those lessons that are learned and problems solved they are plain silly. A girl wants to know what she should look for if she has to marry a certain boy . Ah, says Gandhiji, check out how he treats those lower than him in status. She does; she hears him calling out to the waiter with a “Shoo…shoo” and walks out. Hey, if she was this unsure why did she go to that coffee shop at all? Sure, it is not good manners to call out to anyone in this fashion, but as though our loving Gandhiji did not get work done by his minions…who massaged his feet, who gave him support while walking?
Then there is the guy who loses all of his father’s money. He is told to confess. He does so. Big deal. It is obvious he is a nice guy and wants to end his life like all nice guys should. After the piece of advice what does he end up doing? Driving a taxi and escorting runaway brides and talking to radio shows.
Gandhiji conveys to the runaway bride that she should forget about superstitions, if the man loves her he will marry her. Aha, this was the man who was superstitious in the extreme and showed scant respect for his own wife’s consent before taking important marital decisions….
As for those silent protest scenes outside the builder’s house, I’d love to see how anyone would allow it. Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan…
And the guy who spits near his neighbour’s house is shamed after he realises the neighbour is washing up after him. Long years ago people had already found a way out of this thoo-thoo dilemma. Just place a picture of a deity or some godlike motif and the spitting stops. In India we are like that only…The Bapu spent most of his time lying down, except for those Dandi and other marches. Here he gets everyone to work.
Well, hum honge ‘kaam’yaab, as we say…so happy birthday, Gandhiji. This is a good year for you. You produced a blockbuster and once again proved what a great PR guy you are. Maan gaye, Ustad.