Do You See?
>I watch films and read books mostly when the euphoria and the spate of reviews are over. And I watch Bollywood too, because those creations are sometimes useful to see how certain belief systems work, to my surprise or chagrin.
One such recent view was New York (2009).
1. Suddenly Bollywood’s “overseas” interests have started including the 9/11 commentary, after these many years have passed. While New York seems incapable of any analyses about 9/11 as an event in history, the Naseeruddin Shah-directed “Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota (2006)” presented a deeper psychological insight into the people who might have unfortunately been caught in 9/11’s turbulence. New York simply seems to be another chance to shoot in New York City, with the campus scenes resembling Chapel Hill (how quaint we never see such flora and fauna in a “state university” in New York) and the cobbled city streets incorporated from some Upstate town topography perhaps…!
2. In New York, Muslims take charge of their own “involvement” or “implication” in 9/11. This has become such a popular notion with the Hindu, upper-caste, middle-class majority (why blame the rightwing?), as pointed out by M. They should, it is argued eloquently, sort out their “own mess”. Even a well-known newspaper editor went on to argue recently how secular, liberal Hindus can no longer defend the credentials of the Muslims. And so on and so forth for Dalits, Tribals, and the “others”, following a similar logic. Reminds me of Martin Niemöller‘s lines!
Postscript: In the very last portion of New York, the ‘self-absolved’ Muslims (the government-appointed one who has helped terrorists see the path of nonviolence and ‘we-are-globalized-type oneness’ through his own experience of interrogation, torture, and killing, and the independent one who had probably seen the path, but couldn’t quite get on to the globalization fast track fast enough because his girl was taken away, because he had to kill, etc.) keep fawning upon the orphan kid (the dead terrorist’s child) as the “new Muslim” kid laden with virtues like love for eating pasta, excelling in American football, tolerance etc. Made me laugh. Where did Bollywood get the notion that this “breed” is breeding only NOW, after thorough ‘self-absolving’ by the older offenders? Talk about belief systems and a sense of historicity!