Monday, January 29, 2007

Between patriotism and sedition

Its funny. Going around killing politicians and ministers is patriotism (RDB style), but showing Lal Salaam is an offence.

I know-- Lal Salaam was no Oscar material. This film (that had Nandita Das in the one of the lead roles) was released way back in 2002 if I remember right, and hardly anyone noticed it. But if one can go to jail for showing a film that is cleared by cencors (and was released in cinemas), may be one should see it. (What about a re-release? RDB is supposed to have re-released this Republic day, don't know if it happened).

"Exhibiting this picture attracts the offence of "sedition" for which six Kui tribal cultural activists of Adva under Gajpati district of Orissa were sent to jail on 23rd Sept 2006.." [From a mail quoted in G P Ramachandran's blog, SEDITION-ORISSA STYLE].

Later in the mail it says,
"It is said by the police that the film is on the maoist activities, which is a banned organisation as declared under the Criminal Law Amendment Act-1908.."

Mm.. so no more "criminal activities" in movies.. no killing, no theft, no underworld..? It does not really seem so-- a certain RGV need not worry.

[I look up for the meaning of the word sedition, and find this: "1. incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. 2. any action, esp. in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.."]

Well, so is it just that we have no more rebels?

Not quite. The message seems to be clear -- if you want to rebel it is fine, do it the apolitical RDB way. I guess even a Yuva would pass, as long as the concerns of the film does not disturb the power brigade that still consists of the feudal lords. Definitely no Lal Salaam!


Anonymous said...

The difference between Lal Sallam and RDB is same as the difference between a terrorist and Bhagat singh.
How can you compare naxal movement or jehad to that shown in RDB.I only ask you one question that after attacking a goverment institution or something do they ever surrender so that they can be heard in a court(as shown in RDB)??????

anish said...

Bhagat Singh would be branded a naxalite if he was alive today given his principles and beliefs.

does mr anonymous know the reality of why people turn to naxalism? maybe you are just interested in maligning others and showing off your moral high ground.

sudeep said...

So, dear (Mr or Ms) Anonymous, please do enlighten, and tell us what is the difference between a terrorist and Bhagat Singh.

I think the basic difference is on which side do you stand. If one has to stand by the State no matter what it does (My nation, right or wrong), that is one kind of patriotism which I do not believe in. RDB seems to be partly on those lines (even after attacking one govt institution, they have faith in the judiciary, otherwise why would they want to be heard in court?).

So what when one loses faith in court also?

One my friend (who believes in non-violence, but was not sure what her stand should be in the naxalite issue) was discussing this with another friend. She replied saying we can not escape the responsibility of causing this violence, because we are part of a society that does not listen to their concerns and push them to the extreme measures.

It is a delicate line. About "jehad" (Lal Salaam is not about Jehad) and other religious violences, we will talk some other time. As a starter, an innocent Muslim boy was shot dead in Bangalore by the Police trying to "pacify the rioting mob" last week.

Anonymous said...

what are your view's when the kashmiri pandits were thrown out of kashmir.Where were you secular or(pseudo secular) people????
While talking about such high things let me tell you that judiciary was not in favour of Bhagat singh but he still not ran away from them.Also none of the attacks were meant to kill common innocent people.
Also,I think anything against the state is wrong and we can only question this.We cannot take the law in our hands and if we take it,THEN SHOULD BE READY TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCE

sudeep said...

Dear Anonymous,
I also believe strongly that one innocents should not be killed. But with the next sentence, you seem to be forgetting this and turn a blind eye on the thousands of innocents who are dying in the hands of the State, and blindly feasting on what is served to us as "law".

"The law is often not a source of justice, but rather of ‘totalising violence’- that is, violence which is so absolute in its impact that dissent is not ever a possibility."[Present Law, Absent Justice, Himal South Asian.

If you ask my view, I believe that conflicts should be handled through dialogues. But when someone decides to take to the arms after losing all hope in the system to provide them justice, me preaching may not make any sense to them. It is a form of expression that becomes inevitable at some point. Ok, not quite creative a form of expression.

May be we will have to go through that phase of violence and we will eventually reach a dialogue somewhere. Or may be we are moving closer to the end of humankind. In either case, we the "pacifists" can not stay away from it. When as a society we can not ensure justice, WE SHOULD BE READY TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCE.

[And before making such a statement on Naxalites or Lal Salaam-- Naxalites killing the "innocents" versus the RDB gang killing the "culprits" -- watch the movie once, or talk to a Naxalite once if you get to meet one. As Anish rightly pointed out, Bhagat Singh would be branded a Naxalite if he were alive today. Someone selling books on Bhagat Singh was arrested in the capital recently.]