The other day, I saw ‘Soorarai Pottru’, the movie based loosely on a very enterprising ex-army man who establishes a novel, revolutionary airline company. That too in the notoriously red tape ridden Indian economic climate.
I liked it. There is hyperbole, yes. And excessive theatrics. But these can be pardoned.
But this is not a review of the movie. It is about a novel something I noticed.
There are many scenes in which the Indian Airforce and its officers are portrayed. I couldn’t really find any, in which the show-casing was offensive, or even unflattering. But all these shots showed a disclaimer:
“The bloody scene shown in this stupid shot, in no way reflects the official policy of the Indian Air Force. Be warned- don’t take it seriously”- or words to that effect.
We are used to the ‘smoking and drinking can fry your lungs and pickle your goddamn liver’. An essential one; of course.
But some people I know, I learned, were sceptical about the air force thing.
But not me. I can clearly see that any negative portrayal of our armed forces can affect their morale, and you don’t want that. There is Pakistan, then there is China. If it was them, we could have manged okey, but a bevy of internal enemies, are waiting to gnaw at our National Pride rooted in uniformity and sacred cultural superiority.
My personal request is, we should never stop with this.
There are our politicians. We need disclaimers to be displayed for them too. In a scene showing a corrupt politician asking for money for some favour or the other, we can put:
“Politicians in India are, as a rule, straight as an electric post, and as useful as one. The scene shown in no way reflects the money-making practices of the Indian politician”.
If A politician is portrayed as rather ugly and pot-bellied, this obviously can zap their morale. I am not actually asking for all of them be represented by Amir Khan, Rithik Roashan or Kankana Renout, though that is a possibility. I am just asking for a simple disclaimer, like this:
“All our legitimate political activists are slim, fit and beautiful, and this one doesn’t represent the official looks and body of the average Indian Politician.”
How is that?
We definitely need this type of disclaimers for our Religious leaders of all types, whether bearded, in dhotis, or in cassocks. That goes without saying.
The original and final point I want to make is, about Doctors. We need disclaimers whenever they are shown in movies. Otherwise, our morale will be affected. We are frontline warriors, especially in these pandemic times, and our morale is sacrosanct. Mess with our morale, and our Nation will go to the dogs, er.. to the intensive care unit.
“The Doctor in the scene shown as grasping, scowling, corrupt and incompetent, in no way represents the official policy of the medical community in India. They are the cream of the Nation, brimming with good intentions and the milk of human kindness.” Or something similar.
And personally, I think the Indian Medical Association be allowed to publish a list of actors, both for Bollywood and for each of the regional cinematic establishment. Only these should play the role of doctors in every movie.
This may sound a bit extreme, but think of our morale!
These are trying times, the next few decades, and let us not be lax. Perception is everything.