Sunday, August 15, 2010

15th of August!

Independence Day!  I'm sure we all agree that this day is of great significance in our history.  It probably changed our lives for the better even before we were born.  I accept the logic behind the importance of Independence.  But no matter what we do, we can never really feel it.  Unless there is a war or crisis, we don't really give much thought about patriotism.  I'm not saying that we are evil or selfish; I'm sure we will prove ourselves when/if an opportunity presents itself.  So, what are we supposed to feel on the day of Independence?

You could say that we should feel proud and that we should thank the heroes who gave their lives for us and all that stuff.  But, its easier said than done.  I mean, we ignore the beggars on our streets every day.  We are used to not feeling empathy.  So, how are we going to feel deeply compassionate about someone whom we haven't even met?  The answer, is to meet them.  No, going to the grave of the soldiers wouldn't do us much good.  But watching a movie that is less heroic and more realistic about our Independence might help.

Last night, Sony Pix screened the movie Gandhi.  I have seen the movie before but I still decided to see it once again to remind me of the feeling; the feeling of Independence.  This isn't some cheesy, heroic movie about how one man saved a nation.  In fact, the movie was written by an American and directed by an Englishmen, even Gandhi himself was played by Ben Kingsley born in UK.  The movie was released in 1982.

The movie starts with the life of Gandhi in Africa but quickly fast-forwards to India.  As soon as he reaches India, he starts collaborating with Nehru, Patel, Jinnah etc.  The movie shows how these great leaders differed in opinion but still had immense respect for each other.  It shows how one man grew to become the father of a nation and how even he couldn't control what was happening to our country.

When we think of Gandhi, we think that the whole country stood behind him as he faced the Britishers.  But that is far from the truth.  We get a glimpse of the real history of India and Pakistan.  We see how one man struggles to preach peace when the whole world is engulfed in a World War.  Most of all, it shows us what it really took to achieve Independence! 

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