When I turn into a famous, critically acclaimed filmmaker and get asked by James Lipton at ‘In the Actor’s Studio’- “What turns you off?”, this would be my answer- Ignorance with a capital I.
People live in caves, it seems when it comes to knowing about the shithole we live in. They are so caught up in the daily stressful details of life that time for newspapers and news channels are off bounds. Yes I know- The common man has his own problems- dreams to chase, bills to clear, loans to pay, gas to fill and happiness to pursue. So what’s one more chore? – Newspapers to read.
Ask them if they have heard the latest dub step version of the Batman soundtrack, or what the Happy Hour timings are at clubs downtown, when is Shaair + Phunk playing at Blue Frog, or the latest update on the K Stewart-R Patz breakup- each and every person will do the Hermione Granger routine of jumping up and down, with their hand up in the air, pleading for a chance to answer the million dollar question.
But ask them questions on the flaws in the Jan Lokpal Bill, which party is ruling their state, the retrospective income tax rule brought in by P Chidambaram, the extent of infiltration made by Chinese troops in the north east, the status of the Gujarat riots hearing- all questions the answers to which actually cost more than a million dollars. You will find pin drop silence with the occasional crickets making their presence felt.
I understand that it is difficult to keep up with Barkha Dutt’s tweets about the nation’s goings on, but a basic level of knowledge and awareness is the least one can ask for. Informed citizens are the need of the hour. At least, this way you won’t be duped or taken for a ride by the establishment while basking in the glory of blissful ignorance. I’m not saying you need to be a mouth piece for Reuters news flash to win my stamp of approval, but please be clear on basic no brainer facts (like- no matter what the Benetton ad campaign says, Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi will never kiss and make up) This will certainly help tone down my “I’m surrounded by Idiots” syndrome.
It’s not that my peers are total angootha chaaps. Arrest them for revelling at a lounge that serves alcohol without a licence- they will amass an army on social media, present a 1000 word essay each about the prevailing laws on human rights and make those hawaldars regret unleashing their orthodox bigoted views on well off asmaani kaboothars. Shoot around and blow up popular haunts like German Bakery or Taj Hotel in Bombay- and voila! You have the highest density of English speaking population doing the rounds with candles in their hands and passionate patriotism in their hearts.
It’s all a great tamasha, and guess who have the front row seats? Time Magazine and Juliane Assange. Not that America and Australia are impeccable, but their noses are far more up in the air than that of Manmohan Singh.
I just hope that after reading this, someone, somewhere gets some sense and reads some news so that I’m not left having intellectual debates in my head, with myself, playing both For and Against the topic!
So call me at 9###0340## once you learn how to tell apart fact from media concocted fiction- and then maybe we can get into a heated discussion about Shining India. Just don’t ask me about Sunburn or Deadmau5 cause I don’t know any of that shit!