Monday, August 06, 2007

Wrong Heroes

First it was Shilpa Shetty and now it is Haneef Mohammed and Sanjay Dutt!

Yes, India desperately needs heroes. Our propped up heroes have failed us consistently. They have gone onto disappoint us all the time. Gandhi, Nehru, et al, of independence time is long gone. We have even punched holes into their personalities to make them more of villains than heroes. So what are we left with? Wrong heroes!

Shilpa Shetty became the upholder of Hindu tradition. Clad in provocative and sexy dresses, she became the icon of Indian Woman’s virtue. She put on a sugary and syrupy smile, flashed her eyes in innocence, and played the victim of racist comments. Britain reeling itself under self-correction from its own strong prejudices, became apologetic quite eagerly and generously. That nation supported and stood by this innocent victim from a third world country against their own homegrown bigotry. They felt sheepish and embarrassed of their own actions. And our lady rode that sympathy wave, signed up few lucrative deals, and raked in massive support of gleeful Indians, by being completely nonchalant to their own prejudices which they happily dole out to foreigners from ‘inferior’ countries.

Haneef Mohammed, for no achievement of his own, other than the fact that he is a cousin of two International Indian terrorists who failed miserably in blowing up an Airport in Britain, is now in the limelight. Our beloved and dear CM even offered him a job. Of course, sadly, Haneef had to go through an ordeal in Australia, being locked up in a foreign nation for certain dubious crimes. India, Indian people, and Indian government took chagrin at this treatment and protested. I ask, what about thousands of Indians who languish in Indian jails with no recourse to any legal system? I wish all these criminals were caught by Australian police so that they all get a hero welcome in India and a job guaranteed by the CM himself.

Sanjay Dutt is another wrong hero. Yes, he acted as a sorta-Gandhian, but that does NOT absolve him of his crimes. Actually, I am happy that people are protesting. But I am sad that they are protesting for wrong motives. The people, that includes the media, the audience, the teenagers, the Indian Cinema Industry, have all protested against his conviction. Some of them want this hero to come out unscathed. I ask, what about so many others who are languishing in jails under POTA, TADA, etc? What about them? I wish these protestors protested against the laws that put innocent people in jail instead of concentrating on selfishly releasing just one of them out!

We in India are blessed with wrong heroes. In a land of no heroes, a wrong hero is good enough, I guess!


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