Pick up the newspapers these days and bundled inside the corners of newspapers one would find reference to one honor killing or the other. In fact it has become such a sickeningly regular feature that one at times feel whether one is living in a modern society or a select part of India lives in a modern society, while the rest of it all continues to live in a time warp.
But the release of Aakrosh, the new film starring Ajay Dvgun and Akshay Khanna could change the tide for the Khaps and their dadagiri and force even the government to usher in the legislative reforms to rein them. Aakrosh is going to hit the theatres by the end of this month. But it does not mean that the Khaps have given it up. They are creating pressure through the government and with the tacit support of the political leaders to stop the release of Aakrosh.
What is the fear that is lurking at the back of their mind? The primordial fear that seems to be disturbing them is the fact that once the film releases their acts of misdeeds could travel all over the country, and a cinema as a medium has the ability to create a groundswell of opinion about an issue and an agenda. With the new breed of directors and a bunch of actors of the likes of Aamir Khan and Ajay Dvgun not having any gumption to experiment suddenly Hindi cinema is taking an interesting turn for betterment in small dosages.
As a matter of fact when the History of Indian cinema would be written for the present decade, one thing that would emerge as the recurrent motif would be the fact that cinema emerged as the medium for activism, activism from a the middle class, that otherwise was so much bogged down in its own struggles that it had given a go by to the day-to-day affairs of the country. The space of discourse that they had vacated in the political realm facilitated emergence of lumpen elements in politics and was a catalytic factor for the sorry state of affairs that Indian politics has gravitated to.
But the advent of a Rang De Basanti changed the landscape and people slowly but surely decided that enough was enough and results started pouring in, in a trickle. It is time the trickle becomes a deluge and sweeps the morass of politics and helps in creation of a new world order.
By: Suman Rai