Tag Archives: Society

Should there be a holiday on Gandhi Jayanti?

This was a valid, and a little less schismatic this time, question raised by Shashi Tharoor (again, on Twitter). Personally, I have no problem with national holidays and if I’m not wrong we just have 3 national holidays. Before we can answer whether we should have a holiday on the birthday of a person who worshipped work, we have to decide why in the first place we take a holiday on this day?

Ideally, this type of holiday should be taken so that we can sit aside for a day and think about the great soul. People should get together, whether online and offline, and talk about Mahatma Gandhi: his life, his philosophy, how he supposedly got us independence, his non-violent (and controversial) ways, and what he thought about the world in general (and about sex, according to this Tweet from Pritish Nandy). There should be neighborhood gatherings (do we still have those?) of kids and adults and hold discussions on Mahatma Gandhi. Do we do that? Hardly.

For instance, this time it was nothing but an extended weekend. People pack up their bags and go to visit places they can visit and come back by late Sunday evening. Or they simply laze around. You hear or read things about Gandhi only while casually browsing through TV news channels, Twitter streams and blogs. Music and entertainment channels start broadcasting Valentines-related or festival-related programs days in advance (so that people don’t absentmindedly forget about spending their money on greeting cards, expensive gifts and themed dinners). They don’t even show themed songs the way they, occasionally, do on Republic and Independence Days. So it just becomes a holiday. So should we have it?

This holiday should be scrapped. But instead of working or studying, people should do some brainstorming on how we can improve our country? When was the last time you constructively talked about making your country a better place to live? We all criticize and crib as regularly as we shit, but how many times we actually think about solutions and how to implement them? If the guys at BlogActionDay can organize blog action days year after year and motivate bloggers all over the world to write on relevant topics, why cannot we organize such days on Gandhi Jayanti? Senior managers and school/college principals should organize cleanliness drives where they visit neighboring places and clean them up. You may think what can be achieved by doing such things once a year? Not much. But do you think our country is so hopeless that if hundreds of thousands of people participate in this annual event, not even a few hundred will carry on the work for a few more days and in the process motivate more people?

Did Karan Johar do the right thing by apologizing to Raj Thakery?

Many theaters in Pune and Bombay (Mumbai) had to take down the recently released Karan Johar produced film Wake up, Sid when some MSN (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) stopped its screening for using Bombay instead of Mumbai. Bombay was changed to Mumbai back in 1996. Before the British the city was called Mumbai.

Before proceeding further, please give your opinion on this issue using the poll given below.

Many, including Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, has said that Karan Johar shouldn’t have apologized to Raj Thakery and given in to his gundaraj. I feel he did the right thing. So much is at stake when you make and release a film. The problem in our country is that you will find people a-dime-a-dozen who will tell you what you should do and shouldn’t, but when it actually comes to standing by your side and taking on the onslaught they conveniently disappear.

The thing is, you can either be a crusader or an entrepreneur. For Johar, they can shove the name up their asses as long as they let him run his movie. It’s like being mugged in a dark alley (actually our entire country is becoming like a dark alley); you don’t confront the gang of muggers or try to talk sense into them. You simply hand over to them whatever you have and move in with life. Losing your life over small things is not worth it. People like Raj Thakery and his goons are like those muggers. If they are happy with a paltry apology, big deal, you shouldn’t lose your sleep over it. Give it to them and move on. People won’t even remember this after a few days.

But then, you may ask, doesn’t it encourage them to commit further mischief? Yes. Too bad. We ourselves have made our society like this by continuously choosing wrong governments election after election. Raj Thakery and such are socio-legal problems and they have to be dealt at the police and political level. You cannot expect (and shouldn’t) Karan Johar to leave everything and start a campaign against Raj Thakery just to prove a point. All he wants to do is make films and earn profits, which is quite a legitimate aspiration. Instead of urging him to stand up to Raj Thakery and his goons, people themselves should organize a campaign and show Raj Thakery his true place.