Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena (MNS) leader, has become the self-appointed censor of films. Says today’s Hindu: He has “threatened to “censor” every film released from now on to ensure that it uses Mumbai and not Bombay or ‘Bambai’ to describe the city.” This is the most important thing that a person who cares about the city can think of, apart from bashing up people whom he deems outsiders, and insisting on the imposition of the local language at all levels everywhere.
This obssession of politicians with films is frighteningly on the rise. Where do they find the time?
Tamilnadu sets the pace, and is a monumental example of folly to others. The Tamilnadu CM has assured that films with Thamizh titles will get tax benefits. The race for thinking up newer titles is hotting up. Our CM has time to make regular appearances at events of supreme significance like audio releases of forthcoming movies, where sops like this are announced. He even has arranged for TV sets to reach every single home, keeping his election promise, so that they can see all the movies with Thamizh titles in the comfort of their homes – maybe free cable connections and DVD players will be gifted before the next election. Is the Election commission watching, or caring?
Who cares that there is not enough electricity in the state? (Maharashtra has four hours power cut now – once upon a time its Electricity Department, BEST, lived up to its name; and Tamilnadu has recently introduced hourly power cuts). Or coming down to basics, no proper sanitation? Setting up bathrooms and toilets in their homes would be far more beneficial to them. I say, assure the children of a hygienic home and good education, not provide them with the means to a descent into dissipation.
There are schools in parts of the state without even blackboards. Does anyone care? Movies and movie persons, however need to be given full support at all times from the government. Families of yesteryear’s film folks are generously helped by the government so that they need not earn their own living, but bask in the vicarious glory of their long deceased cinematic relatives.
It makes me sad that nobody has ever thought of the indigent families of unglamorous schoolmasters, or farmers who can’t make enough to repay their loans.