By Mitesh Tank, Rang De Mumbai Chapter
It was a rainy evening with pleasant setting, within the home-like ambience of Hub, Bandra and ten of us were to embark on an hour long journey that would make us uncomfortable, force us to think about our ideals, our morals and the innumerable problems that our country faces. This was the inaugural screening of Rang De Box Office Series in Mumbai. 13th August, couple of days before Independence Day and a month after the serial blasts in Mumbai (while driving to Hub, I really pondered how many of us remember it, or we just notice what the media wants us to? Or we have got habituated of terrorism?) and “In Search of Gandhi” was as apt a movie as we could have got.
Rang De Box Office Screening — Mumbai
The documentary that starts with “Vaishno Jan Toh”, the favorite bhajan of Gandhiji, in the backdrop carries forward as a narrative by the movie maker Lalit Vachani. The movie traces the exact route of Dandi March that Gandhiji had taken some eighty years ago to protest one of the many atrocious British rules. Has much changed in our country? The civil society is protesting on the same lines for Lokpal bill which the current politicians are not comfortable with. The black and white visuals of police beating up Dandi March Satyagrahis, pretty much remind us of the police action at the Ram Lila Maidan against the Anti-corruption campaign. In the pursuit of finding the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in today’s world, the movie captures candid conversations with common people in the urban and rural parts of Gujarat, but what all he finds is a disillusioned lot. Irrespective of the point of the view that the movie endorses, it has moments of directorial brilliance and sometimes exposes our social intricacies on lack of social hygiene and our total disregard of historical important places and monuments.
Everyone who graced the screening had their own experiences to share and perspectives to provide. Many issues from traffic in Mumbai, Narmada project to issues of child labor came up. We discussed what we can do in our own personal capacity to alleviate the extent of the problem. Each and every problem in one way or another stems from the lack of opportunity manifested by poverty and all thought of Rang De as an innovative social solution that provides common people like you and me an opportunity to make a palpable impact in eradicating poverty in India.
Encouraged by this exciting experience, we have decided to make the Rang De Box Office a monthly event in Mumbai.
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