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Peepli Live on Independence Day

August 19, 2010

It was like a jolt of ugly realization. One moment I’m happily celebrating the 63rd year of India’s Independence and the next moment after 2 hours and few minutes I’m shaken by the anxiety of whether we are independent or not.

Peepli Live is a movie about a villager who decides to commit suicide hoping to attain the 1 lakh rupees compensation from the government to save his land. This news reaches the journalists and they mileu around the poor man’s house to capture the suicide! No sooner is the news flashed on TV that ministers and political wannabes start showing up and making ‘squeezing-sponge’ comments. The mountain of bizarre ridiculous freak show boils to the point that the villager runs away from the limelight and eventually journalists declare him dead because of an LPG-gas blast in a hut where presumably he was present at that time. Finally, the world remains the same, nothing changes. Nor does the villager’s family get anything from the government (since, he did not commit suicide … he had an ‘accident’), nor does the government do anything. All ministers and political aspirants live the way they do, dream the way they do and do whatever stupidity they do!!

This movie seemed to be a gag pointed towards the worthless politicians and sensation-loving journalists who think only about power and TRPs respectively. This movie reminded me of the various journalistic incongruity we’ve seen in the recent years – a 10 year old boy in a hole in the ground, a man committing suicide from a building … etc. I started wondering if independence means our Fundamental Rights of the ‘freedom of press’ and ‘right to vote’, then do we really need them?

What kind of ‘journalistic freedom’ do we have? Sensationalism seems to be name of the game of TRPs. Journalists seems to be dependent on TRPs. Where’s the independence?
Whom are we voting for? Political aspirants who are lapping dogs who only think about power and money. Ministers who keep trying to save their own status and position. What do these people give to the country?

Where is our Independence?

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