Changing Scene Of Bollywood
The type of films that are hitting the screen today are an insult to one’s senses. But then, producers of such movies are making no claims to their creations unduly bothering the audience with thought-provoking statements. Bordering on fantasies or the extremely illogical, these films have, however, set the box-office chiming with their mind-boggling collections. With the cartoon genre coming alive on the screen with its galaxy of stars, not only the kids but even the elders have enjoyed the 3D experience that the silver screen has had to offer. It does, however, appear that cinema as an effective medium to showcase the trials and tribulations of life is not finding much favour with the audiences these days. By addressing the myriad social issues that plagued the era gone-by, cinema, along with theatre, served as a powerful medium of social change. The history of the country bears testimony to the rebellion of sorts that revolutionized the social concepts prevalent to bring about a general awakening amongst the masses. Cinematic adaptations from great Indian literary classics which lay bare the wretchedness of the period where dowry, child marriage and the opposition to widow remarriages were being advocated with a ferocity that was alarming served to encourage people to shun such vile customs and adopt a more humane and modern approach. Cinemas were not only entertaining, but served to educate the masses as well. But as with all other mediums, cinema too metamorphosed. And how! With only the ‘entertainment’ quotient enthusing film-makers nowadays, the current corps of producers have been churning out creations that in no way do justice to the highly evolved status of the human brain. If the violence in the films is a matter of concern, the double-meaning dialogues and slapdash comedy hardly ascribe the desired humorous element to the script. It is very difficult to discern sci-fi films from the run-of-the-mill ones considering the caricaturing of some of the characters who are out-of-the-world creations in both the varieties. Barring a few exceptional ones, the ‘dream merchants’ have found it difficult to dish out normal fares. A pathetic craze for such senseless movies drives cine-goers these days. The appeals by the film fraternity asking the public to keep away from piracy and live-streaming of the movies thus fail to elicit the desired response.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Stop Printing Rs 2,000 Currency Notes
The move to stop printing Rs 2,000 currency notes was long overdue. The high denomination note was introduced to tide over the cash crunch following demonetisation of high denomination notes. Now that the purpose has been achieved, printing of the high denomination notes must be stopped completely and these notes must be phased out gradually, as lower denomination notes come into the market. The Rs 2,000 note is a headache to dispose of for the common man, while it may prove to be a boon for money launderers, hoarders and political parties for corrupt practices during polls.
ROBERT CASTELLINO, Mumbai
On Judicial Overreach By Courts
We have the overreach of the judiciary, more specifically the Supreme Court, leading to a distressing situation in the Sabarimala case relating to the entry of women of menstruating age into the temple. The matter was to be dealt as a faith issue rather than that of a constitutional right and the apex court could have recused itself from the case. That would have allowed the matter to die a natural death rather than as it is now of a political football that is being kicked about. The situation on the streets in Kerala is fast deteriorating into a severe law and order problem. This is not the first time that the apex court has done this. There are many instances of judicial overreach and the notable among them is the ban on fireworks at particular times during last Diwali. This took the fun out of children’s lives across the country and deprived livelihood for thousands in households and the tiny sector who are involved in the manufacture of fireworks. The icing on the cake in the judgment was that ‘green’ fireworks could be used when none existed in India from local manufacture and whatever was available was of China make. So was the apex court indirectly promoting the industry of China at the cost of Indian industry! As for the primary concerns of pollution that was the basis of the judgment, fireworks were not banned in entirety but it seems only during Diwali, since for religious festivals that followed like the Chhaat Puja and then the New Year and the random weddings that take place or during the election victories, fireworks continued to be used. So the point is that if you want to ban fireworks for environmental issues and noise pollution then ban them entirely and not just during a specific festival. Then we have the latest gaffe by the apex court in the Rafale judgment that implied that the aircraft deal was referred to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the public accounts committee (PAC) and that a report on that was tabled in the Parliament. The incumbent government is using this judgment to give itself a clean chit. One can safely say that our judiciary should remain in its domain and refrain from interfering in all and sundry matters.
S KAMAT, Alto St. Cruz