Today is Inida’s Independence Day : 15th Aug
It’s not difficult to market Gandhi and his philosophies; it’s been done to death by people who have used ‘khadi’, ‘charkha’ meaninglessly and his discourses and speeches have been snipped to make quotable quotes. But then, it’s not easy to market him either for precisely the same reasons.
Every time there is an act of non-violence people turn around to question “is Gandhi relevant in today’s time?” I have never doubted his relevance ever. He will be relevant till the end of times; its just the way we market him to reach a wider audience and spread the Gandhian message.
In ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, the script-writer re-invented Gandhi. Whom the whole world addresses as ‘bapu’, he had the audacity to call him ‘banda’ meaning dude…
That was just the first thing. The psyche behind calling him ‘banda’ was that he could make him relevant to today’s youth and the college going students would identify with him. The moment you call someone ‘banda’ half your burden of respect and honor gets dumped; and you get that feeling of being among your owns.
Now comes the bigger problem of trying to miniaturize his greatness so that people are not intimidated by it. They should not feel that they cannot emulate him. So, what he does next is disguise his greatness, his courage, his fortitude, his inner-calm, his sacrifice into a single word “dum” meaning power/potential…
So, now we have a Gandhi who is a dude with some potential; just like the guy next door. He becomes more approachable and people would not feel dwarfed by his greatness. And the final punch is the reiteration of nationalism in the form of ‘Vande Mataram’.
Our national song just got edited or we can say re-invented, so that the youth of today can sing/hum and make more sense of it. Lets give it a shot : bande mei tha dum … vande mataram; bande mei tha dum … vande mataram