Tag Archives: bollywood
Implementing ambitious legislation without the support of all the states isn’t always the most fabulous idea — especially in India. Case in point? The Anti-Smoking laws (officially in place since October 2, 2008), forbidding smoking in public. Really difficult to enforce in such a large country, especially when the larger states like West Bengal and Maharashtra ignore the Health Ministry’s repeated reminders (India.com). Thankfully, four major states have aggressively begun the campaign, after realizing how much money they can make when fining these offenders. The problem, however, still remains: this thing isn’t going to work unless all the states are active participants. A major flaw in the Health Ministry’s plans is that they placed the responsibility on the the state health departments, many of which are dragging their feet on even implementing the basic structure of the program. If the Indian federal government wants to see results, it must take a more forceful stance.
Welcome back to Outsourced, your every-so-often dose of South Asian current events.
While many of us are looking eagerly ahead and counting down the days to the Inauguration of our President-Elect, India’s massive cinema industry is giving a last farewell to dear Dubya. (After all, post- Bush’s visit to India in 2006, we now import Indian mangoes. Really, Indian-Americans across the nation rejoiced at that one. And oh!Â There might be something about a nuclear deal… and massive rioting across the subcontinent at his visit.)
Mr.Â Sippy [producer of the film] says the film is not a dig at Mr Bush but does contain some of “his foibles”. (BBC News)
The President is Coming, adapted from the play by the same and directed by debut directer Kunaal Roy Kapoor, follows six young adults competing to be that young person under 30 whose hand Bush will shake. Flimsy sounding premise, maybe, but many a film have been made from a lot less. “And though political satire is not new to Indian theatre, it is only now that films like these are being made” (BBC South Asia). The film even includes footage from Dubya’s actual visit in 2006. Just released, this comedy has thus far been receiving fairly good reviews.
Shernaz Patel, one of the movie’s actresses, put it quite well: “I think we are going to miss [George W. Bush] because he provided so much fodder.”
The bloodbath in Bombay thus led to unprecedented media mayhem in India and certainly in the US as well. It was certainly enjoyable to see Indian New Yorkers of every shape, size and political opinion pontificating on India’s 9-11 on the networks here. And as frantic American shoppers trampled a Walmart worker to death, we got a brief respite from the bombs in Bombay. I felt ashamed that my country had never before elicited such attention in the American media. Most Americans were certainly not informed in such detail about the train bombings in Bombay in July that killed more than 200. And the Gujarat riots of 2002, where more than 2000 people, the majority of them Muslim, were killed also did not occupy the Breaking News cycle on American television with such intensity. – Parvez Sharma
I still find the intense, misguided coverage of the Mumbai attacks to be amusing, or enough to elicit a jaded chuckle. As Sharma talks about in the above quote, India has had plenty of other attacks. Last time I went to India, in 2006, the 7/11 train bombings occurred in Mumbai. Did the American media focus on it at all? Not really. They were to busy rattling their mouths on the Hezbollah crisis going on at the time. But why didn’t we talk about it — I mean, after all, couldn’t Al-Qaeda be involved? This little tidbit was often vigorously declared on air a week ago. (Really, no other terrorist organizations exist? Hmm.)
Anyway — you all should take a break from the Illinois coverage and read Parvez Sharma’s most recent post on HuffPo… Bullets in Bollywood:No Eid For Me.