Amir Khan held the leading role. He has had a pretty good string of films in the last few years with Dil Chata Hai and Lagaan. Unlike most Bollywood heroes, he does not sign 10 films a year but rather chooses to take one project at a time. He has also been known to disregard award shows even when he has been nominated and also won awards. These attributes are all commendable from my perspective. The film also had a vast cast of American and British actors that all added serious talent to the legend. A couple of hot heroines were thrown in the mix to spice things up as well. We can never get enough of the hot Indian chicks playing the unwilling courtesan. Those dance sequences make me wanna get up, grab a bottle of whiskey, and shake ma tail feather.
So the movie itself was worth watching and the timing of release was in perfect tandem with the Indian Independence Day, conveniently stirring up all the right ideas about patriotism. I would be lying if I said I did not feel a little sense of pride while watching the movie. If you get a chance, do check it out. If for nothing else, then just to see Mangal Panday’s awesome muchi (moustache). I gotta get my self one of those bad boys. Of coarse watching this movie we are reminded how the “West” divided and conquered so many civilizations in our recent history, leaving behind poverty and chaos. So many injustices have been recorded and can still be recalled by some of our parents and grand parents. There are numerous books and movies on this subject from all over the world.
I have studied a little bit about the British East-India Company and their presence in South East Asia during the 1700, 1800, and 1900’s… We know they started the Opium wars for personal profit and they milked numerous nations of their physical and cultural wealth. My father sent me this excerpt some 2 weeks ago. After watching “The Rising” I decided to pull it out and give it another read. I can not be completely sure if it is authentic but this is just food for thought.
LORD MACAULAY’S ADDRESS TO THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT - 2 FEBRUARY, 1835
“I have travelled across the length and breadth ofIndia and I have not seen one person who is a beggar,who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in thiscountry, such high moral values, people of suchcalibre, that I do not think we would ever conquerthis country, unless we break the very backbone ofthis nation, which is her spiritual and culturalheritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replaceher old and ancient education system, her culture, forif the Indians think that all that is foreign andEnglish is good and greater than their own, they willlose their self-esteem, their native culture and theywill become what we want them, a truly dominatednation.”
I can imagine many people using something like this as propaganda to convince others how “Westernized” India has become and how that will contribute to a further downfall of the nation. How this is what the “Whiteman” wants. Personally, I think Indians are taking very positive ideas from the western culture and adapting them into their own, thus narrowing the gaps between us. It is hard for me to draw a line between western and liberal ideas. All western ideologies are not liberal although most of the foreign ideas that come in through the main media path (TV) seem to be generally liberal compared to what Indians are used to. I do not live in India so I can not see what the overall effects are. But looking at the friends I do have there, they all have a very strong sense of identity and an even stronger sense of pride, in themselves and their nation. Although they may be “westernized” to a certain degree, having studied abroad, they still seem to respect their country and have some respect for their history and culture. At least this is what I like to believe.
Just because we are changing and adapting does this mean we are selling out? Is all this just a new form of the Western invasion and their attempt to take over the world? I really don’t know. Maybe you guys can enlighten me.