Matru depicts the real India

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January 23rd, 2013 Tarun Chaturvedi

India has often been described as an economy which is fast moving towards capitalism with a socialistic backdrop. Edward Luce in his book “Inspite of Gods” has rightly remarked that “India’s economy offers a schizophrenic glimpse of a high-tech 21st century future amid a distressingly medieval past.”

The quotation above sums up the theme of the latest release from the Vishal Bharadwaj stable - Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola.  The film has aptly captured the great Indian paradox – the continued coexistence of capitalist ambitions and social relations along side a predominantly non industrial agrarian based economy. Of course the quintessential Indian politician continues to play a corrupt role in this evolving interplay of the economic models. The movie very beautifully depicts all these underlying realities of the country.

Pankaj Kapur, representing the rich has a socialist heart but a mind of a capitalist. Under the influence of alcohol, his heart rules and he leads the poor farmers, in a protest march against himself. The moment the influence of alcohol recedes, his capitalist mind starts ruling his actions and he fires on the same protestors to disperse them. Does this mean that all capitalists are socialists at heart?

Imran Khan plays the JNU educated modern Indian youth who leads the farmers against the land acquisition plans of Pankaj Kapur. While doing so he manages to camouflage his real identity and guides the villagers by dropping pamphlets under the assumed name of Mao. This is good news for the Left leaders in India as he has been portrayed as a savior of the villagers.

In his effort to save the villagers, he does not mind going to a rich industrialist with a request to buy the produce of the farmers. This clearly indicates that both sides need each other to survive and thrive. A lesson which the Indian Left should learn and appreciate.

Shabana Azmi plays a greedy politician who does not mind compromising on any principles as long as she is able to achieve her goal – wealth accumulation. The politician does not understand what is good or bad for the people but clearly understands her goal of wealth accumulation and does not mind to use her office for goal fulfillment.

The end of the movie is a dream which most Indians would love to see transform into reality. The capitalist allows his heart to rule and he embraces socialism and of course the corrupt politician is thrown out of the scene.

Ah I wish the Indian politicians watch the movie and realize what they are in for.

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