Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rise of the Jokers!

A common man's reliability on the statistical reports released by different Governing bodies on their expected milestones significantly goes for a toss after experiencing a relatively unknown Tamil flick 'Joker' last night (Disclaimer - I coin the word 'watching' for efforts burning movies and 'experiencing' for heart burning movies). 

The movie spins around an ambition of a typical rural woman, Mallika (the one with a Indian traditional rural attire you can imagine in 'Heritage India', 'Swach Bharat Abhiyaan', 'Digital India', 'Freebies' or any other state or central Govt rural upliftment driven Ads in TVC), who marries the President of India. Her ambition is not to graduate from school/college, not to get a job, not to buy a house or a vehicle, not to fight for Women rights, not to voice against Casteism, not to cry for farmers' drought, not to kill her poverty. But, to defecate in private which she hadn't even done once in her life until her last breath. My artery pumps badly when I contemplate that such a woman still exists in the same country along with me where we have a milestone of getting transformed digitally in the next couple of years. 

Interesting part is that her village is having more than a ton Toilets (including her home) according to the Government report and in fact, it tops in the Defecation free villages list. The reality boils down only to the provision of a mere defecating basin to the people of the village with a mock toilet which survived for 10 minutes until everybody in the village could deliver a smiley pose in front of it. The art of photography was considered for the report generation and the approval of funds allocation to construct Toilets for every house in the village but the reality is utterly different. Now, this village proudly belongs to 48% of declared Open-Defecation Free villages according to this report and we are expected to celebrate for it.

Those who haven't experienced this movie would be carrying a muddiness when I had mentioned above in the storyline that Mallika had married the President. To clear it off, the President is the protagonist of the movie (named Mannar Mannan) who is just a common rural poor labor worker with his muddy house furnished with the freebies given by the stakeholder of State Government. He undergoes mental tremors when Mallika's brain is alleged as dead by the doctors after a severe treatment in ICU for a couple of days. She was hit badly by the concrete blocks on her head of an half built toilet in her home on a rainy night while she was executing her ambition of defecating in private for the first time in life. 

That toilet was half-built as their home was initially picked as the media spot by the local authorities and then discarded due to coverage issues for a ceremony (for Clean India) being visited by the President of India. She enters into a brain death with so many health complexities along with a loss of her 8 months carrying baby. This incident storms Mannar Mannan abysmally and he takes a new avatar. He starts assuming himself as the President of the country and starts criticizing all the flaws/issues in the System with strong public impacts against Government officials with a team of a old man, a young widow girl and an interning lawyer who carry similar line of thoughts. In the first half of the movie, the acts of these people make us to assume them as a gang of Jokers but in the second half, they pierce our conscious with rusted swords by tagging us as Real Jokers as we are leading a carefree life by witnessing all the political & bureaucratic atrocities and assuming them as the normality. Each and every dialogue in the movie carries an intense meaning of our system failure and our lethargic reluctance to agitate. Irrespective of having stamina or guts, agitation against system failure should become an integral part  of our attitude is a takeaway I can think of. 

Revolutions happen when these jokers turn kings and queens in a pack of societal cards. Irrespective of the reasoning behind the purpose, I see the mass revolution in Chennai in support of Jallikattu also a similar transition of attitude of the people where system has failed to satisfy their expectation. All the hearts on the roads carry a series of mental outages against corruption, adulteration, inflation, poverty, political catastrophe, poor policy making, inclined judiciary and similar plenty of anti-public  activities which tamper their personal sentiment towards the elected & selected representatives of the most powerful system of the nation. Jallikattu agitation is a mere blanket for this accidental mass gathering to cover up their oppression which they are not seriously worried of. Most of the instances in history boils down to the same context of failure when it overcomes the reluctance of the victims. In real world, stones turn to flesh based on the headcounts which undergo this attitude change and hence, the revolution happens and hence, the change begins. 

During my college days, I had a professor who used to lecture Economics and Politics based on Laissez-faire philosophy. Most of his thoughts are against giving too much of control to the Government and buying shackles to our own hands. I was assuming his thoughts as a way of extremism as my grey cells were forced to religiously accept the established system without reluctance from my primary schooling. Thanks to his eye opening lectures, I could able to interpret the delicacies in the existing system and started feeling that its my right to voice against the flawed forces. The storyline of this movie also flirting with the same phenomenon. When you aren't given power, don't ask for it but grab it. I am unsure whether this movie will bag any awards to recognize its societal value and the correlated delivery of a deeper theme although it is packaged way better than Dangals, Swaseshs, Sultans and Kabalis of the world.

 When I had gone for a loo in my wash room after the movie, I had personally experienced a mental trauma as half of my countrymen cannot afford this. I have been thinking that 'Education' is the core gap in our country which should be watered enough to bring up a responsible generation ahead. Now, I am forced to rethink that national sanity to be addressed even before flipping the pages on education. 

Returning back to the subject of this post of genuineness in the reporting of the public bodies, these instances make us to reconsider on all stats shared by the respective Governing bodies on Literacy, Women rights, Rapes, Child Labor, droughts & farmer suicide, Electricity and many more on a stronger benefit of doubt. I understand the complexity of deriving numbers for different metrics on this humongous country which can be compensated with a restriction to Type 1 or Type 2 errors. But the sample itself phenomenally going wrong, stats being reported out of it, decisions being driven from them, policies being made on the basis and the people made to believe them as facts is a fundamental disaster. 

Although initiatives like Swachh Bharat, Digital India, Demonetization and many more from the elected Central/State constitutions are to be appreciated, instrumental execution of audit to be materialized for the realistic success of these goals. Before achieving a 'Swachh Bharat Mission', 'Swachh System Mission' is a basic prerequisite. Let us hope for the accomplishments of prerequisites before expecting the success stories.