Feb 13, 2010

The Tiger, Tamed

The roar of the tiger turned into a whimper by the end of the day yesterday. Tiger and cub were left fuming and licking their wounds post successive debacles viz Rahul Gandhi's visit and now MNIK. Left with very few options to save face, they have now resorted to foul mouthing all and sundry in the Sena's daily newspaper 'Saamna'.

Credit is due to all who ensured the release of the movie, beginning with the CM, Mr Chavan, all celebrities including Home Minsiter RR Patil for having led the audience into theatres, SRK and Karan Johar for refusing to apologise to Sena, but above all to Mumbaikars who dared the Sena to challenge them.

However, this is only a psychological victory for the state, as it had turned out to be a prestige issue for both parties. The entire Police force of Mumbai and more besides can hardly be committed to ensure the safe release of a movie or for successful conduct of any other event on a regular basis. If it is a movie today, tomorrow it could be a play, a sports event.......................

The state has to look for resource effective and time efficient ways of tackling such issues and prevent recurrence of such incidents. Whatever the issue, civil liberties and freedom in a democracy cannot be allowed to be held to ransom in this manner.

So much hoopla over release of a film is unprecedented. The spin off, as opposed to the perception that Sena's call to boycott the movie would have an adverse effect on its box office collections, is certain to be the other way round. And that was evident from the response to the movie on opening day. After all our TV channels have dwelled on little else in the past week.

The cause of the Ho – Hungama of course is Cricket, do read my take on it at 'Cricket and the Olympic medal'. And the non inclusion of Pak cricketers in bidding for IPL - III here.

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