Life Immitates Art by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (JANUARY 28, 2014)

Last week the national capital witnessed certain sights that it had never imagined it would ever do. For instance, who could imagine that the Delhi chief minister will leave his office at the secretariat and sit on a dharna in the middle of the road, braving severe winter under an open sky.

Also, could we ever imagine the state’s law minister leading a mob of vigilantes to raid a house where, he thought, a prostitution and drug racket was going on. Inside, they roughed up women form a foreign country on mere suspicion.

Of course, no proof of prostitution or drug racket was found. The victims of the raid, quite naturally, lodged a police complaint against the raiders. One of the women identified the leader of the mob, the honourable law minister, creating a law and order problem of his own. Later, another victim identified him as the leader of the vigilantes.

Earlier, another AAP star, the poetaster Vishwas, was forced by women’s organisations as well as those of Keralites to apologise for his ignoble racist slur. This man, who claims to be a poet, and thus a man of fine sensibility, called women from Kerala “kaali-peeli” (black and yellow) referring to their relatively darker skin. Incidentally, the law minister’s victims, too, were dark-skinned African women, which show their racist proclivities.

All this reminded me of a film I had seen during a long flight. It was called Nayak. The hero of the film was made chief minister for a day, and he started on a mission of personally and directly setting things right, physically attacking and brutalising people he suspected of some wrong-doing, like the Delhi CM and law minister.

I never imagined a day will come when life would immitate art instead of art immitating life. When I told this to a friend, he cited another, older, film of Dilip Kumar in which the hero, a factory worker, suddenly becomes an “important” man as the president of worker’s union.

When he realises the change in his status he bursts into an impromptu song: “Saala mein toh sahib ban gaya” (Lo, I have become a big man!). My friend concluded: “The Aam Admi sala has become a big man. He will take time to adjust to this reality.


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