Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Haider-a-Bard by Vivek Kaul

The article is work of Mr. Vivek Kaul and I am simply reproducing it here with his due permission as I am in agreement with the case put forth by him.

The Movie Haider might get rave reviews, but has many technical glitches including lack of research by the Director as well as the Production House.  One can't simply adopt a novel and make a mvie without evaluating the one sided sob story by someone.  The Kashmir or Mid 90s and the Dance of death by terrorists is being hidden behind the magnificent portrayal of Indian Army as the villains.  The truth is something different and out there for us to explore!!! Yes because its hidden beneath the truth as being showcased by NGOs and the News Channels.....on the name of Human rights and supporting the minorities...............

Read on!!!

So many reviews about movie Haider have been written on facebook by Kashmiris that a record of sorts has been created! 

I generally find film reviews grossly misleading. My go-to person for many things including movies is my all knowing son Billbichroo! 

Last time I read a local UK review of A movie called Slumdog millionaire was a huge mistake. I was sold it as the Feel Good Movie of the Decade ! 
It was anything but feel good for me! A grinding display of poverty is not my idea of feel Good feeling! 

So I asked my son yesterday, -Bil, this Haider movie is based on Hamlet. What happens in Hamlet? 
Everyone dies in the end Papa ! 
Oh!!! thanks Bill. 

Few years back in February I had gone to India & was looking for a book called Our Moon has blood clots by Rahul Pandita . This novel was autobiographical account of Hindus - Kashmiri Pandit (KPs) set during the turbulent times of 1989/1990 when the whole community of 300,000 odd KPs had to run for their lives from the violence unleashed by Islamic Terrorists , trained & financed by Pakistan, our eternal villain! 

Around the time , Rahul Kaul my childhood friend , who u saw swimming in Kashmir floods in a picture I posted few weeks ago , invited me to his apartment in Gurgaon for a dinner. 
During Kashmiri dinner n Single Malt jugglebandi I mentioned this book & Rahul said Vivek it is the KP side of story & Muslim side has been already been written by one Basharat Peer called Curfewed Nights ! 

Basharat Peer happens to be the co- writer of movie Haider set in Kashmir of 1995 when Basharat was still a teenager in Kashmir & Islamic terrorists ruled the valley by fear of AK 47 ! 

So what was Kashmir of 1995 like ? . Let me jog your memory with explanations for my overseas non Indian friends as well. 

Tourism in Kashmir collapsed following the 1995 abduction of six western men, including two Britons, Keith Mangan and Paul Wells, who were taken hostage by Islamist group Al-Faran. One American tourist escaped, but a Norwegian, Hans Christian Ostrø, was beheaded. How the other four died is uncertain to this day. 

The whole town of Charar-i-sharief got burnt down in 1995 , including its famous 650 year old Shrine , during the fierce encounter between Indian troops and Jehadi terrorists . 

To counter the Islamic Jehadis & their dreadful violence India raised a special force called Rashtriya Rifles who were soldiers & officers on secondment ( deputation) from Indian Army. 
They were raised to fight present day ISIS type Jehadis who took no prisoners 
They hit upon a great plan . Captain Mishra ( name changed) thought if a counter insurgency movement could be led by surrendered or compromised Ex-Jehadis some semblance of law & order could be restored in Kashmir which was run by the diktats of so called Mujahedeens & the like ! 

In summary they employed ex-thieves to catch old battle hardened thieves. 

India became increasingly dependent on the vigilantes...Groups such as the Jammu and Kashmir Ikhwan...drawn from some 3,000 former Kashmiri jehadis who surrendered to the Government. Paid monthly salaries of up to 12,000 rupees ($200), and allowed to keep their weapons, they acted as informers, leading soldiers to militant hideouts. ( as is seen in the opening scenes of Hiader the movie ) 

The Rashtriya Rifles (RR) army became the surrendered militants' main income source,---
The Ikhwanis thus became the eyes and ears of the army, identifying terrorists among the people of Kashmir during 'crack down' of a particular area as shown in the movie when the Surgeon is identified by the masked surrendered Ikwani ! 

In many cases personal scores were settled & innocent people were identified by these Ikwanis to RR for interrogation in a Special place near Oberoi Palace Hotel called Papa 2 , called Mama 2 in the movie. We were pointed to this building , now a state guest house by our Shikarawala / boatman who was given away to RR by his cousin because of previous family feud ! Fortunately for Gani his loyal mother wept bitterly in front of Army commander who trusted her story & released Gani to safety ! Gani is still my mobile phone friend ! An honest Shikarawala who does not even take a tip ! 

Have a glimpse of Gani. Enjoy his kathbath with us in 2012,before you read this Mother of all reviews ! ;-))) 

Those were very difficult & testing times for many innocent Kashmiris & Indian Army. 

It is to the credit of Indian Army that the back bone of Jehadi led Azadi ( freedom) movement was broken as the Jehadis had local population led to believe that Azadi was round the corner. 
Around the same time many Jehadis made lot of money from extortion & kidnappings etc amongst the Kashmiri people & many Kashmiri Muslims also migrated out , truth be told ! 

Movies like Haider are very easy to see but difficult to understand if you don't know the background & the setting like a Harry Potter film where reading the novel before hand makes it easier to understand the characters & the storyline 

Haider will thus mean different to different viewers depending on their level of understanding of the Kashmir situation c. Mid 1990's 

The story of Haider movie is pretty straightforward. 

Haider has been sent away to Aligarh for education to escape recruitment by Jehadis as was common those days . His surgeon dad gets a dreaded Jehadi as a patient with appendicitis. Doctor operates on him at his own home & he is supergrassed ( see below) by his own brother who lusts for his wife ! 

The Surgeon is immediately identified by a Ikwani ex Jehadi in a Crack down parade & bundled out by Security forces. 
Hidden militants in his house start firing on the Security forces who blow up his home by a shoulder fired rocket. 

Meanwhile Haider returns after his education & finds his mom in a room with her brother- in -law singing songs to each other. Haider does not like this situation & wants to know & find his missing father. 

Heroine of the film , a police bigwigs daughter , tries to help him & finds a Militant ready to help Haider. This militant has been in torture chambers & interrogation cell with his dad. 
Both are thrown in Jhelum river to drown. Surgeon drowns but the dreaded militant escapes to tell Haider that his uncle was the informer of his dad. 
Haider tells his mom about his dads death & subsequently his uncle proposes marriage amongst few songs & drama !

The movie climaxes in death of Heroine . Uncle , & other baddies being killed by mom who blows herself n others as a suicide bomber ! 

In the closing titles of the film , Indian Army is thanked for their role in helping Kashmiris in recent floods , as an afterthought after painting them as real villains in the movie ! 

Was the Producer or Director guilty of something ! 

I am really surprised that this movie got passed the scissors of Indian Film Censor board ! 
You castigate your own security forces in worst possible way , when they were only trying to wrestle back Kashmir for India from the violence unleashed by Jehadis & still censor board finds the movie fit for U certification -- they must be busy eating free Samosas n chutney rather than grasp the obvious message of the movie ! 

Movie does not show Jehadis as saints but does paint Security forces as villains. 

I have not mentioned about the omission of any reference to Kashmiri Pandits in the movie who by 1995 were no where to be seen in the valley , having been ethnically cleansed by 1990 ! 

As with Curfewed Nights , Basharat Peer has been leader of the pack by co-writing this movie which will surely be followed by a Kashmiri Pandit all singing all dancing feature film penned by a Rahul Pandita amongst us ! 


'Supergrass is a British slang term for an informer, which originated in London. Informers had been referred to as "grasses" since the late-1930s, and the "super" prefix was coined by journalists in the early 1970s to describe those informers from the city's underworld who testified against former associates in a series of high-profile mass trials at the time.

Swachh Bharat - Mission‬ to Clean India

In Continuation from my previous post related to this topic: Clean India - Modi's Drive

Much of fanfare, many Facebook posts, many Whatsapp forwards, many tweets and the end result achieved - a Hype created on the Clean India Drive or Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. So where do we go from here and what would be the net result achieved from this? Do we really get to see a Clean India? I would be highly skeptical for the end results unless we see a good motivation for the Government Officials to actually adhere to this and make cleanliness a way of life.

Yes, Cleanliness needs to be embedded into our way of life.  Enough initiatives have been taken and enough steps have been taken to try and create a Clean and Green India, but every time we land up in the same soup of dirt and waste.  This time the Prime Minister has come forward and has shown a commitment towards clean India, but then would this be just a Drive initiated and long forgotten, I presume NO.  The Prime Minister must review the progress of the initiative that too on a monthly basis.

There are states that have already taken positive steps towards cleanliness and to top them is Maharashtra seconded by Rajasthan. Prime Minister should take a leaf from the steps taken by these two states and take a step to mandate certain action points that may be - 
  1. Any Panchayat Candidate / Representative must have a WC at home
  2. All Corporator must ensure to have a Sulabh Shochalaya in their wards
  3. All MLAs and MPs must be responsible to ensure that part of their Development Funds is used to ensure that there is a Waste Disposal Unit in their Constituency
  4. All MLAs and MPs along with Corporators and Panchayat representatives must ensure that every household in their areas get substantial amount of Drinking Water
  5. Collectors and Commissioners must be provided with budgets to ensure that they are able to manage and maintain Sanitation Facilities
  6. Performance Bonus must have a line-item to stress on the responsibility to maintain sanitation standards
  7. Chewing of Tobacco and Use of Any tobacco product must be banned at all Government and Private offices - these create one of the biggest nuance with custom designs and colors on the Office Walls
  8. Specific Smoking Stations must be created for smokers and smoking in 20 - 25 feet perimeter of any building / enclosure / shade must be banned. 
  9. Littering at Public place must invite a fine of minimum Rs. 1000 or Public Service for minimum 7 days. Repeat Offenders be sentenced to minimum 1 month of rigorous imprisonment
  10. If Enterprises would want to sponsor certain steps in public and private venture, they must be encouraged and tax soaps may be considered for participating organizations
  11. Railway Ministry may consider phase-wise updgradation on toilets in the Passenger trains.  The rail coach factories may upgrade the toilets to bio-degradable toilets and thus reducing the waste that is seen around on the railway tracks across the country.
May be there are lot more measures that can be considered and implemented. However, a few basic steps to review the progress and a few additional steps as suggested above may result in lot more achievement than expected.  But certainly, nothing can be achieved without setting up a monitoring and review mechanism and active participation from each one of us.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shame on Bollywood for Lack of Research

Bollywood has time and again proved to be a set of shameless and valueless creatures.  Though I have friends in there, but I still feel that among some protagonists, there is a huge bunch of Jokers around who have no respect for the society or for the culture.  My this opinion has been reaffirmed by the makers of movie "Haider". 

I used to be really impressed with the way Shahid Kapoor has acted in the movie and was awaiting for the movie, until today.  So what happened today made me boycott this movie completely and I am not going to watch that unless certain section of the movie are censored or removed.  These sections are those which portray the Martand Sun Temple as the seat of Devil.  This is a huge mockery of our culture, our tradition and our religious sentiments.  They could have made use of at least some basic research that wouldn't have taken much time as the Internet is full of information on Martand Sun Temple.  In fact in a brief 2 minutes I stumbled on so much information that I had to think what to read what not to read.  And I had to take time to summarize the overall content. 

About Martand Sun Temple: - Built in 500 CE Martand Sun Temple is located near Anantnag in Kashmir and was dedicated to the God Surya. Today the ruins of the temple still lie there between the beauty of nature and with hardly many living around in the area.  The temple displayed a great architectural design highlighting the wonders our then architects used to create. It holds a very high place in the world's great architectural designs.  The temple presents to us the most memorable and beautiful work done during the regime of King Liladitya of Surya Dynasty. Though much of the other ruins of that time are not to be found around, the remnants of big Martand temple exemplify the glory and the skills that were invested to build it.

Below are a few images of Sun Temple as captured by various photographers - 

And now, please refer the pics below where the depiction of the same temple has been as a Devil's seat - 

I would let your wisdom work and decide if you want to let this portrayal insult our culture and the tradition. Just think if it were one of other religious places, by now we would have been suffering from Riots.....

For me I am not in to let this happen..So What's your take???