India’s obsession with film stars

Today’s news in India is dominated by Sanjay Dutt’s six year sentence to prison, due to his role in the Mumbai bomb blasts some years back.

Every TV channel you turn to has a snippet of this topic, along with interviews of people on the street. And of course the ubiquitous ticker format of people’s opinions.

And I do not understand something here. The protracted legal process, even for a high profile case like this, has been through its motions and arrived at this sentence. The fact of Sanjay’s role in the Mumbai blasts has not been disputed, to the contrary it has been proved beyond doubt. Hundreds of lives were lost, many hundred millions lost to the economy and people want to show pity and even condemn the legal process??

I just do not understand the logic of my fellow citizens. Perhaps their sense of forgiveness is more than mine but I would ask them to put themselves in the position of those who lost their near and dear ones on that day and then rethink their reactions. One young man in an interview said Sanjay should have been given 2-3years and that the judge was being unduly harsh! Was not the anguished cries of those wounded in the blasts harsh? How many orphans and widows and maimed beings did this blast contribute to the already fractured country? And we want to repay this with sympathy and understanding?

I have always believed this, one can know a lot about a country and its people by seeing whom it idolizes. India, it seems, is not only economically poor but also lacks in its value system. For all the talk of culture and hearkening to a past glory, we are a nation of weaklings, weak in spirit and unable to see the truth as it is. Our sight is blinded by colors that have no substance. We take the mirage to be the true thing. How else do you explain attribution of all virtues seen on a theatre screen to the person who acts the character?

This obsession with film stars is the bane of this country. Especially the southern part of the country where film stars routinely become chief ministers. Is our self-esteem so low that we need this gaudy mime to hold our attention? Is this the country that yielded its soul to likes of Swami Vivekananda, Adi Shankara, Kabir et al., ?

Sometimes I find all this so disheartening, but yet refuse to give up hope…foolish me!

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  1. yes, you’re absolutely right. India idolizes film stars a lot. They think of them as Gods. It’s really saddening. And look at our politicians too. They are the dumbest people of our country. And how do they get there? Well, because of our people. They’re the ones who vote for them. Our value system is really poor as you have told.

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