An ocean of shame

on May 16, 2007 with 1 comments » | ,

Here is a movie recommendation, if you have not seen it already...though admittedly it will not be a feel-good comforting movie!

I just read an interview at rediff.com today with the director, Shonali Bose, about her 2005 film, Amu, which is finally in release in select theaters in North America. It stars the phenomenal actress - arguably the best in India today - Konkona Sen Sharma.

The film, as you may know, is about the previous dark chapter in independent India's recent history before the Gujarat massacres this decade - the 1984 riots in Delhi following Indira Gandhi's assassination, in which Sikhs were systematically targeted and butchered in cold blood.
(Sepia Mutiny had blogged about the movie way back when the movie was released and there are other earlier interviews with Shonali Bose online.)

I am glad there are brave people in this world who stand up and speak up about these unseemly inhumane acts that dot India's recent history through documentaries, movies, and books! One has to indeed wonder what has happened to Gandhi's legacy in India - ironically at its worst in his home state of Gujarat!

As a wise man insightfully said - we who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it - and though we do not seem to learn, to shove these events under the dusty unseemly rug of history and not bring it up again would be a great crime too!

Like the very erudite Eugene Debs once said:

Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ''Am I my brother's keeper?'' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself.

Also:
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. - Paulo Freire

Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light. - Dorothy Thompson

I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings. - Elie Wiesel

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Like I wrote in rambling and melancholy mood last Sunday....
Sometimes, in the throes of cynicism and despair, I do wonder if we are hard-wired to hate rather than to love...though it would seem it should be the reverse - i.e. compassion and love should be the norm and hate the exception. A look around the world certainly does not always give one that feeling.
Between re-reading some of the facts about the 1984 riots at the links above and more news of violence in Iraq, the new mess in Palestine, Darfur, and so on and so forth.......I despair that there is not much hope for this world in the long run! WHY would one want to live a 1000 years in such a world indeed!

I need to take a break now and go clear my head and "wash my soul."*. Mel Hill's wonderful Jazz program on BBC radio beckons...

*
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

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The title of this post refers to a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, who said:

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."
So..despite all the despair permeating this post... I want to hope the Mahatma was right.

1 comments

  1. Kits // May 17, 2007 at 2:06 AM  

    Just read your post abt Amu. I went with a friend to watch Page 3 at Imax. Luckily (and I use tht wd knowingly), Amu was on and I managed to catch it. T'was an amazing phillum and helped me understand a part of history which I was too young.