Wednesday 30 September 2015

What I saw in the film Manji – The Mountain Man

What I saw in the film Manji – The Mountain Man
Mr. Vipul Solanki
Department of Communication Skills, MEFGI, Rajkot

I saw Ketan Mehta as a mature, creative film maker and researcher. In this movie, he has shown the height of his rebellious spirit like in his almost all other movies. His movies like Mirch Masala, Mangal Pandey, Rang Rasiya all are ‘one man rebel’. This spirit is at its height in Dashrath Manji – the protagonist of this movie. It is also reflected that he, being a creative film maker, is a good researcher. Throughout the movie, he has created and maintained the 1960s-70s environment meticulously.

I saw that Siddiqui is a master player. Nawazuddin Siqqiqui’s personal struggle to be an actor is not least soft than the dream of curving a path through a mountain. The mixer of his pain and struggle with the sufferings and determination of Dashrath Manji has amplified the spirit of the movie.

I saw the potential of an individual. Dashrath Manji is a model for anybody for not giving up. Anything is possible with love and determination. Even the toughest and longest work is no more a burden for the person who sees it indubitably.

I saw that love makes things happen. It was Manji’s ardent love which has strengthened him to be able to curve the whole mountain working for years single handedly.

I saw that I cannot see the past of India as golden. The movie has shown the poor condition of Indian not only economically but also culturally and morally. India has always been worst at the service of human rights. There has been well developed and prevailed human exploitation systems like satipratha, devadasi, untouchability and many. The people used to be treated worse than animals.

I saw that the inhumane annihilation of humans in the past of India is not far from the present. At the very outskirts of the independence of India, there had been agonizing practices which have not changed much even today. As per the recent 2011 census, even today, India has 46, 97,034 castes and sub castes.

I saw that to be born as a woman and that too in a lower caste in India is even worse than hell. Subjugation of women to men was considered to be a respected cultural practice. The tradition of exploiting women of the lower castes, which was considered to be honor for the upper caste people, has brutally smeared uncountable mothers, wives, sisters and daughters – humanity at large. And the so called upper caste people who were practicing untouchability, did/do not get polluted when they rape/d women of lower cast. It seems that going back to the human history doesn’t offer anything except pain.

I saw that in the name of caste discrimination, India has never accumulated and utilized the potential which could have resisted the invasion of others races as well as could have made India grow as the torch bearer for the world rising as the world power. A place where the power/potential/talent of more than fifty percent of the population is wasted in the name of the exploiting social, cultural and religious practices can never be a welfare state. This caste system has cost a lot to this nation. Even if Governments have made policies, it ultimately is in the hands of the people who have the power to bring the change but if the people themselves don’t want the expected change then howsoever the government policies may be good, it would fail.

I saw that the rebellious like naxalists are product of the selfish political practices. It emerges when the leaders/governments are playing the power game for their own benefits but not concern for the welfare of the society. The effect of the rise of the naxalism has the failure of governments as it’s direct.

I saw that corruption is in the vein of India. Bureaucrats have looted the nation taking the benefits of the ignorance and innocence of the masses.

But eventually I saw that a road through anything is possible, if carving a road single handedly through a mountain is possible.

I saw the spirit of Manji in the words, ‘Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad’.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Manjhi: The Mountain Man - Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad!

Manjhi: The Mountain Man - Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad!

Vishal Bhadani

Department of Communication Skills, MEFGI, Rajkot

Starring Navazuddin Siddiqui, the film Manjhi-The Mountain Man is a biopic of Darshrath Manjhi who carved a mountain and made a way through it single handedly. If I use the protagonist’s favourite expression, I would say the film is Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad! Ketan Mehta’s direction is what makes the film even more appealing.

Based on true story, the film is a modern epic of The Old Man and The Sea but heavily loaded with Indian optimism and love. Manjhi has set very high standards of hard work, dedication and persistence. As he lost his pregnant wife collapsing from the mountain, he could not take her to the hospital on time because of the same mountain blocking his way. He decides to make a road through the mountain to reduce the forty miles’ distance into one mile or so.

The very first scene is very powerful in terms of human potential, emotional engagement and the cinematographic frame. In this sence, Manjhi is challenging a huge mountain and threating him to tear apart his ego. It’s here that the ‘mountain’ catches fire; both literally and metaphorically.

Whenever anyone feels he/she has put in a lot hard work for doing something, that person is advised to watch the film more than once.

There is a journalist who keeps on visiting Dasharth Manjhi at his work. One day he shares his frustration on how his individual journey of becoming a true journalist ended up making him a political journalist. Manjhi advises, ‘Why don’t you start your own newspaper?’ The journalist said, ‘It’s not so easy to start one’s own newspaper. The Mountain Man asked, ‘Is it more difficult than carving a mountain?’ which silences and motivates the journalist. Later on he starts his own newspaper and when he comes to Manjhi to share the happiness, Manjhi expressed his joy by saying Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad!

There is another inspiring incident in the film wherein he wants to meet Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India to tell her a malpractice done in the grant allocated for constructing the road. He takes up the train but soon he is thrown out of the train by the TC because he does not have the ticket to Delhi. He starts walking to Delhi which is not less than 1300 km. He reached Delhi but could meet the PM. I don’t know why all the men thrown out of train turn into rebels!!!

Issues of Bihar politics, caste and gender are beautifully incorporated making you glue to the screen. Bits and pieces of Siddiqui homour would smite you.

I think such people are worth a million books for inspiration. They personify the motto of ‘There is no option of individual intervention and hard work.’ The credibility this man has earned is outstanding. One man did what either the British or Indian government could/should have done but they did not, courtesy political will! The concept defies our long-cherished excuse, system should do it. Not that everyone should start digging up mountains but where this will, there is way!

A must watch! Shandar, Jabardast, Zindabad!