Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Kamal Hasan, Cho etc
I don't think Cho's spontaneous genius can be summed up in simple words. He has the ability to squeeze through a subtle point in-between humor. And I'd like to think it stings where it hurts. He summed up Kamal Hasan perfectly when Kamal appeared in a mock version of reality show "Neengalalum Vellalam Oru Kodi" For the uninitiated this show is a poor man's poor copy of "Who wants to be a Millionaire". Or as I'd like to call the show - Vijay TV's Poverty Porn.. A carefully instrumented show where people's dopamine response is achieved by hearing poor people sing their poverty song, cry often and get alms from the host Prakash Raj. Someone's poverty is our entertainment. And no one can sell this sort of entertainment better than Vijay TV.
Anyway coming back to our beloved Cho. Cho casually described Kamal as "An actor among intellectuals and an intellectual among actors". This is probably as accurate as one can get in terms of describing Kamal Hasan and as close to one can get to insulting him during Vijay TV's traditional lick ass series of shows.
As observed many times in this blog Shakespeare has said two things about life - (1) No God is equal to sabapathy and (2) the world is a theater. In the spirit of (2) this was clearly not a reality show. It was as staged as it can get. If the "Ramanujar birth place" question didn't clue one in. I am sure Mortimer Wheeler and Sambhaji Maharaj must have. One was happy looking at Kamal Hasan's rather poor pretense during the Poornam Viswanathan question. It was comforting to note that even he wasn't interested in pretending anymore. But it will deceive the public nevertheless. This is because the questioner did not 'out' the question paper to Kamal Hasan. The questioner knew the contents of the answer paper Kamal Hasan had written and set the questions accordingly. And hey! cinema icons never lose. Award shows are staged that way in India. The only reason Kamal Hasan didn't win 1 crore was because "time was up". If there was time he would've won the show. How can Kamal Hasan ever be wrong in Vijay TV?
This show was mainly about how big of a "maira pudungi" Kamal Hasan is. The purpose of the show was to tell us all that Kamal Hasan is this amazingly, intelligent, multi-talented, know it all, philosopher, pundit, jedi master and Gandalf. A veritable modern Vishwamithrar whom we better call Brahma Rishi only because we are not Vasishtars and therefore we have no right to not crown him with titles. We are almost obligated to do so. Since we are remiss for not acknowledging the turban'ed Bharathi in his lifetime, we have to compensate by acknowledging this self-proclaimed "turban podaatha Bharathi". No one pauses to realize that Bharathi was not recognized because he was truly a rebel and didn't agree with the popular thought process of people around him. The former is not always caused by the latter. But the latter always causes the former.
One of the biggest failings of Tamils as a civilization in the post-independence era is their glorification of cinema koothadis as messiahs, philosophers and intellectuals. In an ideal world, cinema people will be relegated to the entertainment section. They would have zero voice in politics, religion, philosophy and intellectual thought process of the civilization. The only way a dictator can set right this 'pazha pona' thamizh civilization is to limit the freedom of cinema people to have them not express a view on political, religious or other topics that require careful debate, knowledge and understanding. There should be whiplashes for cinema people who even has a fleeting thought about expressing an opinion on philosophy and politics.
A person like Kamal Hasan is dangerous to the society purely because he is an actor pretending to be an intellectual when people can't tell the difference. There is a risk that he may actually have a social impact. His false narratives of history, unnoticeable inaccuracies, artificial agenda can actually mislead the people. Channels like Vijay TV who have been carefully setting up a narrative to brainwash people use him effectively. Whether he likes it or not they ask Kamal about atheism and other arbitrary historical/philosophical things which he is no way qualified to pontificate about. Yet he and his cinema cohorts are the ones who are the voices of this civilization's intellectual thinking. And the only way one can show their intellectualism or be a rebel in Tamil country is by offering their 2 cents on religion.
No matter what the topic is - Kamal Hasan arrives with his tool kit of "Sivaji Sahab", "Dilip Kumar Ji", "Balachander saar" " I am Sivaji sir's eldest son" " I sat on the lap of MGR, AVM" and performs his "adraa raama" monkey dance in front of an eager public. He appears to roar, growl, and in a "true Gandhian" sense militates against a non-existent straw man institution that opresses, supresses and depresses the innocent thamizhan. Losers who have no one to blame but themselves get an imaginary institution to shift the blame for their own failures. Apparently E.V.Ramaswamy didn't break Vinayagar idols. He only wanted more people to come to temple and pray. One must sympathize with Kamal Hasan though. He is a prisoner of his own image. The fox's paint will only come off when it rains. In a civilization that is going through an intellectual drought, chances of that happening is very low.