First they came…


I haven’t written for quite some time, and I haven’t written much worth the while.

The trigger was random really. A random viewing of Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday; that masterly adaptation of S. Hussain Zaidi’s sprawling documentation of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and the events surrounding and leading up to it. As with Kashyap’s other early works, the film struggled its way to a theatrical release, securing a delayed one almost 5 years after it was made; by which time most had downloaded the film and its sting rendered neutered. The film was finally cleared to be released by the Supreme Court of India after the verdict in the ’93 blasts case was delivered by the TADA court in 2007. It has since been broadcast on satellite television quite a few times, with the same indifference that had characterized its eventual theatrical release.

Star Gold HD decided to air that film again, last evening…..
In a week when Yakub Memon became the first and only convict in the ’93 blasts case to be hanged…..
With a 3-day build-up of promos showcasing the bit part of filmmaker Imtiaz Ali as Yakub Memon being apprehended!

Black Friday then… 11 years after its intended release, 8 years after its censor clearance and multiple mundane television screenings later… had finally earned a ‘hook’ worthy enough for it to be marketed.

Whatever be your opinion of the film, one cannot deny it its audacity. It recreates the disturbing events interspersed with newsreel, inhabits characters with perfect casting choices, juices out masala from its chase sequences and drops names left right and center. But for all of that and its surefooted deftness in ensuring that the account remains that of a feature film first and foremost; the crowning take away from the film is its simple clarity. It begins with the Mahatma Gandhi quote “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, and never forgets this once during its entire dramatization of all the ghastly incidents and the people involved, before falling back onto itself as a marvelously edited vicious cycle. We see the blasts, we see the arrests, we find out the planning that went behind it, we meet the man who engineered it, we meet the men he recruited, we learn of their reasons, we see their communal alienation being exploited to exact a single man’s personal revenge, we witness his seething anger, we see the events leading to his anger and their alienation, we watch in horror as the retribution is planned, we see the blasts! And then that Gandhi quote again to bookend it.

Now imagine this narrative minus the communal alienation. You’ll see the blasts, you’ll see the arrests, you’ll find out the planning that went behind it, you’ll meet the man who engineered it, you’ll meet the men he recruited, you’ll see them exact his revenge, you’ll witness his seething anger at being wronged, you’ll watch in horror as he plans his retribution, you’ll see the blasts. Basically you’ll see one angry Muslim man with links to Dawood and Pakistan’s ISI recruiting other angry Muslim men to carry out a series of deadly attacks, only for the cops to round up and arrest history sheeter Muslims and have at least one of them tire of running from one city to another to ultimately realize that Allah was not on their side. Why did they carry out the blasts? Why did they enlist? Why were they ripe to be exploited? If you weren’t someone who lived through the ’92 riots and the ’93 blasts as I did, in Mumbai no less, and your reference to the incident was only the Black Friday screening on Star Gold HD last night, then the Babri Masjid demolition never happened. Yes, there was some unnamed riot which led to some shops being burnt in the Mahim area, but that was that. Gone is any mention of Babri Masjid. Gone is the midway exchange between Kay Kay Menon’s Rakesh Maria and Aditya Srivastava’s Badshah Khan so central to the film and its politics. Gone is Badshah Khan’s outburst that he will never come to terms with the systematic demolition at Ayodhya. Gone is the entire chapter of this episodic film which shows the newsreel of the Kar Sevaks before the film falls back onto itself in a vicious narrative cycle.

Aside from the fact that such mutilation of a film’s narrative is an affront and insult to the film and the filmmaker, such selective censorship of a film by the television channel and the concerned ministry smacks of political opportunism and agenda. One has learnt to put up with terms such as boobs and butt being beeped out; one even shakes their head in disbelief to see the childishness in subtitling bitch as witch and shit as crap. Sunny Leone’s ample cleavage can apparently cause such harm that it has to be blurred out. But this is something else. This is fashioning a narrative so that it fits into popular consciousness just as you’d prefer it… of wishing away something that happened.

Much has been said and written about Yakub Memon’s hanging and the closure it has given to the whole blasts chapter, but as a taxi driver remarked outside the Bada Kabristan at Marine Lines where Yakub’s funeral took place, the atmosphere on the day felt less like closure and more ominous. I am not one to question or comment on the legal merits of the sentence, neither will I use this piece to debate capital punishment but selective closure only accomplishes raking up old wounds. But now even those wounds are being erased out of existence from popular narratives.

– Abhishek Bandekar

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150 Responses to “First they came…”

  1. Don’t wish to be the first one to comment on this post as I am hardly qualified to do any justice to this well written piece but it raises pertinent issue of selective censorship if true ( i have not see the TV version and watched the full movie when it released). What i truly regret is the whole recent episode has left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth apparently for no good reasons. My gripe is essentially with the media here and the hysteria it created towards this climax and ended up alienating ‘all’ sections of the society and harming the delicate fabric of the nation. further media was all wrong on facts on many occasions and if my memory serves right it wasn’t the solely the demolition of Babri Masjid but bomb blasts were more of localized counter play to ‘Bombay’ lawlessness in the last days of Dec92/Jan ’93 which resulted in total anarchy,riots,looting,carnage some of it laced to settle political scores, business rivalries and lastly Shiv Sena’s assertiveness to take control of ‘Bombay’.

    Anyway, in all this hullabaloo of hanging what we truly missed out was APJ Abdul Kalam’s progressive noble thoughts. I was particularly intrigued by APJ Kalam’s aide Srijanpal Singh’s Facebook post in memory of last day he spent with APJ and the remark he made which echoes to my personal thoughts esp when you see the current state of affairs not just in India but world over.

    “First, Dr. Kalam was absolutely worried about the attacks in Punjab. The loss of innocent lives left him filled with sorrow. He related the incident to the topic and said, “it seems the man made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution”. We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will forced to leave earth. “Thirty years, at this rate, maybe”, he said. “You guys must do something about it… it is going to be your future world”

    “Thirty years, at this rate, maybe”, he said. “You guys must do something about it… it is going to be your future world”

    Liked by 2 people

    • abzee: a truly searing piece, and one that reminds me of how much poorer this blog has been of late without your voice…

      Nothing much to add here: I hadn’t realised the film shown on TV was so heavily, so politically, censored — but then again, the Right is nothing if not thorough (and, the history of the world reminds us, ever enabled by the cowardice, the selective amnesia of the rest of us). Thank you for memory, the fragile, but only, bulwark that remains…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The cycle of who did what is ‘anadi’. Since the mosque was demolished then maybe groups would want mention of what the mosque had originally demolished or the godhra needs to be mentioned in same breath as Babri and so on and so forth. Hindu-Muslims will fight and it will go on and on and on in India. If you have censor board, it will censor something otherwise we need to get rid of the board itself!

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        • Di: I don’t believe this was done by the censor board as the scenes abzee mentions were there in the DVD of the film. This seems to be highly politicised censorship of the version screened on TV…

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        • Why stop at Babri, let’s start with the Mughal Invasion …
          This piece is going to play right into Pakistani hands, just as several others have in building their narrative !!

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          • And why start with Mughal Invasion, lets start the with the ridiculous and failure basic Hindu caste system and divide it created because of which Mughals were able to enter India.

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          • OmRocky, it is the English responsible for everything!

            Liked by 1 person

          • ritz- kuch naya lao yaar,
            when “They” saw Hundus getting united “They” are now trying to say that Dalits are not Hindus !!
            Lage raho Bandhu !!

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          • abzee2kin Says:

            You give my rant too much credit. I think our ministers and the actions of the State are more than enough to play into the hands of Pakistan 🙂

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        • abzee2kin Says:

          Di, my concern is that they deleted portions which were cleared by the Censor Board and the Supreme Court for theatrical exhibition. And while I wouldn’t be so dangerously naive as calling a study of any cycle as ‘anadi’, the film’s primary goal is to highlight this never-ending cycle of violence where one act begets another. By erasing one side’s actions you have rendered the effect of the other without a cause, thereby privileging legitimacy to the actions of one side and rendering those of the other unprovoked.

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      • abzee2kin Says:

        Thank you Q! It had to be said, lest there be no one to speak for me when they come for me. The irony to the whole changing of this city’s fabric that the Shiv Sena achieved with the riots is that as a non-vegetarian Hindu Maharashtrian, I am actually the one who will find it most difficult in the current climate to purchase a flat in the city 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • abzee2kin Says:

      Completely agree that APJ Kalam’s passing away took an unfortunate backseat to the media coverage of Yakub’s hanging. Save for a few well informed voices, much of it were those shouting matches passed off as debates and / or a presumptuous stately stand that this was some sort of a strong message being sent across.The world is indeed becoming crazier by the day, and sadly an eye for an eye is exactly what most believe us justice. I must mention that the unsung heroes in the events of the past week have been the Mumbai Police and Rakesh Maria in particular. Having been at the helm of affairs during 92/93, he took just the right measures to avert any and all flare-up, right from keeping the media at a distance on the coverage of the funeral, to enlisting locals to help maintain law and order, and prohibiting any sloganeering.

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      • Re: “I must mention that the unsung heroes in the events of the past week have been the Mumbai Police and Rakesh Maria in particular. Having been at the helm of affairs during 92/93, he took just the right measures to avert any and all flare-up, right from keeping the media at a distance on the coverage of the funeral, to enlisting locals to help maintain law and order, and prohibiting any sloganeering.”

        My wife was saying the same thing yesterday, I completely agree!

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        • Somewhat tangentially: I strongly suspect that a lot of people who DO sympathize with Yaqub Memon probably do so because of the Kashyap film, where he is represented somewhat sympathetically (unlike his brother Tiger Memon, essayed by the fantastic Pawan Malhotra) by, of all people, Imtiaz Ali (I only realized this when we re-visited Black Friday a few weeks ago)…

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  2. One of the better pieces from otherwise idiotic Shobhaa de –

    Shobhaa De retweeted
    Times of India ‏@timesofindia Aug 1
    .@DeShobhaa’s column | A hanging, a funeral and dreams of another Mumbai http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/politically-incorrect/a-hanging-a-funeral-and-dreams-of-another-mumbai/

    This is a particular strong line esp coming from her –

    “We can mourn as human beings with Yakub’s mother and family members. Just as we mourn for all those who lost their lives in 1993. That does not make us traitors and anti-nationals. The real traitors are those who ask us to choose”

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    • yeh piece bhi toh idiotic hi toh hai. The whole entire family had absconded….anyways. Shobha and Salman can say whatever…

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    • abzee2kin Says:

      True. I don’t usually agree with her and / or read her pieces. She is spot on when she says that just because one mourns the hanging, one is labeled anti-national. Personally, this is where I think the capital punishment debate comes in. Leaving aside its potency as a deterrent to crime and criminal acts, how can one separate oneself from a perpetrator of a violent act by indulging in one yourself? In a flawed system where evidences are inconclusive, investigations botched up, forensic analyses inadequate and witnesses intimidated, not to mention general apathy and politics during the investigation and trial… the last thing you’d want is to give the state the right over an individual’s life. Once you do that, you are allowing room for hasty executions which cannot be reversed. It is a barbaric form of ‘justice’ and makes us no different than those whom we supposedly exact our vengeance from. Coming back to the topic at hand, what was equally disturbing in the discourse around Yakub’s hanging was the usual right wing suspects claiming that they were not anti-Muslim because ‘hey, look at how the whole nation is mourning for Kalam’. This is problematic on so many levels, not the least of which is reducing the great former Prez to his religious identity.

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      • I admire the simplicity of thoughts expressed by you. The hanging of Yakub glamourised him. The media coverage helped.
        What we saw was a handsome man crying like a baby and pining for some more days, months, years to live in a prison. Why a person is so much afraid of death? Or is it the process of hanging that makes it so fearful? There are scores of people who want to die and make failed attempts to commit suicide.Some want of die and end all misery. Some want to live and face all the misery.

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      • Re: “…[T]his is where I think the capital punishment debate comes in. Leaving aside its potency as a deterrent to crime and criminal acts, how can one separate oneself from a perpetrator of a violent act by indulging in one yourself?”

        I’ll be frank: ordinarily I am not the most exercised about capital punishment (I know this makes me a minority among left-of-center folks); where I AM very concerned about (e.g. with respect to the USA) is that capital punishment is disproportionately meted out to African-Americans (this is a broader problem: there is now a mountain of data and other evidence showing that African-Americans get sentenced to longer prison terms for the same crimes as whites, or for very similar crimes (e.g. drugs associated with white populations often carry lower sentences than those associated with black populations), and also because the rise of DNA studies in the USA has shown a number of instances where innocent people have been sent to jail for crimes they did not commit (the same is undoubtedly true of several other countries; in India issues of poverty and social class exacerbate such disparities) — imagine if even a small number of people are EXECUTED for crimes they did not commit (India is way ahead of the US here, since it doesn’t execute very many people at all — I believe only 3 have been executed over the last few years, and one of those was Qasab)! So I am opposed to the death penalty on those grounds (I frankly am not opposed to it because it is an act unworthy of a State: States are violent, in fact they seek to exercise a monopoly on violence — at least, the successful ones do; the not-so-successful ones like India have to contend with forces who disrupt that monopoly, such as political parties, underground groups, etc.; even the most successful ones can’t eradicate violent crime — and the death penalty to me is almost “natural”: it’s what I might expect an entity like a State to do). But purely as a matter of logic, if ever there were a crime that is NOT likely to be deterred by capital punishment, it is terrorism committed for ideological reasons: Muslim extremists like Qasab; Hindu extremists like Swami Aseemanand; secular extremists like the LTTE, IRA, you name ’em, are highly UNlikely to be deterred by this sort of thing because their belief in the value of their cause trumps such considerations.

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  3. It’s a good piece but there are some relative issues with all due respect

    “The trigger was random really. A random viewing of Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday; ”

    IF such dastardly events weren’t trigger enough, how was just CENSORSHIP of a mere telecast of a film many years down the line in a nonsignificant channel become a trigger enough?

    “Now imagine this narrative minus the communal alienation.”
    So why are you arguing FOR communal alienation ?

    “You’ll see the blasts, you’ll see the arrests, you’ll find out the planning that went behind it, you’ll meet the man who engineered it, you’ll meet the men he recruited, you’ll see them exact his revenge”

    Is it not enough to show that these acts were EVIL and not serving ANYONES purpose enough.

    Do you think showing the MOTIVE for such acts EITHER WAYS make them LESS heinous or more JUSTIFIED?

    I’m not supporting or condoning such ‘censorship’
    It shouldn’t happen

    Just suggesting that the counter arguments are also full of COMMUNAL fervour
    No less scary than the scourge itself …

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    • Apex This comment of yours echoes my thoughts and i agree completely that alienation is a misnomer for divisive politics. How can a hanging after going through all due procedures be sympathised invoking minority tag and bringing some unrelated and irrelevant issues?? There were thousands of Muslims when Yakub was cremated showing solidarity against whom?? Indian state or judiciary or India as a whole?? These kind of acts further the chasm between communities along religious lines and when people who can discern between right and wrong, feign to be oblivious of the aftermath their utterances can bring about hurts me deeply.As ignorance is pardonable but sham ignorance produces countless loyalist of its denominations which in turn imperils the present and future of the Nation!!

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      • abzee2kin Says:

        Your comment highlights precisely the concerns that I have with a certain communal mindset and atmosphere being allowed to fester. Let me be clear- I have no personal sympathy for the Memon family. Neither am I challenging the SC verdict on his hanging. Nor do I think anybody challenged it by invoking any minority sympathy. The contrary has been peddled in fact. If I raise doubts over the manner in which his sentencing was executed, I must be anti-Hindu. Turning up at his funeral in thousands must surely mean ‘they’ are all against the Indian judiciary. Must stress here again how vital Rakesh Maria’s measures to have as little coverage of the funeral as possible was. The images would have been used to peddle this very phobia.

        OmRocky786 charges me, and those sharing ideas similar to mine, as playing into the hands of Pakistan. You talk of alienation being a misnomer for divisive politics. But when an atmosphere is created where a certain version is pushed forth as the only or correct one, where one cannot question say for example the CBI’s case against Teesta or how an apex court pronounces that not wearing the Hijab for an entrance test wouldn’t affect one’s faith while assuming somehow that the sale of beef somehow does of the other; then you are creating room for alienation no different from divisive politics, you are playing into the hands of Pakistan.

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      • First thanks for taking your time out to respond to my comments. I didn’t direct that comment at you but i was just venting out my frustration with regard to ” CHERRY-PICKING” of issues by people as and when it suits their narratives. Your piece had had some of that which had implications towards things which have been doing the rounds since Modi came to office. Why is that only when these things happen under BJP reign, people become so sympathetic towards secularism? but when the same things had been taking place with the same frequency under Congress rule, it was deemed prudent not to intervene in such delicate issues!! So these double standards rouse me to write what i feel is one sided truth presented as ultimate truth. I’m usually against ban and banning material selectively is pure juvenile as it’s not going to help anyone! So yes they ought to come to terms with that we are mature enough as a society which can differentiate between good and bad without being dictated or ordained selectively!! And i’m with you on this issue but appeasement politics or opinions are what i’m against.

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    • abzee2kin Says:

      The trigger to take out the time and write again is what I’m talking of. Whenever I have been moved or affronted, be it the Mandal Commission or the Urban Land Ceiling Act or what have you, I have expressed myself. Sometimes other things take precedence in life. So one stays quiet as beef gets banned, places of worship get policed, institutions of learning get a political makeover… till something random just tilts you over. Perhaps I should’ve written earlier, but better late than never.

      You have either skimmed through my piece or have misread it. I am not arguing FOR communal alienation. I am objecting to the deletion of its acknowledgment as the filmmaker and the source material intended. Whether it is enough to just show the acts is again a filmmaking decision, although it would be reckless irresponsible filmmaking to treat a subject such as this without its context. But once the filmmaker has decided to frame his narrative as cause-effect-cause, and the Censor has cleared it, how can a channel take out one variable without it coming across as being anything but politically motivated.

      And even in the larger scheme of things, while nobody is suggesting that trying to learn the motives of any criminal or act of crime changes the degree of its heinousness or repair the loss of life; suggesting therefore that one need not bother looking at the context and merely pass a judgment aimed merely as some sort of balanced justice (read retributive vengeance) is equally dangerous.

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    • The mendacity of these articles is striking: no matter who gets elected some things don’t change (because to change them would require radical societal overhaul), yet you always have columnists like Singh pretending like they are shocked and disappointed that their hopes haven’t been realised. Better equipment and training won’t mean a thing when the entire process is so antiquated. One look at the typical (well-meaning) police officer and you realise they are completely unequal to the realities of contemporary global trans-national crime, terrorism or no…

      Liked by 1 person

      • One look at the typical (well-meaning) police officer and you realise they are completely unequal to the realities of contemporary global trans-national crime, terrorism or no…
        Right Q, and Abzee is worried about “they” !!!!!! what a joke

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        • abzee2kin Says:

          There are over 50 sects of Islam, and to my knowledge India is the only country where all of them peacefully co-exist. The reality of the world is one of growing Wahhabism, of Saudi money being pumped to forward their version of Islam. Our flaw is in continuing to see our fellow Muslims as a composite ‘other’. You read on platforms such as this one, on other forums, and one sees a basic lack of understanding or desire to invest in learning the realities of the world. The persecution of Ahmaddiyas, the destruction of Shiite shrines… are these even being discussed on a national platform here. Our right is too busy labeling them as a whole and making sure of their radicalization.

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  4. LOL, This is continuing the narrative of ..” and they Killed Yakub” from the Indian Express.
    This is par for the course for the history been rewritten by the commie historians all these years with no problems by the likes of Abzee.
    Here is Madhu Trehan taking Rahul Kanwal to cleaners over lies being peddled by MSM re. Yakub and Raman- Poor Dekhna , specially from 4.00 ticker
    Then All Bhartiya will come as well….and please don’t make it as They vs. Us over a terrorist.

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    • and the anti nationals censored ( Sriniwas jain) Baba Ramdev’s remarks , Rajdeep twisted Salim Khan’s remarks , but it is the right which is twisting stuff.
      Meanwhile the FTII protestor is with FTII for 17 bloody years , not a peep from Jholawalahs.
      and they came, they twisted, they got isolated, and now they are frustrated….

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      • They are talking about babri masjid and right wing being “through” and it is so interesting because I just spent evening with Pakistani Sindi-hindu and very sad history. I wonder how many temples are left, if any, in those countries and how much sympathy they have for whatever wings of their country!

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        • abzee2kin Says:

          Why is there always this rather disturbing argument put forth of ‘look, how bad it is on the other side?’ Is one envious that it is not so on this side? If so, then why does one get all riled up when it is suggested that an equally autocratic theocracy seems to be taking shape in our country as well.

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          • Then lets talk about mandir in Kashmir…that is part of our country right? Why won’t media talk about that and the pandits exodus? That is not other side of border, is it?

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    • Thanks for posting this Rocky…The media and some folks completely took the misinterpret his text and used it for their advantage..Madhu Trehan was spot on and made this Rahul Kanwal to accept his mistake..Well done Madhu!! Thanks again Rocky for posting this year.

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      • Thanks for posting this Rocky…The media and some folks completely misinterpreted his text and used it for their advantage..Madhu Trehan was spot on and made this Rahul Kanwal to accept his mistake..Well done Madhu!! Thanks again Rocky for posting this here..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A good article posted by munna and some apt points made by omrocky!

    Exerpt from the munna article–
    “Jihadi terror came to Punjab last week after two decades of peace. But, we spent our time discussing whether Yakub Memon should hang or not. There was a long trial that found him guilty of conspiring with his brother Tiger Memon to kill more than 250 innocent people in Mumbai in March 1993. It was the courts that decided that for this he deserved the death sentence but in India’s politically correct public forums the debate turned him into a Muslim martyr in a Hindu land. Is it the same sort of pernicious political correctness that prevented more attention being paid to the attack in Gurdaspur? I believe it is and there is a reason. The public square in our ancient land has long been occupied by Marxists, crypto-Marxists and birds of similar hue. Most political parties are dominated by Leftists. And, it has been observed that a peculiar connection has been established the world over between Leftists and jihadists. Can you remember the last time you heard a Leftist political leader (or journalist) condemn the horrible violence unleashed by Boko Haram or the heartrending video taped executions by the Islamic State (IS)? I cannot. But, let some political commentator stand up and try to say that the worldwide jihad is the biggest problem of our times and enraged Marxist voices rise up everywhere. A cabal of irate Leftists attacks this column weekly. I take their abuse as a huge compliment. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/a-war-that-india-must-win/#sthash.4rqME1Tn.dpuf

    Can abzee or others lamenting the censorship of a mere godamm film answer these questions and
    Why they are not ‘triggered’ by bigger sins
    Why for egthey are quiet about Isis enslaving yezadi women and using them as sex slaves and so on?

    And they have the exalted sense of misplaced priorities to place the censorship of x y z film over real life misery ??

    People want answers

    Liked by 1 person

    • abzee2kin Says:

      That you see it as mere censorship of a film is the problem. How do you assume that I am not affected by what you call ‘bigger’ sins. Do you happen to know for a fact that I have no opinion on ISIS or their enslaving of Yazidi women or the thousands of other issues in the world? How do you base your understanding of what I have an opinion of and what I don’t merely on what I post on this blog- a blog on film first and foremost. My piece, though political, was concerned with the screening of a film and its censorship and hence apt for this blog.

      Like

    • Re: “Can abzee or others lamenting the censorship of a mere godamm film answer these questions and
      Why they are not ‘triggered’ by bigger sins
      Why for egthey are quiet about Isis enslaving yezadi women and using them as sex slaves and so on?”

      This could be used to stifle any discussion: for instance, if you complain about aamir khan-fans overrating this actor, one might ask how you can devote time and concern to this issue when ISIS is out there killing innocents as we speak! The notion is absurd, and can hardly be made in good faith, as it’s a way to stifle and de-legitimize debate rather than stimulate it…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Good that someone else also feels same abt the horrible censorship happening on the television daily!

    I didnt see Black Friday but they are censoring every scene these days (and words like shit etc)

    Last time I watched Malaamal Weekly – the courtroom scene where Paresh Rawal talks about Anthony being dead was fully cut – as supposedly there was a line “dharmantar kiye the” (he got converted and was called Ballu) .

    Before that I had watched Sarfarosh few months back and they cut very intense climax scene where Naseeruddin Shah says about him being thrown out of the country/why they would continue riots etc.

    Its pathetic.

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    • Re: “Last time I watched Malaamal Weekly – the courtroom scene where Paresh Rawal talks about Anthony being dead was fully cut – as supposedly there was a line “dharmantar kiye the” (he got converted and was called Ballu) .”

      One is rendered speechless.

      well, not quite: another example, albeit a comical one: yesterday while flipping channels we ended up watching the second half of Dum Maaro Dum, and Givind Namdeo saying “GHANTA!” was also censored!

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    • abzee2kin Says:

      I can understand. They are beeping every damn thing out. The repeats of Friends and Seinfeld have kisses being deleted even, those which were there during their initial run from a decade ago. Vagina is beeped, menstrual is beeped… oh so many examples.

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  7. Another example is , the “chase in chinatown” song in Byomkesh Bakshi …the high voltage song in the excellent thriller is beeped out at so many places that it does not make sense at all when seeing on the screen and its a KLPD.

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  8. I re read this piece and so what Abzee is implying here is that
    1. a Govt. official sat though the movie and actually reedited the entire movie to change its message.
    2. The movie is a masterpiece and Indian TV channels, Publics and the distributors are Chutias to not have realized its worth.
    3. Finally it got what the mahaan Abzee thinks it deserves.
    4.The Public is so illiterate that they get their history from movies, and they would not know anything about Babri masjid( irrespective of all channels peddling the riots and Babri 24X7)

    Does he have proof that it was done by the Govt. and was NOT self censorship.
    If not then may be he should say that this is his theory.

    The guy who is peddling a narrative based on a viewing is accusing the Govt. of changing the narrative.
    Jai Ho !!

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    • If this piece was about censorship I would have totally been in agreement as I think the censorship, the FTII row and now the Porn ban are beyond stupid moves, but to give it a right wing conspiracy is so predictable.
      And their Articles kept coming……..

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    • Boss Rocky,

      The vital portions are cut blatantly on TV now a days. Thats the whole point he is saying. And its true.

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      • No he is not saying that, he is afraid that people would NOT know why the bomb blasts happened ….

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        • Ok,

          Why dont you OFFICIALLY give me also a certificate of being a commie(the term which i dont understand), deshdrohi, deshpremi or whatever finally. Or are you still waiting for my further comments?

          Afterall you represent Deshbhakti Certification Organization here 🙂

          Like

        • abzee2kin Says:

          You seem to be reading things in my post that aren’t there. Anyway. I am not saying that people get their history from the movies (although that isn’t very far from the truth also), but does that make it alright to alter them to one’s preferences then. I am not suggesting that a person from the ministry sat at the edit and reedited the film, but all channels have directives issued to them by the I&B ministry. So it is only fair to assume that all these new instances of words being cut that were earlier allowed is because of these directives. By extension, any scene and sequence cuts would also be done to toe the official ministry line lest you get your broadcast license temporarily revoked, which had happened with Comedy Central.

          About the movie and its merits, I hardly think this piece was any form of review. But again, you are free to read it as you like.

          Like

          • Do you know who started it ( that man is on ventilator for last 8 yrs or so if i am not wrong) and when?
            The problem is you noticed it now as Modi is sitting on throne not when Italian lady was there.

            Like

  9. “first the came” – i am taking this title with lot of pun here guys – Indian youth is so frank these days – watch this video and Satyam this needs a separate post – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAgP15Hh1Lk

    Like

    • “first they came” 😉

      Like

      • abzee2kin Says:

        First they came… is a famous poem written by Martin Niemoller in the wake of the Nazi’s rise.

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • abzee2kin Says:

      Btw, I may be getting paranoid, but I am unable to access Kafila and Satyamshot from my dongle and mobile. I had intended to put up the piece at Kafila too. I am accessing the net now by installing a proxy VPN. Strange!

      Like

    • As long as they don’t apex from going to India…oppps…lol

      Like

  10. Abzee, first of all it’s wonderful to see you back here after a very long time. Hope all is well at your end. but it’s even better to see you return with a piece and then this kind of important one. I remember saying something similar about Khakee for years. The Eros/Shemaroo DVDs and just about every other DVD/VCD was missing a couple of crucial scenes of ‘Muslim’ protest, the very ones I actually saw in the theater when I first watched the film. For a number of years I held on to a pirated DVD which had these segments in addition to the original which did not. Eventually one surfaced with ‘everything’ on it. This after many years. In any case it’s disturbing to hear that this is happening on TV as well and with other films. Thanks for this important piece as these issues need to be highlighted everywhere.

    On the rest I just skimmed through some of the comments your post seems to have provoked. Frankly I find most of them beside the point since you’re not getting into any of that stuff in your piece. Beyond this it’s problematic to stick to a narrative irrespective of the example offered, irrespective of the evidence, irrespective of anything. As I’ve said before many times it’s always easy to keep blaming the other’s narrative (which might be problematic as well) because it absolves one of the responsibility to ever question one’s own. Beyond this if one loses the ability to simply call out a ‘wrong’ for what it is without having to negotiate what right/wrong is using all kinds of counter-accusations and real/feigned positions of naiveté one is just like the other side one is constantly blaming.

    And though your post isn’t about Yaqub Menon I’ll nonetheless add to my comments on this from the other day. He’s simply the wrong example to use to play out one’s grievances against the system. There are a million other better ones. There’s no need to make an icon out of him. On the other side it’s certainly legitimate to ask why questions about how investigations into riots/pogroms or trials connected with the same proceed and why no one ever seems to have a ‘guilty’ conscience about this. It ought to be possible to do both. But when a politics of negotiation or competitive politics of victimhood is played out on every side it is precisely such moral truth that becomes the first casualty. I find it appalling that anyone could make excuses for Menon. On the other hand all questions do not end with this one. There is a larger framework that matters too. And again to repeat myself even if there is an engineered riot or a program there is simply no excuse for killing others in the name of revenge or whatever. Coming ‘second’ if you will in this sense is the most obscene form of calculus not least because one can always redefine who ‘really started it’ (specially since some of these narratives go back centuries!). But this also doesn’t mean that one keep pretending that the riot or whatever was some sort of abstract event with unknowable authors and complete lack of evidence etc. At the end of the day this ‘twinning’ must itself be deconstructed. Yes there are causes for various events but a more ethical framework would never allow either side to get off so easily blaming the other or using such an excuse. but in any case if one insists on ideological positions that justify any level of violence one gets to that moment in Dev with the burning building. This is really what it amounts to.

    The other day I was talking to someone and brought up what is my favorite example in certain contexts. The example is not unrelated to the present ‘debate’. I was referring to how unjustified I found the using of the atomic bomb in Japan. An extreme step that no ‘calculation’ of war can justify. And of course since then the rules of the game though not in force retroactively make the US guilty of a war crime. Was this not wrong just because no such international ‘rule’ existed then? But leaving this aside such a bomb was never used in the heart of Europe against Germany! Wasn’t there a politics of race involved here. So no matter how bad Hitler was his cities could be carpet-bombed but the atomic bomb could not be used in the same way. irrespective of how many atrocities the Japanese committed in war there was no justification for this. But it is precisely the latter that condoned the use of such an extreme weapon of war. Once again one can justify anything if one just constructs the narrative to justify it. Only the perpetrators of a violent action ever have to believe in it..

    And finally this is still Kashyap’s best film to my mind.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Satyam you put forth succinctly what i wanted to but could not as Satyam is only one. 😉 Your comments do cover the whole gamut which are enlightening and enriching without being preachy or didactic. Pleasure reading you Satyam. And it might sound sycophancy to some, but whoever i have read or heard of, no one comes close to you in terms of “across the board” knowledge with incisive and precise comments with out getting carried away by emotions or losing composure which is the hallmark of your singularity!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate your comment very much but unfortunately I’ll have to indulge in my usual cliche (sincerely!) that this is way too kind… but thanks..

        Like

        • Agree there with myselfaamir and this one constitutes one of Satyam’s most reasonable and precise comments esp on the issues discussed above in this post. Don’t really have the right terminology for it but this is example of a perfect ‘suljha hua’ comment. (sensible, refined, polished do not fit as the essence of my thoughts cannot be reflected in them).

          Like

        • One thing which you have imbibed from Mr. Bachchan is “MODESTY and DOWNPLAY” of your own-self!! And i have learnt so much from this blog that i will remain indebted to you and all other esteemed bloggers here for their rich contribution in making it in to ” a must browse a day and an addiction” which i’m very proud of 😉

          Like

    • abzee2kin Says:

      Satyam, as always you have elaborated upon my concerns with a clarity, poise and incisiveness that are singularly your defining traits. My piece was born out of emotional place, an anger if you must, however tempered. Yours is a superior rational and reasonable deliberation on it. Agree completely with everything that you have said.

      I did realize that I was getting pulled into a debate that wasn’t mine to begin with by the likes of Di, etc. And really after a time one realizes that you are arguing not what you set out to debate but rather defending charges levelled against you. A tiring process, and one that I admire you greatly for putting up with time and again on various matters on this blog with an amazing sense of restraint and composure. In any case, some people get rather radical about box office and their stars 🙂

      Like

    • A very lucidly reasoned and perfectly balanced (in the best sense of the word) comment. Nicely done, Satyam.

      I have to say that the original post evoked mixed reactions from me – part nodding of the head in agreement and part consternation. I’m pretty much an absolutist on freedom of expression and censorship irks me to no end. To me making cuts in a film is wrong – whatever the motivations. So why the consternation? Because of the title of the post. As a believer of Godwin’s Law, I can’t take anyone who invokes that kind of hyperbolic comparison seriously, even if I otherwise agree with the point being made.

      Like

  11. “Why did they carry out the blasts? Why did they enlist? Why were they ripe to be exploited? If you weren’t someone who lived through the ’92 riots and the ’93 blasts as I did, in Mumbai no less, and your reference to the incident was only the Black Friday screening on Star Gold HD last night, then the Babri Masjid demolition never happened.”
    Do you think terrorists need a reason? It is like saying, hitler did this, that but they never showed Jews were behind killing Jesus and that was not mentioned-shown in the movie!!. I think censorship was correct in this case!! That way a lot of riots were prevented and it showed the side where ’93 blasts were shown. Terrorists don’t need a babri-ayodhya-ram mandir reason. They will accuse someone sneezing as the right reason for their just anger. Abzee you are indeed getting paranoid! However if you are so scared that state will come after you, you have lot of neighboring nations to take ‘panah’ in like Y.M. did.

    Like

    • “However if you are so scared that state will come after you, you have lot of neighboring nations to take ‘panah’ in like Y.M. did.”

      or maybe like yourself he could come to the US and become an armchair ultra-nationalist… if you are so very bothered about things back home why don’t you go back and join the cause? I am simply using your own logic.

      I will nonetheless add this. I don’t really care about ‘reasons’ where certain kinds of acts are concerned. Even if there is a reason to feel aggrieved there is no excuse for terrorist acts. But in the very same way there is no excuse for engineering riots, there is no excuse for demolishing mosques. I could go on. There is no excuse for any of these things. This does not mean all these acts exist on the same plane but that any act of violence in this sense simply cannot be excused irrespective of the grievance, real of imagined, present or historic.

      I’d go further, the real problem is precisely ‘reasons’. Actually terrorists have their ‘reasons’ too. It’s just a myth to suggest they don’t. But if one can think of a ‘reason’ one can justify anything. Hence one must get out of this logic and start at the other end. Certain events are ‘understandable’ as a historical or political matter or what have you and one can analyze but they are not more excusable on the same grounds. And it does come down to individual responsibility. If someone organizes a mob to seek revenge from a community that has apparently done horrible things to one’s community (I say ‘apparently’ because those who kill and those who then die in the retaliation are often very different groups) and if one then joins such a mob what follows is one’s responsibility as much as it is everyone else’s in that mob much less the person organizing it. And when we by the same token engage in certain kinds of arguments or come up with ‘reasons’ to justify all kinds of violence we too are enablers of it because those who do these things can count on such pockets of ‘popular support’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “…there is no excuse for demolishing mosques.”

        Granted I’m a godless heathen who is going to hell, but the destruction of mosques, or temples, or churches, etc., doesn’t bother me. I shed no tears at the demolition of the Babri Masjid. What did make me want to curl-up in a fetal position and weep was the hundreds of *people* who were killed in pursuit of that idiocy. Wanton destruction property is criminal and stupid but loss of human lives is the true tragedy.

        Like

        • But you don’t get one without the other. Because certain structures, not only religious ones, are also cultural sites, certainly symbolic ones. If you attack such structures certain kinds of violence is bound to follow. Of course it’s also true that in India you get permission slips to engage in violence once such a thing happens. Because a lot of it is politically orchestrated. Even when not people do these things because they know this stuff becomes more excusable if it happens in an abstraction called a ‘riot’. It is actually fairly hard to think of completely pure riots in this sense. To this degree there would seem to be a decoupling, on the other hand given all the contexts in any such situation it’s unlikely that nothing would happen. And even if that were the case it would still lead to great resentment which could then push people over the edge in all sorts of ways. Unfortunately humans are most often killed for symbolic reasons, at least on this sort of scale. Whether it’s about countries, communities (religiously or ethnically defined or whatever), tribes, whatever the most atrocious violence depends on it also being symbolically coded. Much as in a related sense women suffer the worst crimes in all of these contexts because they are always symbolically ‘over-coded’. of course one must go even further and say that even the resentment is already politicized. Not because people are not sincere in feeling this way but that they are trained to do within an existing symbolic economy. For instance in the Afghan wars lots of mosques were destroyed including the important Blue Mosque. No one cared anywhere in the Islamic world. It didn’t even make the news in most cases but that was part of the problem. It is only when the other does it to you that you get more upset about it (not just other religious groups but other sects as well.. the worst religious struggles quite often happen between sects). But logically the opposite ought to be the case. It ought to be worse if believers of a faith destroy their own structures!

          Like

        • “Granted I’m a godless heathen who is going to hell”

          Hell always seems to house the more interesting types.. one might even be tempted to risk the torture for the company..

          Like

    • abzee2kin Says:

      However if you are so scared that state will come after you, you have lot of neighboring nations to take ‘panah’ in

      I shall not dignify such a comment with any response. But great knowing you.

      Like

      • state needs to protect the masses. If deleting a scene prevents larger violence while reminding people of ’93, then so be it. It is easy to wriggle your intellectual finger at the “State” and put outregeous poems in the same breath but if you were living elsewhere you would know what state and its terrorism is all about. Meanwhile enjoy the freedom to express your “ugh” dear. My absolute fav. is narayan murthy story where in all his castle-in-the-air idealism and worship of the communist/socialist archytype, he was jailed in one of the same countries by gestapo (for speaking in french with a lady or something stupid like that) without food and water for 72 hours and all his “idealism” left him and made him hardcore capitalist. So unless you go to kashmir or other “neighboring” countries where they spew venom, you will NOT know the freedom YOU have to write this blog and appreciate that freedom. IN other places that intellectually wriggling finger would have been long chopped off, along with the neck before you could say “ugh”

        Like

        • abzee2kin Says:

          So unless you go to kashmir or other “neighboring” countries where they spew venom, you will NOT know the freedom YOU have to write this blog and appreciate that freedom. IN other places that intellectually wriggling finger would have been long chopped off, along with the neck before you could say “ugh”

          I don’t understand how one is expected to be thankful of a certain freedom accorded while at the same time being criticized for precisely exercising that. How does one present the nightmare of an autocratic state as some sort of example of what should be done to the likes of me without leaving me wondering in the slightest bit that you envy such an autocracy? And if your example is so that I must cherish this freedom given to me, then why object my argument against its clamping down.

          I shall leave you be.

          Like

          • I know. It is full of paradoxes, right? So you have freedom to freely express your outrage at the state and I have same measure of freedom to express outrage at your outrage. lol. So basically we should be happy that we both are in freedom should we not, state not withstanding!! There is an interview by a gujarati muslim where he admires modi…how full of hatred he was in london…then how modi invited him (and many thousands of various groups of muslims) and they had full freedom to say whatever. Basically, one has to be very careful of media projections. It is always easy to hate and difficult to love. I would rather be with the muslim who lost his eyes that day in ’93 than take my outrage out at ban of porn or edit of movie scene. ANd you would rather not worry about the hundreds of victims and worry more about the edit. Each of us have a way of expression and ability to get outraged. Mine is different from yours. ANd we can co-exist (I hope).

            Like

  12. Guys guys guys

    This is about selective and pathetic censorship on TV…

    Dont blabber unnecessarily…

    I know Abzee and Q and Satyam think that a person deserves a reply only when he articulates the the things in a better way…which i am NOT.

    i am glad that Q this time responded to my comments.

    Like

    • “i am glad that Q this time responded to my comments.”

      the way ppl are ignored who are are not good in english here is similar to the politics happening in our country,

      Not for once, the guys like Q, Abzee cared to respond to my comments. Satyam is beyond limits as always …but even he did in some cases.

      Abzee, by this very virtue, you are very much a hard-core Puneri / Pune 30 / sadashiv peth chhap …who cares only abt his language and articles but not about responses. Who would care abt ur responses?

      Like

      • “the way ppl are ignored who are are not good in english here is similar to the politics happening in our country”

        that’s not a fair comment. I know everyone here well enough to say that with confidence and it certainly doesn’t apply to Q or Abzee. Or whoever else you have in mind. People don’t respond for many reasons or no reason. It’s not as if everyone who writes ‘good’ English here immediately gets a response from everyone. Yes there is a language politics in this sense operative at many levels and none of us can say we are completely blameless in terms of subscribing or not to that larger mindset. But it’s simply not true that anyone is ignoring anyone else here on those grounds.

        Like

        • I have barely even been on the blog for a while, until the spell cast by the likes of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Baahubali loosened the floodgates a couple of weeks ago. In any event this is a charge that bears no relationship to reality, as anyone who has read my comments from the days of Naachgaana.com and then satyamshot can testify to.

          Like

          • Note ritzritz how your move has a lot in common with apex’s repeated comments (common on the Right) about how nothing one can say on X issue should be taken seriously unless Y, Z, B, and C issues are also addressed. In both cases, the move is “to make silence speak”, and frankly (perhaps unintentionally) can smack of bullying. Of all the possible explanations around why someone might not have responded to your comment, why on earth would you go with your use of English?!

            Like

      • *Who DOESNT care abt ur responses…

        (unless they are good i ..in English ..the ones who comment)

        Boss, open up.

        Like

      • abzee2kin Says:

        Ritz, I apologize if I have given you any reason to believe that I was ignoring your comments. I did respond to your comment on the deletion of a scene in Malamaal Weekly. Nevertheless, I must take exception to the charge that there is any misplaced sense of linguistic superiority that governs whom I respond to or not. You will appreciate that this piece has been one that I have written after a long time, and the sheer volume of comments that I have had to respond (all thanks for an engaging debate, even if some were rather uncharitable) has been overwhelming, especially when one does this between work and on a 2G connection. Ha!

        I will say this though… you have lavished upon me the choicest and most stinging of an insult by calling me a Puneri chhap! Lol! That is the ultimate insult for a Mumbaikar 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Re: “Puneri chhap! Lol! That is the ultimate insult for a Mumbaikar”

          LOL! Somewhere out there, an anti-abzee movement (“What?! he dares say that about the home of the Peshwas?!”) begins to take shape…

          Liked by 2 people

          • PS — Personally I respond to abzee principally because his gravatar features Marion Cotillard.

            Liked by 2 people

          • abzee2kin Says:

            Ha! Just a tip. I read about the missus being upset about your rather open praise of a certain Ms. Richa Chaddha. I committed the mistake of letting in on the fact that Marion Cotillard came in my dreams and I was helping her run away from some revolt! Imagine the revolt I had to run from 🙂

            Like

          • Actually the missus wasn’t upset — some of the blog mates seemed more worried about it 🙂

            Like

          • if you let bhabiji out of hijab the you will see that she is even more prettier than Marion. Shame on you for newly married and lusting after others so openly. No wonder they banned porn. I am sure bhabhiji is in happy place now.

            Like

          • Re: “…if you let bhabiji out of hijab…”

            never mind, this sort of offensive comment is Exhibit A for why omrocky gets a different level of engagement than you do.

            Like

          • abzee2kin Says:

            Ugh! Just ugh!

            Like

          • Di why are you hell bent on creating venomous atmosphere with your vitiating and personal comments? What kind of below the belt and outrageous comment you have made to win this one-upmanship battle is beyond me! How could one stoop so low to satiate his or her ego is also way way beyond me!!

            Like

          • it is not below the belt…written in humor…read it again. Sure I assumed hijab but that was done to rib him and I don’t see “viciousness” in it! Anyhow if this is “ugh” then imagine how much “ugh” it is to kill few hundred people in ’93 and one man who was of ‘minority religion’ (lest someone gets offended if I mention it), lost both his eyes. So yhea, it is ok to have sympathy and compassion for YM’s capital punishment or state’s “agenda” what-not…intellectual balderbash….but for me….still feeling the “ugh” of the violence of ’93 and I don’t think it needs to be apologized for justice was 20 yrs too late for those who were innocently murdered for no fault of theirs!!

            Like

          • Di you seem to be suffering from some neurotic disorder as you’ll keep changing colours to your own whims and fancies! What you state would get contradicted in next of your comments by yourself and keep harping the same ghisa-pita victim-hood narrative of your own “concoction”. Your bizarre sense of humour is also very very “sadistic” which becomes painful to others! So stop practising the brand of humour which has a sole taker in you!

            Like

        • Hmm,

          well, I just thought from ur responses in earlier blog and here that u only respond to only who write long boaring english essays (like satyam / GF / Q etc etc)

          ” you have lavished upon me the choicest and most stinging of an insult by calling me a Puneri chhap! Lol! That is the ultimate insult for a Mumbaikar :-)”

          …Good to know that. I thought u are a Puneri sadashiv peth chhap …because ur love for language and pride for it spoke so.

          Like

          • Hope that this forum opens up in a way I stated.

            Fuck the linguistic skills.

            Please please please respond to the comments.

            This is a blog. Not something carved in stone.

            Interaction is necessary

            And if you feel some ppl dont deserve reply then go carve something in stone.

            Like

      • Yhea…that language casteism or chauvinism will always be clear and present danger of this site and also if they think you are bourgeosis then you are out, permanently tainted as well. If you are ‘religious’ especially if not minority religion, then you are out as well or branded “right” wing. Then my comments are always deleted (talk about “first they came”) especially on these topics and I lost count of how many times Satyam insulted me (totally uncalled for) even when I was not addressing him or his posts! It is all very amusing to me to see this hypocrite attitudes and I still come here because there are others like om or an jo whose thoughts interest me. But narrow minded indeed on many accounts. totally agree with you here.

        Like

    • AamirsFan Says:

      i’ve been reading everything here so far and haven’t commented but this is by far the most useless comment made in this post besides the comments made by apex and one comment made by di. this kind of stuff adds nothing to the healthy discussion that is taking place here.

      Like

      • AamirsFan Says:

        and i usually stay away from politically charged threads, mainly because i really don’t have much knowledge of the history of indian politics; but i can safely say the narrative of ‘conservative’ politics has become the same in every nation it seems. the key is how we can still maintain a healthy, productive dialogue with one another without coming to broad, unhealthy generalizations with another based on how we feel on a specific topic. abzee, qalandar, myselfaamir, and of course satyam have shown how to appropriately handle narrow-minded comments and they’ve shown how to carry a conversation forward instead of coming to a standstill. and before i am accused of simply ‘sucking up’ or being a ‘fanboy’ for them…just take a look at their comments…it doesn’t take a damn rocket scientist to see how one can have a sane conversation that is productive without being so personal and making broad generalizations.

        Like

        • You can mention a ‘shikha’ or ‘janoi’ or anything else and it is completely alright but if I mention ‘hijab’ it makes me narrow minded! Wah.

          Like

          • AamirsFan Says:

            i was actually referring to this comment…

            ‘However if you are so scared that state will come after you, you have lot of neighboring nations to take ‘panah’ in like Y.M. did.’

            but i guess that comment would qualify also unless it is purely a joke.

            Like

          • yhea, I find use of words like ‘pograms’, ‘nazi’ and poems of that, along with use of words from Q about ‘state’ sort of reprehensible when used in context of a certain PM and certain country as though they are under big brother!!! It is THIS that causes hatred…this pseudo intellectualisms rebel without cause and hurt without reason. Why could you not think of that particular edit of that incident as riot prevention measure in a country like india vs bigbrother tactics!! Jis thali mei khana woha ched lagana

            Like

  13. I am personally happy this time that all the porn sites which were supposed to be blocked are open . At this moment now.

    You guys go and suck on your language.

    I am not coming there 😛

    Like

  14. Contd from my comment here
    https://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/first-they-came/#comment-310938
    And the reactions to this..
    I will respond briefly to all responses to this collectively

    Firstly there are certain acts or events which are not grey or relative.
    There should be only ONE response which needs to be made bold n clear!
    Mass murder and acts of terror in whatever name should elicit only one response irrespective of paraphernalia and background and ‘justification’

    Secondly, it’s a question of
    CONTEXT
    PROPORTION
    SELECTIVITY

    thirdly, if one chooses to claim to comment only on films contextually since it’s a film blog
    I will take out another example for the recent archives
    There’s a certain ‘history’ in this

    The same people who were troubled by Black Friday being out of context were not bothered by similar issues in Haidar. Why?

    How many of the same people lauded the right wing govt for letting Haidar be bestowed by the national award ?

    The answers to these questions will unravel certain ‘truths’

    let’s not OBFUSCATE the facts …

    Clear as mud?

    Like

  15. http://www.dawn.com/news/1198061

    This is trending internationally …

    Rather than ‘debating’ about an obscure channel on which an edited film was shown

    Comments?

    Like

  16. “Note ritzritz how your move has a lot in common with apex’s repeated comments”

    Who and what is apex? (Someone commenting on this blog?)

    I dont even follow this blog, But when i comment – which is a very rare case….i dont get response cause my English is not good?

    Q – what was that comment? Whats apex?

    Like

    • ritzritz: apex is the screen-name of a regular commenter on this blog.

      Like

      • Okay.

        So thats one more reason for you to “categorize” me and ignore so called “stupid” comments?

        Like

        • Re: “So thats one more reason for you to “categorize” me and ignore so called “stupid” comments?”

          I don’t think you’ve been reading my comments. I haven’t categorized you in any way (certainly nowhere near as much as you seem to be intent on categorizing yourself), and as far as I remember, nowhere have I called your comments “stupid”. You’ve invented a category — “the language” — and with no evidence, are using it to work yourself up to ever greater levels of indignation. It’s a BLOG: some comments get responded to, others do not, and there could be any number of reasons for it, many of which have nothing to do with the commenter or the content of the comment. Personalizing the whole thing is not constructive.

          Like

  17. I am questing the whole concept of being a “Blog” here.

    You do not need to the English or write long paras to get a response…u know…

    Getting a response….thats the whole concept of a blog … exchange of opinions….otherwise make it as a WEBSITE.

    Why the fuck bother about comments?

    And please…

    Please..

    My humble request….

    Speak and type in English …the language we all have agreed upon!

    (I said “English” —– which is a very progressive language…but then what can i expect from a stubborn site whos owner refuses to use Mumbai)

    Dont try to supress or ignore an opinion just beacause he/she is downright pathetic in using the language…. “the language” ?!?!?

    Like

    • you’re getting carried away at this point.. no such thing is happening here, you’re imagining it. In any case it’s time to move on to other topics.

      Like

      • You are sounding like Modi govt now…(this thing does not exist at all etc etc)

        Like

        • Ritz, I think I’ve had enough on this topic. Further comments on this topic will be deleted. We’ve all said what we needed to. Abzee’s comment is a nice point to end all of this.

          Like

      • Such delusion-ed guy is being welcomed here, you should be aware of his history, where ever he goes, blog gets destroyed itself. He will come here after works hours immediately to vent his frustration out on bloggers. Using crass words is no big deal for him.

        Like

    • Using fuck in one sentence and next saying it is your humble request aggressively.

      Like

    • abzee2kin Says:

      Hey Ritzy, I really am lost comprehending what exactly you’ve been on and on about. I have had the privilege of knowing these fine members of this blog that you have been unfairly accusing of, and they are not what you are calling them out for. Having said that, the nature of a blog is also stimulating conversation. If one is merely indulging in ‘responses’ for the heck of it, such a conversation will reduce the blog to just chatter which very often most BO discussions or star discussions devolve into.

      Like

      • “If one is merely indulging in ‘responses’ for the heck of it, such a conversation will reduce the blog to just chatter which very often most BO discussions or star discussions devolve into”

        Exactly, I personally hate han-ji haanji type of responses here too.

        They are mostly on the love of language here.

        (Instead of BO chat)

        You are not lost, you are just pretending that you dont get what I am telling. Period.

        Like

  18. Abzee, spurred on by your post I checked out Black Friday once more. It’s available on netflix streaming at this end, the complete version. Unfortunately it’s a rather poor transfer, I remember first seeing it with much better image quality though I don’t recall whether it was this same version or not.

    In any case this film still stands up very well and it’s quite outstanding at a number of levels. These topical subjects can get dated very quickly but that’s not at all the case here. To repeat myself still Kashyap’s best. I wish he’d not been hijacked by his polemical or ‘protest’ instincts. He’s still made interesting films for the most part but nothing as significant as this film, at least nothing as fully-realized relative to his more ambitious works. For instance I don’t think there is even a comparison between BG and GoW. But the other reason this is an important film is that he handles every element very well from the characterizations to the politics to questions of violence and responsibility on both sides. Not an easy needle to thread.

    And amidst a number of wonderful performances Pawan Malhotra’s deservedly stands out. He’s absolutely excellent here. Finally and specially given the kind of drama (realistic and yet stylized at many levels) this is Kashyap still manages to introduce a sense of the mythic at points. And this happens with the Dawood segments where Kashyap is very conscious of his ‘image’. The film is true in this sense though it is here that one is reminded of the troubling nature of ‘reality’ itself. There is of course a deep archive of gangsters in Bombay who were these larger-than-life figures but this economy is much more vexing when it involves those who also double over as terrorists and become self-styled crusaders against the system in perverse ways. And to this extent these gangsters operate with a vote-bank. This has always been so to some degree. We see a marvelous example of this in Agneepath where the gangster shows up in a neighborhood and is treated like a god. There is a sense in which such an outlaw finds it easy to find support among various economically depressed segments. And of course a lot of times, specially over the last two decades or so, there has been a definite religious charge to these vote banks. We’ve seen majority and minority gangsters even if the most legendary ones, certainly the most audacious ones have been the latter. That this economy ever gets started exposes cracks in the socio-political edifice. But it also underlines the fact that if you have very violent events where no one takes responsibility or where the perpetrators are allowed to get away you create a cycle where other kinds of violence will also be considered acceptable by many. So it’s a self-defeating exercise either way. In any case it’s a rather unfortunate state of affairs when such gangsters become folk heroes. But one must wonder why this happens at all. I think this is much of what you’re alluding to in your piece even if many have completely misunderstood it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Re: “And this happens with the Dawood segments where Kashyap is very conscious of his ‘image’. The film is true in this sense though it is here that one is reminded of the troubling nature of ‘reality’ itself. There is of course a deep archive of gangsters in Bombay who were these larger-than-life figures but this economy is much more vexing when it involves those who also double over as terrorists and become self-styled crusaders against the system in perverse ways.”

      …and note that one way in which Kashyap’s film tackles this issue is by “elevating” Dawood above the fray — i.e. the whole conspiracy becomes Tiger Memon’s issue, with the Dawood character shown as (after the fact) even calling up an Indian official to say that “ghaltee ho gayee”; then when the home-owner (or is it driver?) visits his palatial Dubai home this “larger-than-life image” is given full rein — he stammers upon meeting Dawood, the latter isn’t specific but just tells him to do whatever Tiger Memon says, etc. A problematic move for obvious reasons, and one that perhaps only makes sense because of a certain cinematic genealogy (of all those heros playing all those gangsters)…

      Liked by 1 person

    • abzee2kin Says:

      This is a superlative comment Satyam, but then I am stating the obvious. Yes, Black Friday has aged very well. I myself was catching the film after a long gap. I too agree that it is and probably will remain Kashyap’s finest work. It certainly is one where he seems liberated from having to fulfill any ‘expectations’ that began labouring his work once he got a larger and a rather devoted following. As you have also so rightly pointed out, despite the subject matter, he doesn’t try to place the film outside a masala space, eg. his rendering of the Dawood character which you highlight. Also one of my absolute favourite moment in the film is when after a long and superbly shot chase sequence (something that he replicated and equalled but not bettered in GoW) involving a certain Imtiaz Ghavate, the tired Ghavate and the constable after him stumble across a tenement and the television set inside blares the Amitabh Bachchan line from Amar Akbar Anthony “Aisa toh aadmi zindagi mein sirf do-ich time bhaagta hai; Olympic ka race ho, ya Police ka case ho”. Sheer gold!

      Like

      • Indeed, that was a fantastic moment. Just everything in this film is so well-handled. I also like the whole Baadshah Khan segment a lot as he’s forced to move from place to place.

        Like

        • abzee2kin Says:

          Backed by a fantastic Indian Ocean track that really punctuates Badshah Khan’s utter disillusionment. Also the little touches in the song itself like Badshah Khan trying to avoid eye contact with a pretty woman in saffron aboard a ferry.

          Like

      • This is exactly the point.

        I tthink this was well written article and you end up doing haanji, haanji here (as expected)
        (With all the pent up emotions and all…)

        Like

    • Pawan Malhotra was indeed fantastic here. The entire ensemble was strong but he was so resonantly disturbing. Of course, as one expects, Hindi cinema has since given him exactly nothing worthwhile.

      Like

      • “Who and what is apex? (Someone commenting on this blog?)”

        Apex is a voice from the sky

        It’s not a person –it’s a ‘soch’

        The ‘conscience’ of this blog

        The pure ‘truth’ 🙂

        Like

  19. This chap may soon be declared a ‘bajrangi bhaijaan’ as per some elements …

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/i-came-to-kill-hindus-its-fun-doing-this-says-captured-pakistan-terrorist-naved_1642138.html

    ‘I came to kill Hindus, it’s fun doing this,’ says captured Pakistani terrorist Naved…

    Where are these who got ‘triggered’ just by a films edited screening on an obscure channel ?

    Like

  20. omrocky786 Says:

    Seems like I missed a lot of action here….
    I had lost interest as soon as I read SatyamShot and Kafila in the same sentence !!

    Like

  21. omrocky786 Says:

    In an environment where the media is openly peddling lies about Church attacks, various bans , spinning terror boat attacks, and thousands of such instances,
    When this stupid Govt. does not even has the guts to take any action against Vadera, It is so very rich to accuse the Govt. of censoring ( hold your breath ) a movie to suit to a narrative..
    But never get facts get n the way when you are writing for Kafila and Scroll….
    But the Good news my dear is that iss baar Allah key saath saath poora desh Modi key saath hai !!! LOL
    P.S.- agree that Black Friday was a really powerful movie !!

    Like

    • “When this stupid Govt. does not even has the guts to take any action against Vadera,”
      in due course of time beta..in due course of time. Yeh bhi hoga.

      Like

    • It’s actually not paradoxical at all Rocky. It is precisely when you cannot take the important political steps that you then shift to cultural politics to make your case. We see this in very many situations. And it’s not just the critics who then have exaggerated reactions. The people engaging in such cultural politics also depend on these things becoming a big deal. Because if it weren’t for this people would think nothing was happening. In a political sense this govt could easily pass off as an extension of the UPA on every key political platform. Every last one more or less. Even the land issue builds on a logic that the Congress was already engaged in. From Kashmir to Pakistan to the running of the Lok Sabha… from the uniform civil code to Kashmir’s special status being revoke to dealing strongly with terrorists or cross border activity or whatever. You know as well as I do that nothing’s really changed and this govt’s hardcore supporters are really more disappointed than anyone else. The cultural politics then becomes a crutch. It suggests the sense of a different environment when people start making crazy statements, when incompetent folks are appointed in key positions for ideological reasons (you could appoint competent people for the same ideological reasons), etc etc. You issue all kinds of dog whistles to satisfy your base and inflame the other side. Without this there would be nothing. As I used to say before the elections wake me up if on these very key platforms anything changes. And it’s taken far less than a year to make it clear. Not that I underestimate the cultural politics in any sense. But it also becomes more ferocious the more impotent one becomes in terms of effecting more important change. We see in the US how Republicans have more or less waged cultural war for decades. The Dems have not been blameless either though they haven’t been as good at it since the 60s.

      My larger point is that let’s not make it about the media. Again this is too easy. Maybe everyone’s a left-wing looney there. So what? Surely your greater complaints should be directed at the govt, at the party? And it’s not enough to say one complains about it among ‘like-minded’ people on other forums. When one complained so much about the UPA (not that I’m defending them) on precisely the issues that the current govt is more or less following chapter and verse, when the same sorts of scams and corruption rear their head just one year into the new govt, etc etc, one has the responsibility to complain about these exactly the same way before exactly the same people. Otherwise it’s not about principle and simply and ideological bias. Whatever kafila or anyone else does or does not do isn’t the issue. This is a simply a red herring that allows one to evade responsibility.

      Incidentally I’ll be extremely surprised if anything significant happens to vadra..

      Liked by 2 people

      • omrocky786 Says:

        Agree with most of your comment above except that all scams so far have been media manufactured.

        Like

        • really? Are you serious? Vyapam is easily the greatest scam in the nation’s history. It involves hundreds of thousands of people, it quite probably implicates many important people in that state govt if not practically everyone, there are at least 45 mysterious deaths connected to it. This is media manufactured? There’s a Rajasthan minister in the central govt who’s not just been accused of rape but who’s in all probability been involved on orgies and that too coerced ones. You have people helping Lalit Modi on excuses that only the brain dead could believe with clear financial incentives involved (certainly in the case of the Rajasthan CM’s family). I could go on. Yes I know the govt spokesmen and the RSS types have been peddling this ‘media-created’ line in the media (!). C’mon do you really buy that? or are you going to take the ‘there’s no clear evidence’ line. All of this too sounds exactly like the UPA set of excuses.

          But do you know where the problem lies? People support one party or the other for ideological reasons not for this other stuff. We just pretend those reasons matter. they don’t. So when these things happen we have to either pretend we haven’t noticed or accept such flimsy excuses. At least within reason. I’d rather have corrupt Dems than corrupt Republicans! I’d rather not have anyone corrupt but that’s not an choice one gets in India! You have to pick your poison. At least within reason. Yes some scams are so big that even the base starts deserting you. But it shouldn’t get to that level. In a country like India if one really believes one national party is that much more honest than the other (the same at the state level.. we’re already seeing what sorts of compromises AAP has made.. there’s no ‘evidence’ but does one really believe Kejrival didn’t know that Tomar had faked his certificates?) one believes in fairy tales and rather un-entertaining ones at that. I’m using the same standards. Whether it’s Modi or Kejrival or someone from the Congress, I’m not as hamstrung by these ‘evidence’ arguments. The same applies elsewhere. The Salman Khan fans who never find enough evidence or who think others should be arrested first and what not. The truth isn’t that complicated. If one wasn’t born yesterday one knows what’s going on. Just say you prefer one party for ideological reasons. Just don’t make honesty or integrity or whatever the calling card for the same! Otherwise these other problems emerge. Support the party if you wish. Don’t say there’s nothing to these scandals. And we’ve just completed a year here. We’re not in the second half of a two term government! Don’t say it’s media manufactured here but somehow genuine with the UPA when the very same media was pointing out both. Similarly don’t pick on every single sentence in kafila and then say that the truly obnoxious things people have been saying in official capacities are ‘nothing’ or just ‘crazy’ in some casual way!

          I am even arguing this with you because we are friends and because we are Desai fans (still hope for you!). Wouldn’t even bother saying this with most others.

          Like

          • omrocky786 Says:

            LOL on Desai Fan.
            Vyapam dates back to god knows when. Lalitgate is a clear non issue.
            But let’s leave this never ending discussion as I do not wish the usual Aaptards to jump in and make things ugly.

            Like

          • Never thought old scandals simply expired! Specially when they’re current even as we speak. And witnesses are being coerced and threatened at this very moment. The surviving ones that is. In any case here I thought Akbar and his policies were still current?!

            On Lalitgate my mistake.. what gets said in Kafila or Outlook is more important than all these favors being given to Lalit Modi and with clear financial incentives. Or do people regular buy nothing shares for crores and crores of rupees when the company in question has no assets to speak of? Not that the rest of these guys from other parties are also not involved in the whole IPL racket.

            Anyway where I do agree with you is that others will make it a never ending discussion here and to this extent I’m telling others that despite the exchange that has taken place so far this will not be allowed to degenerate into a never-ending political thread.

            Like

          • omrocky786 Says:

            Currently on Vacation in CO, will be back Monday next week … want to enjoy my vacation in peace , lol !!

            Like

          • LOL, you strike the match and then you want to walk away! But enjoy your vacation. All is well! And on that note hope you will be back in time for this one!

            Liked by 1 person

  22. The following facts are pertinent. First, Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national, whose place of residence and initial schooling as well as his joining a banned militant organisation was established by the investigators. Second, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were imparted training near Thatta, Sindh and launched by sea from there. The training camp was identified and secured by the investigators. The casings of the explosive devices used in Mumbai were recovered from this training camp and duly matched. Third, the fishing trawler used by the terrorists for hijacking an Indian trawler in which they sailed to Mumbai, was brought back to harbour, then painted and concealed. It was recovered by the investigators and connected to the accused. Fourth, the engine of the dinghy abandoned by the terrorists near Mumbai harbour contained a patent number through which the investigators traced its import from Japan to Lahore and then to a Karachi sports shop from where an LeT-linked militant purchased it along with the dinghy. The money trail was followed and linked to the accused who was arrested. Fifth, the ops room in Karachi, from where the operation was directed, was also identified and secured by the investigators. The communications through Voice over Internet Protocol were unearthed. Sixth, the alleged commander and his deputies were identified and arrested. Seventh, a couple of foreign-based financiers and facilitators were arrested and brought to face trial.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1198061

    Like

    • Satyam watches D-DAY on India’s independence day while I read Dawn’s article…guess we are both closet nationalists!!!

      Like

      • ha! I’ve been trying to watch it for the last 3-4 days. Finally completed it. I did like it the first time around but didn’t remember much. A recent viewing of BF inspired me to stay with the subject! It’s a very good thriller with good attention to detail and so on. But what’s the story behind this? Was this an actual operation that’s still secret in some sense? Is this supposed to be what happened? or is this a fantasy dawood-like scenario? Was planning to look this up but forgot.

        Like

        • It’s not based on fact as far as I know. But Rishi’s is my favourite onscreen representation of Dawood… Really like how he lapses into Marathi when he’s angry!

          Like

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