Friday, August 26, 2005

historical longevity


I watched Mangal Pandey yesterday. It’s not worth reviewing this movie. But it did stir some thoughts.

Both Mangal Pandey and Bhagat Singh were sketched in history books. Bhagat Singh being recent arrival on the historical scene had an advantage of being shown with physical attribute. Mangal was merely described as a daredevil soldier who was consumed as a first casualty in the spark of 1857 war of independence. If I remember correctly, history books mentioned Mangal Pandey in just one sentence that his death led to rebellion being spread like a sweeping wild fire from Kanpur, Meerut battalion to entire North India.

Now in subsequent century, when a movie was made on these two characters, Mangal Pandey was at significant advantage to Bhagat Singh in terms of hitherto unknown persona. Fantasy, characterization and imagination were in abundance for movie maker to create Mangal Pandey. Bhagat Singh was at severe disadvantage as his character details, family background was still vivid in the minds of surviving acquaintances. But at the end, in the minds of next century born generation, movie “Legend “catapults Bhagat Singh far ahead than that of movie “The Rising” does for Mangal Pandey. This is merely because one movie creates more passion than another. Its brutal truth that in order to have historical longevity, it is important to have a good script writer and director. King Ashoka, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Babasaheb Ambedkar,Veer Savarkar, Subhash Chandra Bose have also met their fate - good or bad - through script writer and movie director. Others waiting for their turn are Babu Genu, Chaphekar Bandhu and Madanlal Dhingra.

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