Lal Singh Chaddha, Power Of Social Media Trolls And India@75

Aamir Khan’s long awaited comeback movie, Lal Singh Chaddha (LSC) finally released on 11th August 2022. Aamir’s last movie, Thugs of Hindustan released in 2018 and was an instant disaster. I didn’t watch it. After that his next movie was announced as official adaptation of 1994 multiple Academy Awards winning movie Forrest Gump. The Indian adaptation is done by Atul Kulkarni who is a very fine actor himself.

The project was 14 years in the making, of which the first 8 years were spent in getting the rights of Hollywood movie to make official remake. Then it took another 4 years to make and then another 2 years of delay because of COVID.

Meanwhile, a lot of water had flown under the bridge. Aamir Khan’s PK released in 2014 and it created a lot of splutter. Remember, this was the year when India as we knew changed for the worse. It was the beginning of Hindu Taliban i.e. Modi regime.

Aamir’s take in movie PK about god in general caused a lot of backlash. Especially fanatic Hindus were offended a lot (they get offended for anything!).

So there was a lot of grudge, in fact hatred against Aamir. He had also said few things about 2002 Godhra riots and state of India post 2014 which had not gone down well with Modi Bhakts.

Between 2014 and 2022 Bhakts have gone insane, backed by perpetual political victories and a propaganda machinery which includes the entire mainstream media (now known as Godi media).

So when LSC promotions started, Bhakts started trending #BoycottLalSinghChaddha. Tweets like below called for downrating LSC on IMDb – the world’s most popular movie database.

These trolls didn’t exist in vacuum,; RSS and BJP leaders actively supported them and accused Aamir Khan of being anti-national and much more.

The power of these Social Media Trolls has reached such a scale that even before the movie was releases, LSC’s IMDb rating had plummeted to 1 out of 10 (rating of Aamir Khan’s “3 Idiots” is more than 8.5!). It then recovered to 3-3.5 after movie was released.

My friends and I had booked tickets of 9 PM show on the first day (11th August). At around 6 PM we got a call from the Manager of cinema hall that the 9 PM show had been cancelled due to “technical fault in projector”. Of course that was a nonsense reason. It was probably cancelled because there were very few tickets sold. The boycott call was succeeding. There were reports of similar cancellation across India.

A BJP friend told that some fanatics among them book tickets en masse and then cancel the bookings (with maybe significant deductions) so that the theatre owners don’t find it feasible to run the shows. So much hatred!

Anyways, after 9 PM show was cancelled we quickly decided to go for 8:15 PM show. Time was less but we made it.

First 8-10 mins of movie is spent on disclaimers and disclosures. In fact Atul Kulkarni has read out the entire text while it is displayed on screen. So much care had to be taken about not hurting anybody’s sentiments!

Little did they know that the sentiments of idiot Sanghis get hurt for no reason, no matter what you do.

The movie is decent. I have seen Forrest Gump and to be honest I didn’t think it was such a classic. It meant a lot for the US when it was released, since it contains many iconic events weaves into the story of Forest Gump.

The Indian adaptation has attempted the same by including important events in India in 1970’s/80’s and 90’s. However the events have not been made integral part of the story. They come and go like an independent recap of history.

The weakest link of the movie is Aamir Khan himself. His Sikh character talking Punjabi looks strained. His facial expressions as young Lal Singh seem extension of his PK character. However, overall it’s not as bad.

Kareena Kapoor performs her part well! She has really grown up as actress.

However, both Kareena and Aamir look jaded. And the digital de-aging to show them teenagers and in their 20’s looks artificial (not fake).

Lal Singh’s mom played by Mona Singh does excellent job! Others are also good in their roles. A couple of songs are really good, but the others drag. Overall the movie seems a long drain – at least 30 mins too long.

Having said all this, the main point is that the movie is not as bad to get rating of 2 or 3 out of 10.

And this brings me to the last point of India@75. Tomorrow India celebrated 75th year of Independence. However, the country has been completely ruined by the fanatic Hindutva ideology (which I call as Hindu Taliban) and the damage seems to be irreversible in near future.

An entire generation of people has been corrupted – especially young minds and middle class.

My personal life has completely changed after 2019 (changed a bit since 2014, but a lot more after 2019).

I no longer allow any Sanghi to be part of my life. The old ones remain but the level of interaction is minimal, and without and personal connect. And they include friends and family too.

I do not know if India will again become free from the fascist RSS and if it happens, by when (2024/2029/2034?).

Irrespective of “if and when” that happens, I have decided how to live my life – whom to allow in my life and who all to be kicked out.

Some old contacts have shown their Sanghi side slowly. So they get (and will continue to get) booted as and when they “come out of closet”. All other good qualities will be undone (in my mind) if they happen to be Sanghi and/or Modi Bhakt. That’s why I don’t like Lata Mangeshkar anymore, neither do I like Ratan Tata.

I feel extremely content (not necessarily happy) now-a-days because I have started living my life exactly the way I wanted! I strive for betterment, but I don’t tolerate and put up with other people’s nonsense anymore.

I really feel “free” now!

Tomorrow (15th August) also happens to be a very memorable day for me personally, a day which had great significance few years preceding 2014. Now that also has lost its meaning. The memories are intact, the person has vanished. That’s also an eventuality I have learned to live with. The memories will remain till I cling on to them artificially (through documented artefacts). Some day that too will end.

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