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A Passage to India

February 18, 2013

Seeing this much talked-about picture some 20 years after it’s made i guess.

Hero: Victor Banerjee

Even in this 21st century its not any strange that the British and we Indians wouldn’t trust each other.  For the former who ruled the colonies Indians are inferior always.  For us Indians, the British will remain invaders and looters  – as we prefer to overlook what all positive changes and progress they brought with them to the sub-continent.  The mistrust is inevitable.

So the story is very much predictable.  What irritates me most about the picture is the chaos and crowds they show as present in India in 1920s/30s/40s.  This picture probably showcases the ‘Quit India’ period.  I live in a big city in India, and to my knowledge i am seeing so much pestering crowds everywhere in this country only since 1990s.   It took that much time for our burgeoning ballooning population actually to show up in such a mind-boggling multitude in pictures atleast!   Because i have pictures of my city in ’60s, ’70s.  Look at even Bombay in 1980s, many of the arterial roads still remain deserted in mid noon.   In 1940s our population was in 30 millions which was still on the higher side.  In 1980s, India much later after partition, was already an 800 million strong population.  Still this mammoth figure did not warrant the sort of crowds in our railway stations the way its shown in Chandrapur in this picture in 1942.  Its not correct somehow.  Looks like the picture was made with a pre-determined subject, image on India, to me.

On second thoughts, this Chandrapur which is in West Bengal could have been that way after all?  Got it mixed up with the one in Maharashtra but the bengali connection in the picture helped in straightening facts.   Given the population of today’s Bangladesh bursting at  seams, why must i be suprised or shocked or angered that Chandrapur must be shown the way it is in this picture?

After all, most Indian cities/towns have now degenerated to this general chaotic condition in the present day, even if they weren’t so up until the eighties.  Hmmm…

Did not find the film engrossing enough – forced myself to see it because it has always been in the news.

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