Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bombay n Kalifornia

This past week I got to watch one of Maniratnam’s almost-masterpieces Bombay for the nth time, n>>1. (I consider Bombay to be an almost-masterpiece mainly because of the utopian way the movie ended – And Aytha Ezhuthu/Yuva was an extreme in this category) Coming to my topic for this post, the movie left me wondering about what it is that makes a common man participate in the riots? There are fundamentalists on either side, whose actions can be explained in terms of their ideology and the indoctrination they have received. But what about others who were guilty of murder or rape during the riot? Would such people have committed similar crimes sometime in their lives – if they had lived in a riot-free world? I mean, is it just the mob frenzy that got to them? Are people so easily swayed into committing such dastardly crimes?

These thoughts reminded me of a movie I’d seen on Zee MGM in my engineering days. Kalifornia was about a road trip, in which the main character tries to understand what separates serial killers (and murderers in general) and the rest of us? The movie’s thesis is that any one of us would commit a murder when pushed to that limit. What distinguishes the serial killer from any one of us is the lack of remorse in their mind after the commit the crime.

So I wonder if the Mumbai rioters of 1992-93 feel any remorse at all. Or did they just get on with their lives as if nothing unusual happened? Incidentally, I remember a lot was made out of how Mumbai was a resilient city when life sprang back to normal the very next day after the Ghatkopar blasts. Did Mumbai feel equally indifferent soon after the riots as well?

Maybe my friends who’ve just moved into Mumbai will have an answer!

1 Value-adds:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought i was the most vela guy around but looking at your 'insightful' blogs have concluded that i have competition.
Get back to work.


May 23, 2005 12:39 PM  

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