Baba Log

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Rahul Gandhi at the Congress plenary session mouths a few platitudes and has the whole of the nation (or that’s what the Press wants us to believe) hanging on to every word that emanates from his golden-spoon holding pearl-shaped lips. Congress sycophants beg, plead and cajole Rahul to wield the Anduril Sword and take over from Denethor aka Manmohan Singh, the Queen-appointed Satrap but Rahul, in all humility that supposedly reminds us of his father, refuses to take the offer and instead vows to keep on working as an ordinary Congress worker.

Hell he even sits among the sweaty unwashed Congress cadres as a sign of humility despite repeated entreaties to sit on the throne on the main podium.

I don’t know about you but I am impressed. And jealous. Dammit I wish I had as my family heirloom the undisputed leadership of a national party. And PhDs to keep my seat warm till I “grow up” and a thousand (make it hundred thousand) countrymen prepared to fall at my feet. Not to speak of getting a membership in a club under the “eminent person category” in a snap whereas it takes normal aristrocratic millionaires about 30 years.

Reasons for eminence? Somewhere mixed in my DNA is the DNA of a guy who was one among many who negotiated our freedom.

But I am being unfair to Rahul Gandhi. After all, it’s not that you need “qualifications” to be a politician—-compared to some barely literate people who call themselves MPs, Rahul can read/write and possibly do arithmetic, he looks good in a galabandh, he has not murdered anyone (not that we know of it in any case) and is smart enough never to be caught in a sting operation. Which coming to think of it is what makes him such a good candidate to be a politician—the rich heritage of obfuscating corruption that is his by inheritance.

Remember Bofors? The scandal where noone got caught but everyone knew whose pockets got lined? And boy did VP Singh and the BJP try to dig some dirt—any dirt that could pass off as proof…..but nothing. Circumstantial evidence–plenty. Real evidence—none.

Now that’s pure pedigree class—-not the Khush Hua variety where they proposition women with lewd lines and bargain for a few thousands. That kind of behavior is why Kushwaha is a member of the “Four Friends Boys Club” which does SantoshiMa Pooja while Rahul Gandhi is a member of the Gymkhana.

So yes on second thoughts let me change what I said at the start about Rahul Gandhi being someone who has been foisted on the country on account of his parentage only. (after all this is about politicians so I am allowed to contradict myself) I think Rahul Gandhi does have the requisite”qualifications” to be the leader of free India because it is only because of his pedigree that he has the ideal mix of presentable looks, perfunctory education, rehearsed homilies, family recipes of vanishing currency bills without a trace and a capacity for vacuous verboseness.

Basically, the ideal CV for a someone whose adult life will be spent in saying “Yeh Banana Hain Woh Banana Hain”.

So yes, I do have some nice words for Rajiv. But absolutely none for the worst example of nepotism I see around me—-Uday Chopra. A balding, steroided muscle-bound creep who has the single most moronic grin in the industry after Sanjay Kapoor symbolizes much of what is wrong with the Indian polity and the entertainment industry—a 24 carat lump of talent-dung passing off as an achiever purely on the strength of his last name.

Hold on you say. He is not the only star son out there—–and there are several who can justifiably be said to be the same. But for them the market forces hold sway—being the sons/daughters of actors they can be “launched” with much fanfare but have to ultimately make it on their own (Remember for every Hrittik Roshan, there is one Puru Rajkumar).

However this Uday Chopra is a class on his own just because his dad Yash Chopra runs the most powerful movie production house in India (Yashraj films), has an amazing network of distributors, a snazzy ability to package age-old wine in new eye-pleasing bottles and an acute premonition of what will work and what wont (Okay even he makes mistakes but not as often as everyone else).

This hold his family exerts over the industry puts Uday in an unique position—you want to make a movie under Yashraj banner? Sure. Just cast my son. And the full infrastructure of the production house is behind you.

Uday Chopra who? One of the granite-faced school-kids sprayed with carbide in Yashraj films’ “Mohabbatein” , Uday Chopra had “Made for Television and Game Show” written all over him. Except that he, like Rahul Gandhi, had pedigree. Under Papa’s watchful eye, Sanjay Gadvi (one of the horses in Yashraj’s stable) made “Mere Yaar Ke Shaadi Hain” with Uday Chopra essaying the role of Julia Roberts in “Best Friends Wedding”. Yes I know. Don’t even ask.

After that turkeyed at the BO, you would think that Uday Chopra would become a clapper-boy. No such luck ! Kunal Kohli’s venture under the Yashraj banner “Mujse Dosti Karoge”—-and guess who turned up in a “guest role” like a bad penny.

Uday then tried to go solo with “Charas” and “Supari”—both of which, in the lingo of Rahul Gandhi, lost its deposit at the box office.

Any other actor, after these debacles, would have gone on to play the role of a terrorist who gets bumped off in the first two reels (Puru Rajkumar) or gravitated towards Bhojpuri movies or gone onto twinkle-toed stardom in “Nach Baliye”. That is not if you were Uday Chopra.

Like a jock itch that refuses to go away, he was unleashed in 2003’s megahit Dhoom (Sanjay Gadvi) and delivered his first hit (if you go by the spiel Yash Chopra’s folks put in the trade papers). Of course in a movie which had Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, a lot of cool bikes and Rimi Sen’s Shikdhoom moves it could be argued, with justification, that even if Sanjay Kapoor had played Uday Chopra’s role,”Dhoom”‘s bottomline would have still stayed the same.

“Okay that’s it. No more people to take away Uday’s wooden thunder”—thundered Papa. “My beta wants to act like desi P Diddy—he wants to cavort with busty Babewatch rejects in the West. Now if I like a good papa don’t pay for his aiyashi, then who will? After all Raj Kapoor also gave Rajeev Kapoor some fun in “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”…too bad Raj-saheb died else I am sure he would have given Rajeev the same treatment I give my balding ladla.

So yes where was I ? Oh yes I have to make a movie around my son? Story? Arre ooh Arjun Sablok—-take the plot of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, sex it up a bit, throw in some supposedly “hep dialogue”, introduce a new angle not explored before in Hindi movies i.e post-coital conversations and make a movie. But be careful, my son should get the best babes–okay? He has so much trouble in real life with the hairloss and all—-but this is , as they say, is his “baap ka duniya”. Capiche? ”

“Neil and Nikki”(2005) is made. For the first time, the heroine wears a bra for 70% of the screen time. Let me rephrase that—Tanisha wears just a bra in this movie ( No it’s not a stylish eetsy-bitsy dress—-it’s a bra you see in Walmarts. She wears just that —only for her that is outerwear).

[Author’s note: I intentionally say ” bra you see in Walmarts”. This wasnt even the Victoria’s Secret bras which are way more artistic. Or maybe I am wrong—Tanisha ruined whatever touched her.]

Uday Chopra is at his best (or worst) aping Shahrukh Khan and Tanisha is as soothing as someone rubbing a balloon with her nails.

The biggest tragedy? “Neil and Nikki” is a moderate hit—thanks to the legendary Yash Chopra marketing savvy which means there will be more of Uday Chopra in every home production. If it had been a monumental flop, maybe just maybe, Uday Chopra would have disappeared.

Just like the fact that the Congress needs to be totally decimated all over India in order for them to understand that the reason why they are not the Congress of the 50s is because they have been hijacked by a coterie of corrupt sycophants who have transformed the party from a movement of the people to a bunch of money-hungry asslickers who would like us to believe that the surname Gandhi is some kind of divine mandate to rule.

Alas none of the above is likely to happen—Yashraj will go on giving hits and the Congress will hang on . And we shall end up seeing a whole lot of Uday Chopra and Rahul Gandhi in the years to come.

[Update 1: This post gets mentioned in Mumbai Mirror, January 25 (print edition) as part of their “Blogger’s Park” section. ]

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50 thoughts on “Baba Log

  1. Hey GB
    I somehow get the feeling that you rushed into publishing this one without reading it over. No errors or anything, just seems a bit , umm, disjointed, for want of a right word.

  2. Not quite your usual standard, comrade. Or perhaps my subconscious reacted to the harping on ‘balding’. ‘receding hairline’ et al.

    Rahul is making the right noises. And if you had to choose between him and, say, Dharam Singh … no contest, surely?

    The real problem is that hardly anybody with the right intentions wants to enter politics these days. Obviously the scum floats to the top in the absence of a cleanser.

    Idea – “hum rajneeti ki Harpic banengey!”

    J.A.P.

  3. Nice comparision…

    I dont understand why the Gandhi family is still around… perhaps the same reason as why Uday Chopra is still around as well – god help the country.

    I dont know whats more terrible – watching a Uday Chopra movie or Rahul Gandhi coming to your home for votes…. its a tough one to choose, though I did give a listen to Rahul.

    “bra found at walmart” – LOL – I missed the movie, and frankly, Uday Chopra puts me off – no, not even the most beautifulest women his movies can negate his presence.. unfortunately!

    Keep inkin

    Suyog

  4. Between Rahul and Uday, whom would I choose..Not sure coz I do have the option of not seeing Uday dut do i have the option of not having Rahul thrown upon me as the Prime Minister in waiting.??

  5. On the great indian comedy show … i saw shekhar suman blowing uday chopra in to pieces with his jokes. I guess you did a better job still. I dont know why everyone is after him. Moronic smile ?? At least he has worked on his body a bit.

    and what if he has relied on his papa’a power. One would be a fool not to.

  6. Fail to understand the corelation of Uday and Rahul..yes i agree there are some similarities, but the post lacks the usual crispness that I have got used to expecting from your posts.

    btw, how about giving due to Rahul’s lineage, his oh-so-good looks, and janata friedly approach.

  7. Well that is India for u Arnab. We claim to be a democracy, but in effect we are still stuck in a feudal time wrap.So Rahul Gandhi, can become the next PM, after all he belongs to the Gandhi khandaan, the very Gandhi family that ruined the nation. By the way, the Signora’s long time chamcha HT has come up with a joint poll with IBN led by another chamcha, Rajdeep Sardesai, where the nation wants Signora Sonia to take over the nation and deliver us from misery. And of course you have the Times of India, detailing about Rahul’s good looks. But why just Rahul Gandhi, every Indian political party is a Family Inc, BJD, Samajwadi,RJD,TDP,DMK,Akali Dal. The BJP was the only genuinenly democratic party, but the way its going into self destructive mode, i dont see it recovering for some time.
    Regards Indian movie industry, well its the preserve of the Great Families, but Uday Chopra is a case by himself. I mean we had some bad star sons/daughters thrust on us, but this guy takes the cake. Other great contenders for the star brat pack are Kareena Kapoor, Fardeen Khan,Zayed Khan. If these jocks didnt have the surname prefixed to em, they wouldnt even have got a side role too.
    Do u see one thing the only fields were India has been able to do well are the ones free of fedualism and nepotism. IT,the Defence,some Indian firms. And yes many of those Indian family firms, which flourished in the heydays of the licence permit raj, have been swept away by globalization.
    But all said and done, whatever izations we have, its a fact that some Indians are more equal than others. Salman Khan, BMW case, Pataudi, Prasad Bidappa every rich and famous Indian has been allowed to subvert the law to get off.

  8. i still think its not really that apt a comparison…unforunately people as audience are more aware of their ‘rights’ than people as citizens…they don’t mind booing out an actor… they will be merciless in criticising an actor or a film because they didn’t get their money’s worth (so what if they have paid only 35 rs at gaeity galaxy type hall…paisa vasool is paisa vasool) but they don’t raelly don’t have a voice if their hard money(via taxes etc) is being wasted by the politicians…
    uday chopra might be forgotten or he might resurrect himself (tabu in ruk ruk ruk and tabu in maachis…saif in ole ole ole and saif in ek haseena thi) but rahul baba with hsi polished angreziyat is here to stay till he has a blue eyed pink lipped son to take over…

  9. You are losing it a bit here pal. The flow did not come out well and the point was diluted in the verbiage. Started off with Rahul Gandhi and ended with Aditya Chopra without rounding off any of the points. I think you overdid the sarcasm bit and ignored the content….

  10. Bhalo hoyechhe. Tomaar usual standard theke ektu kom moja hoyechhe aar arguments gulo o ektu polish dorkar. Kintu on the whole I liked it because of the inherent idea in it. Actually seeing Mr. Gandhi on the TV made me think exactly what you said.

  11. last time I checked we were still a free country. We can choose which movies to watch and which politicians to vote for.

    It is natural for a Doctor’s son to aspire to be a Doctor, as human beings we tend to follow examples and most of the times those examples happen to be people who are very close to you.

    We wouldn’t have even known J.D.Tata, Nehru, Bajaj, Birla or Raj Kapoor if it were not for their “family connection”.

    P.S: You missed the great actor Kishen Kumar, brother of Gulshan Kumar :p

  12. I’m sorry but I am confused. We are usually the first ones to complain about the quality of politicians in the country, and then we also are the first ones to run down someone even before he’s become a full fledged politician, just on the basis of his surname? I fail to spot any objectivity in all this.

    The same comments were made for his father at one time, and he went on to become a reasonably good, if naive. politician. I’m sure that Rahul Gandhi is better than the Amar Singhs and Mulayam Yadavs of the political world no? Why damn him because he happens to be a Gandhi?

    Also remember that a surname can get you a start but nothing more than that. Market forces (people’s will) defeated Rajiv Gandhi in elections. Similarly, they ensured that a Randhir or Rajeev Kapoor didn’t go on to torture us with their “performances” for long, regardless of their surname. Neither did the surname make Rohan Gavaskar or Sanjay Manjeraker great cricketers. If Rahul Gandhi is not up to it, he will similarly fail.

    I get the feeling that it is the possibility of Rahul Gandhi’s success that is bothering Arnab more that anything else, because that success will come at the cost of his favourite politicians, if there are any.

  13. HAHAHAHAHA…ZAT was AMAZING GB.. Zat was Amazing. First time I saw Uday Chopra, i couldn’t make up my mind whether he looked like a hardened (post very dry food) dung or a Hammer.

    Lets give Rahul some time though.

  14. “Uday Chopra. A balding, steroided muscle-bound creep who has the single most moronic grin in the industry after Sanjay Kapoor” – Totally agree with you pal… Guess who sees movies these kinda creeps act in… Just to add to the list – Armaan Kohli.. Kishen Kumar..

  15. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Not up to your usual standard it seems.

    Just when it seemed like good old bitchfests about a really sucky movie had been relegated to the “politically incorrect” category, you come up with an absolute gem.

    Sigh…what I wouldn’t give for such reviews in newspapers…

  16. Since many of you have made similar criticisms of the post, let me answer to all of you in common.

    1. Many of you have raised objections to the style—saying it was not upto standard. Needless to say I accept your criticism but would have been happier with more feedback and a reason “why”.

    2. Even more have raised objections about the content. That is much more easily handled. No I am not loading up my shotgun or taking out my wig. Merely attempting to counter what you said.

    a) Rahul Gandhi is better than Dharam Singh.

    I beg to differ. There is little to choose between them. Just because RG is easier on the eyes and has pretensions to intellectualism doesnt make him a “better politician”. If at all, Dharam Singh has worked his way up from the bottom—knowing full well when he started politics that he could end up as a cadre. (ie he took a risk) However Rahul Gandhi, the day he clutched a feeding bottle, was the PM-in-waiting—now do you think that makes him a better politician?

    b) We should give opportunities to young people.

    Rahul Gandhi is “young” only year-wise. What he symbolizes—the cult of the personality–is as old as the hills. In this context, RG represents everything that is wrong with the Congress culture (which has been adopted by other parties also).

    I would think that the party floated by the IIT guys in Jodhpur is more on the lines of “young people in politics”—they may be naive and idealistic, but give me such people than 10 Rahul Gandhis who think that the country is their birthright. (And please do not be taken in by the mock humility that is being shown—RG fully knows the power he wields)

    c) There is no relation between RG and Uday Chopra.

    I fail to see why the connection is not obvious. I really dont

    d) Uday Chopra’s longevity is guided by the “market”. So is Rahul Gandhi’s.

    Not exactly. The market so as to say has already spoken against UC. But in an industry like Bollywood where there is little choice (I mean face it how many people can match Yash Chopra’s clout and film making savvy), the rules of the market arent applicable in full force. In other words it is a restricted, quasi-monopoly market where quality isnt usually the winner.Similarly in Indian politicis, our choices are indeed restricted—to put it mildly.


    e)Its a democratic society. If people dont like RG then fine he will lose elections. If people dont like UC they dont watch his movies. Simple

    Similar to the last point. The problem is if you want to reject RG you will also have to reject some fine people like Manmohan Singh. I dont think Dharam Singh is going to last long on the power seat because of his lack of charisma—one person who has the potential to become big is our friendly mass-murderer Narendra Modi. Against such a person, you need people like Dr. Singh. Hence you will have to vote for the Congress. And in the melee, RG will be foisted upon you—-in other words you cannot reject him even if you want.

    When Rajiv Gandhi became PM, he went over the heads of many others (eg Pronob Mukherjee) who were in the wings just because of his name. After Bofors, Rajiv Gandhi’s hold over the party weakened (VP Singh and Arun Nehru revolted) and Narasimha Rao emerged as a strong power center inside the party. However thanks to the endearing Congress culture, Rajiv Gandhi and his cronies effectively stymied all attempts at intra-party democracy —which is why even after RG had become a liability he still remained the Congress chief.
    Rao was a much cannier politician and a performer too (as his subsequent stint proved) but as long as Rajiv Gandhi was alive, he was nothing more than a glorified errand-boy.

    When Sonia Gandhi again took power Sitaram Kesri (loyalist-turned-alternative-power-center) had to be locked in a room during the “elections”……and this is the culture that you people are supporting ? Choice? I dont see it anywhere.

    Similarly if you decide not to watch Uday Chopra, you will miss seeing Abhishek, Hrittik and Ash in Dhoom 2…now will you do that? No you will see Dhoom 2 and Uday CHopra will get a boost on the shoulders of the “deserving superstars” (just like RG will ride on the shoulders of people like Dr. Singh). Now is this how the “market” works?

    In conclusion, with RG and UC…you have no choice. You *have* to put up with them.

    @Supremus: Love the “Keep inkin” line.

    @Ratnakar: Valid points.

    @ Anthony and Manisha: Thanks

    @Shan: You are right. You got me. I am plugging for my favorite politician by bringing down RG. Just tell me who my favorite politician is—cause I dont know it myself.

    @Bablu: Added.

    @Shrik: You are right. That was a movie review in disguise. Pity not everyone got that.

  17. Hi Arnab,you are absolutely right. Not only that ‘baba-log’ prosper at the cost of more deserving people, they are also recognised as ‘good ones’ because of their clout and network. Just see, Saif Ali Khan winning National Award. Compare him with our Mithun-da in Swami Vivekanada (as Ramakrishna Pramahansa) or Tahader Katha, you get depressed.
    I think there are two reasons why such people thrive.
    (1) Our own lethargy as a society in finding and valuing quality. We are too lazy to find and appreciate deserving people and hence meritocracy is a remote ‘dream’ in India.
    (2) Due to this lethargy, we create ‘halos’ around some people. E.g. if you are a ‘Gandhi’, you are PM material. If you are a ‘Chopra’, you are hugely talented!
    This was a nice post. Although in criticising UC and RG, you have comromised with the theme, i guess. You could have elaborated a bit more on ‘baba-log’ theme in general. But still, an excellent post!

  18. GB: You wrote ” bra you see in Walmarts.—wasnt even the Victoria’s Secret bras”. Your analogy is fantastic!! Got to admit that you have experience in even bras!! But please don’t use breast feeding for analogy.

    Anil: You wrote ‘It is natural for a Doctor’s son to aspire to be a Doctor’. I disagree with your observation. It is usually the father Doc/lawyer who wants his son to be another doc/lawyer so that the he can hand over the warm gaddi to his son. The same reason why Rajiv Gandhi was inducted into politics is being used by Rahul’s mother – to keep the gaddi warm.

  19. Am I glad you brought this up. I first saw ‘Mere Yaar ki shaadi hai’and thought he looked and acted so gay. He would do well as a gay villian who gets plastered toward the end of te movie…by the lead actress. Here’s how it should be:

    Cast
    Hero: Arjun Ramphal
    Heroine:Isha Koppikar
    Villan: Uday Chopra

    Scene
    Uday chopra the gay self-procliamed don of Goa’s underworld has failed miserably and is awaiting judgement at the hands of Arjun. Arjun says that it is beneath his dignity to fight a she-man and that punishment at a woman’s hands ( and legs) should suffice. Isha Koppikar then charges at Uday and beats Uday black and blue and pink. Uday howls in gay terror. Arjun and his friends laugh out loud as the credits roll by…

    Please god, someone make this happen and end the travesty of Uday Chopra

  20. @yourfan:you said “It is usually the father Doc/lawyer who wants his son to be another doc/lawyer so that the he can hand over the warm gaddi to his son.”

    Well, I have to disagree with your disagreement, I bet you are what you are today because you chose to be that and not you father. I am pretty sure that your parents had their own ideas for you(like mine had).

    As I said earlier, as children we want to grow up to be just like the people we admire, in some cases they are sport stars and movie stars and in other cases they happen to be the people you know best, like those in your own family.

    I have two cousins who went on to join the armed forces despite their father(an Army man himself) not wanting them to do so and as far as I know the only reason they joined was because they wanted to be just like their father.

  21. Bollywood has touched a shocking new low because of these “star kids” : Zayed,shahid,vivek..oops viveik,eesha..the list goes on…

    Basically , these kids have no idea of hardship,havent seen the world and cannot relate to a common man’s life..Small wonder then,that their acting cannot be identified with..all they do is pump muscle ,wear designer clothes,learn to dance…
    Where’s the class ?

    Why dont you write a piece on these jokers who change their names in the hope that they might get a hit???Some acting ability…

  22. you are absolutly right GB.
    it was more sickening to see the politicians praising him(RG) like anything(even matured ones).
    i had always wondered how brits numbering few thousands ruled 30 crore people for 300 years. i got the answer.

  23. Arnab, so what you are actually objecting to the few people you personally don’t like, right? You don’t have an aversion to watching Hrithik or Abhishek, even if they also belong to same baba log group. But since you despise Uday, you will call into question his raison d’etre. I have the same aversion to Salman Khan, but unlike you I fully support his right to act in films.

    As for Rahul Gandhi, similarly, I fully support his right to join whatever profession he chooses. Whether he has actually chosen it or has been emotionally blackmailed by his mother to do so is a question only they can answer, not you or I. Our job is to judge him on the basis of performance.

    Oh, and please don’t blame Rajiv Gandhi for happening to be more popular in the party compared to Pronob Mukherjee. If this was such a travesty, why didn’t anyone raise a voice then? And PV Narsimha Rao? You mean the “canny” politician who was indicted for paying bribes? Please. Your hatred for the Gandhi family (like all good leftists)is really obfuscating your objectivity.

    And I don’t really have an answer to the question I raised i.e. Rahul rising at whose cost. I was hoping you’d supply some names – some viable alternatives to Rahul who you support. At least one person who is young and has the potential to lead the Congress. I am sure you’d know someone, because I sure don’t.

  24. Rahulbaba’s educational qualifications are certainly more impressive than a majority of Indian Prime Ministers. He did manage to get into St. Stephens (on the table tennis quota) and picked up degrees from Harvard and Cambridge. Besides having Rahul as PM may mean we have an uber hot smouldering South American beauty as Prime Minister one day.

    Loved the Uday Chopra demolition. But is he worse than Tusshar Kapoor and Ritesh Deshmukh?

  25. At least someone like Hrithik could have made it on his own, agreed, with a lot more hardships. But UC…
    As for RahulG, he is a demented fellow. Time will show, mark my words.

    And what’s wrong with NModi? He’s not corrupt and he is super-efficient. Vote NModi for PM.

  26. I had stated the same point in response to your post on caste.If Indians are shameless in propogating their progency, then is there any option other than reservations for most lower caste people if they want economic mobility?

  27. Kandarp, ur right there. Take a look at all the fields where we have managed to achieve some standard IT, Advertising,Management,Defence, Sports(to some extent).
    Why because in all these fields, its what you are that matters,not who you are?
    Many keep criticizing about fallouts of IT revolution, but you cant deny a basic fact, that many people made it on their own in this field, unlike the good ole days, where you needed a recommendation letter to get a job or u had to know some one.
    Unfortunately in Politics and Bollywood, we are still in the same feudal mode. Actually Bollywood is somewhat better, its worse down South in Tollywood where we have to put up with every 3rd rate heroes just because they happen to be some one’s son.
    We need to democratize every aspect of India and get rid of the cookie cutter mentality, else as a nation we will remain 3rd Rate.

  28. God darn it that was hitting the nail on the head as usual GB.

    btw i dont care whether that Gandhi ka bacha rahul makes it or not but this uday chopra has to go down, he is irritating.

  29. honestly this is one post of urs that was simply OK and not rocking as it usually is… Maybe you picked on the wrong targets or you needed more targets and divide the joke between em. I mean, cmon Uday Chopra, no matter what you say is a good actor (leaving out Neal N Nikki & Mujhse Dosti Karoge). Rahul Gandhi is kinda a hero in politics (atleast physically) if u compare him with the likes of the other fat, ugly, illiterate politicians.

  30. @kandarp: I suppose many of us havent gotten over our feudal mindset that a son must follow in his father’s footsteps and somehow being his father’s son gives him an advantage as compared to other people.

    @yourfan: :-)…as you can see I keep my eyes open and cultivate expertise that may/is of use. And damn I was going to use that metaphor for a forthcoming post about the “welfare state”. 🙂

    @Gokul: Bingo. Gay men look good—cant even dignify Uday Chopra by calling him that. He is more than a bit effeminate though—considering the faux masculinity his physical presence conveys.

    @Anil: Supporting yourfan, I can say that what she said has nothing to do with children being inspired by their father. That as you point out is natural—as per the example of your cousins. But tell me, when they joined the Army did the fact that their father was of Rank say X give them the right to skip basic training and become of Rank X just because their father was one? That to me is the proper analogy with RG.

    @Anon1: Transporting that to the RG arguement, does Rahul gandhi have any idea as to what the problems of a “common man” are ? Does he have any experience working at the grass roots level as a nobody (remember whenever he goes to shake hands with his constituents, he already *is* royalty). Does he know how it feels to be rounded by the cops and getting hit by lathis? No. He has no idea of the common man, no idea of political struggle, no idea of good/bad politicial decisions and yet he is supposed to be the leader of the INC.

    @Adi: Our feudal mindset. And our meekness in being ruled by an assertive few.

    @Shan: Nobody raised a voice because there are too many Indians programmed with a feudal mindset. If you bothered to read through what I wrote, I never said that Rahul Gandhi does not have the “right” to go into politics. What I said is that it is unfair to be given the leadership of the party at 35 just because of who his father/mother is. I hope you can understand the difference.

    But I would think not. Because you are bent on getting personal. Not only that, your opinion smacks of regionalism—for instance how did you assume I am Leftist? Just because I am Bengali? Huh? If you would care to read through my archives, you would find posts that attack Leftists/apologists and me getting labelled as a “rightist”.

    In conclusion, the fact that you consider me a leftist and some others consider me a rightist is proof that I am being neutral.

    @Red: I think it was ‘shooting’ quota that got our Baba into St Stephens (yes the irony of Indira Gandhi’s grandson on a ‘shooting’ quota)—I may be wrong. And correction (this one I do know), RG’s gf is Colombian—Junaita is her name. Whether she is hot I know not.

    @Anon2: Modi may be non-corrupt and he may be super efficient but he is also a person who instigated/abetted a most violent attack on the Muslim population on the state. And that makes him unfit to rule a homogenous nation like ours.

    @Anon3: My argument against the caste system was based on the forces of the market. Most industries operate under these rules. However Uday Chopra and Rahul Gandhi do not operate under market conditions —why this is so was the point I made in the comments section. But such a scenario is impossible in say for example the IT industry.

    @Bonatellis: No I almost never read Mumbai Mirror. A reader mailed me with the link.

    @Ratnakar: Agree. In the IT industry, my son cant become the Project manager just because I was.

    @Ripu: Hope so too.

    @Exinator: Whew. I dont know what to say except that if Rahul Gandhi looks good and Uday Chopra can act dont you think they should exchange professions? Dont know which part of the comment I liked better—RG looks good and hence is better than “fat ugly” politicians (then why not make Hrittik Roshan the PM of India–he looks even better than RG) or the part where you said Uday Chopra can act.(I know you left out “Neil and Nikki” and “Mujse Dosti Karoge”, but I am still finding it tough to classify his performance in “Mohabbatein”, “Mere Yaar ki Shaadi”, “Dhoom” as good acting)

  31. @GB: your comment to Shan: “In conclusion, the fact that you consider me a leftist and some others consider me a rightist is proof that I am being neutral.” is just plain superb.

    By the way I take back my request in earlier comment since you mean to use the metaphor for a post on ‘welfare state’. Anything for ‘welfare ’should be encouraged!!! Hence the change of mind.

  32. Land of the Rising Sons and Daughters, Doctors and In-Laws (Illegally):

    Though i should say these are people whose destiny have brought them into such families and their parents have moulded them right from the childhood (at an age where they have no control about how they want to be when they grow up) and now that they are grown up–It is too late to get out of their comfort zone.

    Isha Deol
    Rohan Gavaskar
    Smitha Thackeray
    Pooja Bhat
    Sunny Deol
    Vivek Oberoi
    Indira Gandhi
    Aurangzeb

    And who said RG has a degree from Harvard ? (Rahul’s dad, Rajiv Gandhi, did not complete his studies at Cambridge. Neither did his grandma Indira Gandhi at Oxford’s Somerville College…so you see the lineage..)

  33. Some ignorant people have dragged Rohan Gavaskar into this. Now, that’s when you know people are confusing the real issue. The issue is NOT if these people inherited a legacy, it is about how they are put on a pedestal simply because of it. Rohan Gavaskar worked his butt off to even get into a Ranji team. He had to go to Bengal because Bombay wouldn’t consider him good enough. Please get your facts straight before tarring everyone with the same brush.

  34. I don’t recollect Rahul making a statement on any issue of national importance. Does this 35 year-old, whom the Congress is so keen on thrusting into our faces as the next Leader of the Nation, have any views at all? Does he have any opinions on foreign policy? Or economic growth of the country? Or the uniform civil code? What is his stand on corruption? Or anything!

    The media is as responsible as the politician for the state that the nation is in today. For selling their copies daily, the newspapers and the television channels as the first one to report on Scandals and Personalities but never Issues. Hence a Rahul Gandhi at Hyderabad gets ample coverage but not his sibling Priyanka who was reportedly away watching a cricket match. Politics has been reduced by this family as a profession of convenience. Have time, will serve is the motto. It is rather disappointing that the media who should be acting as a watchdog of democracy has been reduced to a tabloid who is busy reporting who partied where and with whom. The media who should be asking questions on our behalf is too busy serving the communication and promotion needs of its political patrons.

    Maybe we as Indian citizens shouldn’t expect answers to these questions because those in power know that we have short memory spans and we will forget all these by the next general elections! Or maybe not… Remember ‘Leaders’ such as Rahul Gandhi & Co. cannot be thrust upon people and nor can they be created by the surname, the party, the mother or the media! Leaders have to prove themselves worthy to be followed. The first way to do so is to Speak Out!

    http://o3.indiatimes.com/youconfusedmetoo

  35. Can you please write something on Karan Johar (The one who insists on wearing men’s cloths), Aditya Chopra, Suraj Barjatya et.al. on the same lines as you wrote on Uday Chopra?
    I will sponsor you a nice dinner and Beer whenever you come down to Pune. 🙂

  36. for emc3 and the man…
    so now we have a problem with any son or daughter who has a famous father or as in esha deol’s case mother…
    vivek oberoi getting company to act in because he is suresh oberoi’s son sounds dubious to me and his career is not doing that well right now… …he satyed in the lime light because he was seeing a successful actor..so?
    aditya chopra might have got everything on a platter but he made dilwale duhaniya le jayenge with those resources so….
    i don’t think the point here is what all they inherit… they just have better access to resources
    my mother is a lecturer in a college and since i was 12 i have aacess to her library card and therefore the books and even teachers …should i die of guilt?
    we just have a problem with anybody we think has got it easy…
    we all get our certain set of circumstances what we make of them is up to us…
    indira gandhi might hav inherited whatever and her polities and methods maybe be debatable but no one can call her an incapable politician
    same goes for aurangzeb

  37. I am probably the last person to come to know of this great blog…but am making up for lost time by devouring each and every piece that u have written.
    I am no great shakes with the finer points of movies (leave the intellectual analyzing to the more enlightened strata that u seem to belong to) but I feel that u r being a bit unfair here. U C, eventough he has mastered only 3 expressions, does emote at least those well, which cant be said for at least 70%(very optimistic estimate) of the industry now. And he has a decent comic timing which very low number of our top stars have.
    And if u look at the c.m’s of all the states in the country… i dont fell RG will b that bad a bet.
    Case in point is Omar Abdullah.he is one of the most astute political thinker that i have met. Would u shun him also????give them a chance b4 writing ppl off.
    Also the golden spoon is there for every level of society. There is nothing to b sooo irate abt in this. Ur(and mine) parent’s financials ensure u a place, in school and college and the rest of life, that a labourer’s kid can only rant abt like u r doing now.

    I dont know whether the parallel is accuarte but feels so to me.

  38. In my view, their legacy should not be held against them if they have the talent. In films and sports, it is easy to assess ability but what about politicis? There is hardly any perfornace accountability so how does one judge there. The Gandhi name cannot indeed be a divine mandate to rule but what can one expect in a country of emotional people who put personalities over issues.

    Despite writing long, you have the ability to sustain interest. Normally, I yawn looking at such a long write up.

    If only it were possible to know who has what innate talent like you have in writing, it would be easy to determine career paths. Even in management, separating mangaement from ownership is in vogue.

  39. Abbey Arnab,
    Tera itna himmat. Tu janta nahin mera baap kaun hai. Baap ko bolke tereko mere film me undy pahena hua villain na banaya to mera naam Uday nahin.

  40. boy oh boy……u set Uday in his place. And I must say I would hate to be in your bad books. When u get creative I suppose u get very creative. One thing for sure…..now i am definitely gonna watch that N & N movie. I wud like to see just how bad he can get! Thanks for everything that u write. Makes my work day so much more bearable 🙂

  41. Your argument –

    “Not exactly. The market so as to say has already spoken against UC. But in an industry like Bollywood where there is little choice (I mean face it how many people can match Yash Chopra’s clout and film making savvy), the rules of the market arent applicable in full force. In other words it is a restricted, quasi-monopoly market where quality isnt usually the winner.Similarly in Indian politicis, our choices are indeed restricted—to put it mildly”

    is erroneous. UC is not in the baba log category. Comparing a marketing product (films) and a political party is not too valid.

    Uday Chopra has been (i will not use the word ‘starred’) in 9 movies since 2000 (source imdb.com). More than a couple of hundred bollywood movies are released every year. Yashraj films does not have quasi-monopoly but yes i agree the market is not too competitive. They have a good marketing strategy and bargaining power and that is far from monopolistic powers. Yash chopra is promoting his son whose face resembles a monkey’s ass but one has the option – not to watch that ass. You just need to ignore less than 2 (9 movies in 7 years) movies in a year. I do not understand the quasi-monopoly bit at all.

    On other hand, we have the largest (as per number of MPs) indian political party that has no sycophants at all. They (partywallahs) believe somewhere deep in their heart that India always needs a Gandhi like Rajeev and Indira, and of course Sonia to take it through the dangerous times (this is the year of the pig as per Chinese calendar and it would be full of wars, miseries, disasters). Only a Gandhi can solve India’s problems, so they believe. Rahul, ergo can proclaim that to be the PM of India is his birth right.

    We can have a new superhero movie from the yashraj stable – the name would be “Gandhi-baba”. He will solve all the problems and make india a super-duper power (economic and military) in 2 years.

  42. The main difference between the two is that while one’s ascension to power will mean disaster for the entire nation, the others getting chances in his family sponsored movies will at the most mean a headache for the brave few who venture out to watch his movies.

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