Date:31/01/2009 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2009/01/31/stories/2009013153790300.htm
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Bole tho… Gandhigiri

Gandhigiri is gaining popularity among masses, as it is viewed as an effective tool to tackle the prevailing situation

Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

New trend Gandhi’s ideals are gaining popularity like never before

Sixty one years after we bade a tearful goodbye to our beloved Bapu, his image and ideas continue to impact our lives. Of late, Gandhi has become an icon to the younger generation, all thanks to the concept of Gandhig iri portrayed effectively on the silver screen by actor Sanjay Dutt in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. In the film, the mode he adopted to demonstrate resentment was novel…bole to Gandhigiri. A modern twist to our very own Bapu’s policies of ahimsa and satyagraha is the new mantra.

The real and reel mix of these ideals has been in vogue for sometime now and it appears that the trend is here to stay. Gandhigiri is ‘kewl’ and so it is fast becoming a way of life.

Real life Gandhigiri

When Dutt, playing the role of a goon in Lage Raho Munnabhai, sees images of Gandhi acting as his friend, philosopher and guide at the time of need, it was seen as just another flick to get the box office tingling for raking in the moolah and to tickle the funny bone. Cashing in on the popularity of Gandhigiri in the aftermath of the film’s success, Sanju baba has gone a step further to make a foray in politics and try his hand in real-time Gandhigiri.

The film clearly struck an immediate chord with the masses and many besotted film-goers even began to practice it in their day-to-day life.

Prakash Rao, a retired government employee says: “I was denied payment of pension even after completing all the formalities and paying a bribe to some of the staff personnel. After watching Lage Raho…I knew what should be done. I sat outside the office building for a week without saying a word and my silent protest worked. I was called in and my pension was allotted within no time.”

Srikanth, a tenth class student tried this technique on his teacher. Fed up of being made a scapegoat every time in the classroom, he tried reverse psychology technique on his teacher. “It worked. Baffled by my changed attitude, the teacher has realized the fact. I now enjoy an amazing rapport with her,” he says happily.

The Gandhigiri way of thinking seems to be the most effective tool of the common man today. For housewives like Roopa, Gandhigiri has come in handy to teach the shrewd servant maid a lesson. “Earlier, we would do everything possible to keep her in good humour but she would manage to find excuses. But that is not the case any more thanks to Munna Bhai,” she chuckles.

An elderly man like Sandeep Krishnan who had virtually lost his sleep because of the blaring music emanating from his neighbour’s house, reduced to a den of a bunch of head-banging teens, knew hot to tackle the menace post-Munna Bhai. In sharp contrast to the past practice of storming out and screaming at the youngsters, he stayed calm, went out for a casual walk and flashed a genial smile at the dancing kids before returning home. The music stopped.

If by now you are wondering whether Gandhigiri really works. The best option is to try it out yourself and enjoy the outcome.

HARJEET KAUR ALLAGH

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