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Monday, October 2

Gandhigiri : The new FMCG

I loved 'Lagey Raho Munnabhai' like most of us. I felt Rajkumar Hirani in a brilliant script had managed to tell the nation the dust laden, boring story of Gandhian values and tactics in a refreshing, relatable manner.

However, there was always a danger in using the symbolism and solutions of an era without regard to the original context and meaning. Bapu's preachings were radical and simple, but by no means simplistic. And more importantly they were directed against the might of the British Empire. Against larger goals and ideals.

In the first wave of lip-service since independence, the political class embossed Gandhi on currency notes, enshrined him on chauraha statues and enslaved Bapu in the police station photo frames with complete disregard to the actual values and thinking!

And post LRM, the media I believe has started another wave/ fad of 'gandhi-distortion'. Between, Hirani's brilliant film a month back and Gandhigiri Divas celebrated on at least two FM radio channels today, the FMCG-sation of Bapu is in full swing!

Expect more of the following stuff...
- Gandhigiri roses to win back your girl-friend/boy-friend( actual prescription on an FM radio channel.
- New improved Gandhigiri detergent to quickly wash off sins along with stains
- Gandhigiri vests as the honest inner protection gear!
- the Gandhigiri make-over contest sponsored by a mens fairness cream
(Brand tagline : Fair Cream, Fair Values)
- a 360 degree extension : Gandhigiri tattoos available only at select unisex salons. Offer open till stocks last!
- Tantra T-shirts celebrating the concept of recycling - Gandhi to Gandhigiri!

Unfortunately, mass media in our nation, today can trivialise anything for the sake of TRP and get away with it. And Gandhi is the latest victim.


pooR_Planner said...

The latest buzz, Corporate India will start creating and building awareness on Gandhigiri for the people of India. Event Management Agencies and TV Channels have already been contacted and briefed to build properties based on Gandhigiri. "Bapu Award of the Year for Corporate Excellence" to promote Gandhism in Corporate Thinking and Philosophy, "Gandhigiri of the Year, Award" to recognise path breaking Indian Entrepreneurs, (nominees include Vinod Chadda for his Rs. 15/- worth disposable Khadhi Chaddees)... LRMM - Lage Raho Mass Media ...lage raho ... ;-)

meraj said...

some interesting Gandhi-alligned product thoughts, Mr Sinha. But in a country which is in love with 'holy-cow' phenomena (examples: tagore for bengalis / shivaji for marathis etc...basically cant bear the trivialization of these figures), the commoditisation of Gandhi to the levels of making chaddis/baniyans will be surely banned. also, considering our love for banning things and protesting agaisnt something or the other. but some nice ideas, i must say...

blaiq said...

Soren Kierkegaard says "Once you label me, you negate me."

In a similar fashion, by simply labelling it 'Gandhigiri', the process of discounting it had already begun.

meraj said...

thats because Kierkegaard was a frontrunner of Existentialism, which stemmed from Nihilism and they are all about 'unstereotyping' (if i can use that word)