Madhuri, Modi and Mockery!

Zamir  Ahmad
There is an interesting thing about the people of Pakistan. They just cannot stop loving Indian films and film stars. One of the common questions faced by Indians on a trip to Pakistan is; Kya aap Shahrukh Khan se miley hein? One of my friends on a visit to his relatives there was asked, Madhuri Dixit ka ghar aap k ghar se kitni duur hai? If that be the state of the fantasy one can excuse the Pakistani public of coining that famous slogan which shook the earth beneath our feet in the heydays of armed resistance. No, it was not a strategic climb down from their stated position of providing ‘moral, political and diplomatic’ support to rag tag freedom fighter groups in Kashmir. It was about an offer of a trade off: Madhuri De dou; Kashmir ley lo.
The real tensions between the two squabbling neighbors get a hilarious turn when they are portrayed through the reel medium. The movies made on the subject in Bollywood have a singular theme. The guy has to be from India while as the girl who falls for the guy must be from across the border. Also, a one man army from this side will single handedly vanquish battalions together of the army on the other side. People who are fed up with these kinds of ultra-patriotic spicy films were in for a comic relief when another Madhuri hit the headlines for all wrong reasons. This was a high ranking woman officer who had compromised her position and that of her country by liaising in a manner that was not her mandate. The reported ‘dialogues’ she delivered on being identified, recalled and arrested would make a plot for an another movie. Imagine a Subhash Ghai Flicker titled, ‘Gaddar’ with a tag line: ‘It took them two years to find her’!!!. Since film making is a time consuming process the national news channels known for dramatic and animated versions of ‘no-news’ have already lapped up the idea. There was this ‘exclusive’ programme running on a news channel the other day. It was named Gaddar Ki Hansi and the news anchor hollering at the top of his voice could be heard asking, ‘Kya raaz hai iss hansi k peechay’.
Speaking of news channels, it seems quite amazing that the news about Lalit Modi is now not even a ticker on our TV screens. The Grand Finale of the IPL series coincided mysteriously with Lalit Modi being taken off the all news channels. Even the political leaders who had gone super-active overnight on Modi seem to have taken a retreat. Even the IT and ED government officials are not seen raiding, sorry surveying, the offices of companies connected to IPL. What did Modi do overnight to stave off all attention from him. One reason —and quite a plausible reason given Modi’s event management skills—would be that all the brouhaha about Modi was orchestratred by the man himself. May be he had signed a management contract with the news channels for increasing their TRPs during the IPL season. One way or the other it was another feather in the cap of Modi to ensure good TRPs to otherwise drab news channels because of his League. A master marketer he surely  is.
On another note, why is it that all major happenings in the mainland have a Kashmir connection. While Sunanda Pushkar ensured that Bomai gets a prominent place in contemporary history, it was Madhuri Gupta and her car with Pakistani license plates that made Rajouri a place to be remembered. For some time at least. Till next IPL season maybe. Or till a new “Gaddar” is made.

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