24 hours. 86,400 seconds and a man has to think hard to recollect what momentous events took place before jotting them down. Such is the mad rush of life that we lose out on moments while toiling hard for future.
Heard something that's unheard of. Opposition parties are rallying together to get the incumbent Chief Justice of the Supreme Court impeached. The tipping point was the dismissal of a batch of Public Interest Litigations into BH Loya death case. Loya was the judge trying Sohrabbuddin encounter case and had summoned BJP top honcho Amit Shah to court days before his death. His sudden demise thereafter set the rumours mills into overdrive. The PILs were aimed at moving the court to direct an impartial probe into the death. There were other issues as well. A few months ago, four of the seniormost judges came out in the open, crying foul over the manner cases were being allocated to judges. Their contention was that matters of grave import were being assigned to pliant judges and thus judicial system was being hacked. This is one of of the many allegations Chief Justice is beset with. Now, the opposition has to build a consensus within the ranks to get support to their Impeachment Motion. The last time I saw an impeachment proceeding was around 10 years ago when Soumitra Sen was hauled over the coals for embezzlement. It was a great sight, particularly because in school I had read an essay titled: The Impeachment of Warren Hastings. The language was crafty, pregnant with deep meanings and irresistibly ornate.
Anyway, watched a beautiful movie: The Professionals. Lee Marvin, as always, was brilliant as was Burt Lancaster. The duo has a screen presence that would put to shame most of the current-day stars. I don't think anybody apart from Daniel Day-Lewis today has the charisma and grace to match the stars like Lee Marvin, James Stewart or Peter O'Toole. The quality of cinema too has declined owing to agenda taking precedence over plot. Imagine a movie like The Professionals being made today. The search-and-rescue mission would have so many propaganda materials that one would easily forget what the plot was. Much like the Proteas cricket team, the directors today have to draw fixed number of players from a diverse talent pools. The result: many a deserving candidate loses out on a part tailor made for him.
Had a discussion with a movie-buff colleague. He was of the opinion that any entertainment is art and vice versa. However, I did not think his arguments held much merit. If I were to go by his definition, all filthy fare the directors throw at us is art. He believed that instead of drawing a distinction between art and entertainment, it would be advisable to categorise art as good or bad. This way, we would be treated to a fare that suits our taste. What I think is categorising art based on individual taste would be a myopic solution. Not all persons are trained to be connoisseurs. So it stands to reason that training is imperative in acquiring a taste and appreciating its merits. Now, if one were to be egalitarian in awarding the status of art to any work, would not such an act be discriminating against a work of higher order? Now, suppose we were to tag the work as good or bad, would not such a categorisation be a manifestation of our individual perception? Now, if our perception is not based on training and taste, would not we be doing a shoddy job? Now suppose, we differentiate between art and entertainment. We are limiting the scope of criticism to two disparate fields. Once such a differentiation is effected, specialisation and elevation come naturally and there is a convergence of domain-specific talent, making the job of a critic all the more easy.
Am planning to read Orwell's 1984. The current situation in India is much like what he predicted 134 years ago. How was Orwell to know that his imaginations would have prophetic value and people would reel under the authoritative diktats of a section so disconnected from masses that their reality is as dangerous as it is obnoxious. World over people with scant regard for humanity weild the sceptre of authority. The hapless minority that did not elect them has to bear the brunt of the majority's autocracy. So much for democracy.