The latest issue March 2006 of 'Society' a magazine from the Magna stable of publications,which includes among others Stardust,Savvy, Health and Nutrition, featured a story 'Brave Heart' on Kavita Gadgil.
Who is Kavita Gadgil? Unfair Question.
Considering it was her real life story that inspired Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra to make his film "Rang De Basanti". While Mehra is currrently raking in the millions and being showered with accolades ,Kavita Gadgil awaits the promised call. Her martyred son Abhijit Gadgil,an IAf pilot whose death in a MiG aircraft on September 17th 2001, was the focal point of the film.
'Society' informs that not only has her name been conveniently erased from the credits, Mehra has never mentioned her contribution to the film. She had many offers from people to make a film on the issue. Mehra met her with the same intention. She shared her experience with him in complete trust and faith. Perhaps hoping that she could probably organise a charity show for her trust "Abhijit Safety Foundation Trust".
'Society'further says that Mehra had requested her not to speak to the media till the release of the film. After which there was no contact.Throughout she had been totally unaware of the making of the film. She was informed by friends that the film was based on her. So much so she was finally not even sent a couple of tickets for the preview.
Is it any wonder then that she has not seen the film? No wonder , but definitely a shame. The callous behaviour meted out to her is telling of those to whom making mega bucks or tasting success propogating hypocritical values of patriotism is of primary consideration, over and above honouring a simple promise made to a bereaved mother, whose life has been encapsulated, emotions have been exploited for personal benefit and she has been left to whimper. As if the cruel blow fate had already dealt her in the loss of her (only?) son was not tragic enough!
RDB has been successful in capturing the imagination of gullible audiences, vulnerable to the message of rebelling against a system which so far had only served to prove their impotence to circumstances they recoiled at with disgust.
Kavita Gadgil has been narrated the climax. The magazine quotes her as saying "the climax of the film is not right.Violence is not the answer to anything. You are misguiding the youth. There is a proper way to fight the system. Killing doesn't solve anything".
One fails to understand the apathy towards this mother from the film makers. Her needs were few and well deserved. Simple and unpretentious in fact. Naiivete was her undoing. Had she been savvier, not only would she have cut out a sizable piece of the pie, but might have managed to managed to whip up enough resources to lay the foundation for the trust which she is toiling to inaugurate on April 26th, Abhijits birthday.
Her husband , the magazine quotes consoles her with the following words 'theirs is a make believe world and this is common to them'. Ironic, that those who in real life play with the sentiments of others, claim to be professionals in the business of creating sensitive films! The scenes portraying Waheeeda rehman, who assayed the role of kavita Gadgil, had been milked of every emotion to gain the mileage required. Audience wept copiously, while the makers satisfied with their talent to metamorph a brilliant real life story with such authentic ingenuity into their script, revelled in glory and adulation, with the real Kavita gadgil left probably crying silently in her home.
Somebody ought to tap them on the shoulder and remind them that the 'use and discard' methodology they appear to have adopted, should have been restricted solely to tetra packs!! Humans deserve better.
Not one to give up, Kavita is busy raising funds for the memorial for soldiers who have been forgotten. Her way of showing them respect, she says. For her personally though,life extends from one sunday of the year to the next when she diligently goes down to Rajasthan the crash site, with water, flowers and a candle to light, in memory of her son Abhijit Gadgil.
A bitter taste, yellow stance.. not so Basanti after all!!
Cross posted at Desicritics Sepia mutiny DesiPundit