In 1975 Sholay was released. There was huge uproar and many resisted viewing the film. The majority of the families said there was violence and children would get affected. There were gory sights of blood bath depicted in the film. Journalists and experts wrote columns after columns about the violence and how it is gory. Many did not allow children to see the film or if taken the violent parts were locally censored by closing their eyes by the parent till the scene is over. The film started with a weak showing but after some days and as months and years passed by picked up on word of mouth and eventually the film turned out to be huge hit and public saw it number of times.
After 40 yrs this film is considered as a classic and is held by all as a good film. Now almost every household opines that the film narrative was so perfect that the depiction of the cruel dacoit and his atrocities on the villagers is a piece of art. Most importantly the general opinion is that the filming was within the limits of sensibilities. Nowadays family members along with children enjoy viewing Sholay. No need is felt by parents to close the eyes as they no longer think there are any objectionable scenes in the movie.
‘Mirzapur’ a popular web serial is currently talked about by everyone. The story is of a don in Uttar Pradesh. The direction and acting in the web serial is superb. It has a story which has everything in it. It has vulgar scenes, foul language, abuses, pervert relations. All scenes are explicit. It leaves nothing for imagination. The story is such that the relations in the serial are used and abused as per the pervert imaginations. In the name of depicting the reflection of society it is full of foul abuses and pervert actions. Still it claims in the disclaimer that it is not real story.
In art when one idea is staged by the artist it is best put in a subtle way so that admirers’ imagination is challenged. We adults know so many things. That does not mean when a story is told everything should be shown in the name of reality. For example, as a society we all know what marriage is and what comes after wedding. We can celebrate the event in a saner way involving the family enjoying it or we can make the marriage a show of pervert ideas in the name of reality and make it a vulgar show.
We don’t mind viewing series like ‘Mirzapur’ and enjoying it. Our excuse is; it is a realistic story. We don’t mind violent computer animation games where young children kill opponents. Even if we were to mind, we are still vulnerable because there is ample and easy availability of adult and violent material at the click of the mouse or at the touch of the mobile screen without any censorship. Youngsters without sensing the negative purport of such actions get addicted. Youngsters start thinking that it is correct to view and act in the name of freedom of expression and right to freedom.
Gradually our sensibilities are getting numb. It is reflected in the society and manifested in many ways. The threshold of audio visual violence absorption of the society is up. Under the barb of artistic privilege and freedom of expression the art world and audio video world is becoming a stage for depicting pervert ideas as art. Society’s outlook is changing. In earlier times what society used to think as sane, civil and simple has become uncool slow and unpopular. This is the world of instant gratification. Getting fast results, in satisfying the senses, instant, uninhibited and ample has become normal. Doing anything for two minutes popularity is the in thing. Good or bad regardless. The old stories and films are bore because they are slow. What we want is the end result. We are not interested in the process. Earlier, in the literature, the story used to unfold slowly. The reader used to exercise his imagination. Savor the plot. Now, it is always what next. We have the fast forward button with us. Rush up the tele series. Know the end. In relationship we desire to jump to next instead of relishing the present moment. That’s the norm now.
This happens with almost everyone. It is not that some are like this and others are not. More or less whole society’s outlook is shifting towards instant gratification, fast life and increased threshold for tolerance towards violence, perverseness in real and digital life. What was livid, vulgar and violent yesterday is cool, artistic and real today.
This is nothing new! This is generation gap. Each generation is progressive modern. Each generation seeks more empowerment and freedom. Every generation thinks the last generation was dumb. The last generation never knew how to enjoy (to the fullest). The last generation was orthodox. This generation is risk taker. Last generation was cautious. Every generation thinks on the same lines.
Every human spends the time available till his death. Some spend the time by indulging themselves in creative pursuits, some spend time thinking about the evolution, some by social work, some indulge in religious rituals, some for earning money and luxuries, some don’t do anything and wait for the time to pass, but some indulge in activities which are antisocial and against the nature. When many start indulging in activities which are antisocial and against the nature, the slide starts. What does that indicate? It indicates that collectively most of us are moving towards relative insanity. Like thermodynamics entropy, the chaos is increasing. The morality dips and new thresholds are created. Each threshold pulls the sensibility to a new low. This happens with everyone and no one notices that the society as a whole is slipping down the gradient in morality. It is slow but is an all-round decay. We have to see around to know the subtle signs of this decay. The world around us is not as secure as it was. There are cases of molestation, pedophile aggression, psychopath killings, road rage, gun running, exploitation, drugs, corruption, money laundering. There are cases of decreased tolerance towards everyday problems. There are signs of lack of patience in adults towards everyday situations. The are signs of ever increasing inflated egos. There are instances of family break ups, depression, suicides, rackets, mafia, violence and cruelty.
People today accept piercings, tattoo and torn jeans. Older generation people detest this but the same people accept piercings on nose and ears, tattoo saying it enhances beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the society definition of good changes over a period of time, what was not acceptable yesterday will be acceptable and liked today. What is true for physical manifestation also holds true for mental thinking and morality. As a society what was morally unacceptable yesterday, is acceptable today as morality slips. Not only that, we as a society has the audacity to question those who say that the standards are getting lowered. Those pointing towards lowered standards find themselves accepting the lowered standards after a couple of decades. The unawareness of slide in morality due to relative insanity will bring in uncontrollable irreversible damage resulting in end of mankind. Therefore as a society, we talk but don’t walk the talk about family values, pollution, population control and things which affect nature and us.
The slide is all over and we don’t even feel that it is happening. The slide is irreversible. It is in thinking, it is in acceptance, it is in tolerance, it is in quality, it is in addiction, it is in sensitivity, it is in senses, it is reflected in our art, reflected in what we admire and how we express. World civility is sliding but still we feel normal and we accept the slide. Without knowing we have started our downward spiral. This is relative civility where we keep seeing world as normal as everyone slides together till we reach the brink.
Tail Piece – Can the slide be arrested? Yes and No. Yes the slide can be arrested, for that a new epoch has to begin. No, the slide cannot be arrested. Not in this era. Is this a pessimist view? No this has to happen. Should we stop our efforts in arresting the slide then? No never. The wheel has to rotate. We are just a cog in the wheel of universe. For the new epoch may either start at the end of this era or the new epoch can suppress this era, if the efforts of arresting the slide are practical and herded well by a charismatic leader or movement. Therefore the efforts to halt the slide at the individual level and societal level should not stop. Who knows, one of us may be the one to trigger a new era. Keep trying. Never stop.