It's often said that humans are hopelessly selfish and grasping, always trying to snap up things just like our ancestors! Most of the times, we tend to be very materialistic and try to measure happiness in terms of possessions. And, the lust for possession of wealth, beauty, fame, relationships etc. continues to dominate our activities.
Last month, a series of demonstrations took place in the main cities of Nepal after an Indian movie, Chandni Chowk to China, referred that lord Buddha was born in India. The protesters took this issue to the streets of Kathmandu and subsequently, urged the government to defend national pride. However, after the protests, director of the controversial Bollywood flick, Rohan Sippy, publicly apologized for mentioning Lord Buddha’s birth place as India in the movie saying "I did not want to hurt the sentiments of the Nepali people", according to the news reports.
Early this month, a 14-year chess prodigy, Anish Giri, become the world's youngest Grandmaster. Wikipedia introduces Anish as the son of a Nepalese father (Dr. Sanjay Giri) and a Russian mother (Olga Giri) who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on 28 June 1994. After Anish's triumph, a popular Indian news portal Hindustan Times penned, "Giri almost looks like an Indian and has the nonchalance of a younger Anand of 80s". Likewise, PTI reported saying "Anish Giri, who has some roots related to India, has made his presence felt in Group C with a fine victory over Oleg Romanishin in the last round" whereas; The Times of India revealed the root citing "his grandmother hails from India". The news obviously also featured in the Nepalese news media. A popular news blog My Sansar posted the story with a sensational headline "A Nepalese kid becomes the world's youngest grandmaster". However, an interesting point is that Anish, responding to a media query, introduced himself as a Russian!
Last week, the Mumbai-set love story, a rags-to-riches drama, Slumdog Millionaire, won several awards including the best picture award at the Oscars. Slumdog Millionaire is a small budget British film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Simon Beaufoy. Set and filmed in India, the movie tells the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who rises out from poverty and enters a television quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and ultimately wins it. The movie definitely brought personal glory to some Indians like musician A. R. Rehman and the sound Engineer Resul Pookutty along with some slum kids. However, the popular Indian electronic media described the success of Slumdog Millionaire as the landmark triumph of Indian cinema!
The above three illustrations may have emerged from different backgrounds; however, they refer to some common aspects: our desperation to achieve more and temptation to associate ourselves with fame & glory! The economic strength and media power have been acting as a catalyst to fire our desperation and fuel our temptations. I don't think any media publicity can detach Buddha's link with Lumbini; however, it can definitely create some sort of confusion among the people worldwide. I did read somewhere that there is no short-cut to the success & fame but the power of money & media seems to be proving it wrong.
I remember many of the Indian movie stars and media initially slamming Slumdog Millionaire saying that the movie actually displays a bad image of India. Whether right or wrong is again a debatable issue, but what surprised me was the U-turn taken by the media. Suddenly, after the Oscar's sweep, Slumdog Millionaire has become a hot-cake for everyone and people have started feeling proud of it.
As long as we are not hurting anyone's sentiment or not willing to take any undue advantage out of something, there is no harm in associating ourselves with any success or glory as this may result in optimism and inspire many among us.
It's often said that humans are hopelessly selfish and grasping, always trying to snap up things just like our ancestors! Most of the times, we tend to be very materialistic and try to measure happiness in terms of possessions. And, the lust for possession of wealth, beauty, fame, relationships etc. continues to dominate our activities. There is nothing new in this notion but, the media hype is fueling this sentiment to an extreme; most of the times, just for the sake of some publicity and TRP (Television Rating Point) bonanza. People always desire more and sometimes, they don't care even if it comes at someone else's expense.
We as individuals have several ambitions and we strive hard to achieve it in our life. What is also true that not all of us can achieve everything we desire. So, we often tend to live our unfulfilled dreams through someone close to us and, incline to associate ourselves with the success of 'others' in the name of religion, relation, culture, nation and so on. Therefore, once someone or something becomes popular, we start searching the possibility to relate ourselves with it and feel a sense of accomplishment. The triumph of Anish should be seen in this context. What I believe is that as long as we are not hurting anyone's sentiment or not willing to take any undue advantage out of something, there is no harm in associating ourselves with any success or glory as this may result in optimism and inspire many among us. However, sadly, this is not always the case!