“Jab Tak Kuch Nahi Badloge Na Dost, Kuch Nahi Badlega!”
utters the supremely talent Rajkumar Rao in the opening frames of the black-comedy satire flick, Newton. Inspired by the Oscar news and uninspiring evening blues on a Monday, we headed for the indie that takes head-on, the amazing spectacle, that the Indian Elections are!
“Are Newton dekhna apni hi gayi hai ya pure block ki”, utters dad when light goes off as Nutun aka Newton makes his way down to the meter box in what seems like a ubiquitous happenings in the countryside alleys, where if the line is down everywhere that’s not a subject of concern, as we belong together! It’s fine and adaptable! The movie shifts then to the mineral rich naxalite areas of the sea horse shaped district of Chattisgarh, where the “Presiding” Officer and his “team” is airlfted to for getting the votes of the 70-odd voters who are forced out of their houses, lectured, translated in Gondi, made to stand up at the ballot box cluelessly only to get a question from them,
“Sahaab ye voting se hume kya milega?”
It reminded me of the questions I was asked when we came out with the YearBook thing for our final year some weeks back.
In the cinema hall meanwhile, there were laughs all around, but the moment after the giggles went into retrospection-what are we laughing at exactly? This is the most important practice of the world’s largest democracy which has been brought down to smirks but as quoted from the movie, “Sir Koi Bhi Bada Kaam Ek Din Mein Nahi Hota, Saalon Lag Jate Hai Jungle Banne Mein”, we are given some hope.
The breathtaking cinematography bringing out the eerie silence of the forests and the faces of the people holding their ink-blotched fingers, having absolutely no idea what they have done is commendable!
“Iska Paisa Milega Kya?”, was another amusing yet thought-provoking question from the locals.
For, the issues faced by the residents consisting mostly of the tribals without any exposure to the lives and ‘problems’ of the city life are related to the basics of food, water and shelter which we, the city dwellers are blessed with. In the midst of the daily struggles to feed the families that depend on them at least once, the constitutional duty when it comes after five long, unchanged years, they aren’t aware what exactly this instrument of a republic has it in and how even a single vote matters.
“Vote Daalo to Naxali maar dete hai, nahi daalo to Force wale piche lag jaate hai” is the dilemma in our neighbouring state while we enjoy the same day as a public holiday at our homes lamenting over the last night’s match result that went the other way on this hard-earned holiday!
The divide is big and is since ages. It was the British and the common people, now it’s the city and the rural. Things are going to take time to change on the issues of such magnanimity, for what Newton showed us was just a microcosm of the grotesque ground realities that the nation faces today!
Now we exited the screen as the credits rolled and were plunged into our own big problems of not getting a bus, missing out that great deal on the mobile phones or calling an Ola in face of so much heat, while the netas were busy flashing their sweet smiles on the festival conscious posters overlooking the pothole ridden road…