JUST SO THAT WE RECOGNISE THEM, ARE HEROES WAITING FOR A FILM TO BE MADE ON THEM?

Who is P T Usha? Do you know the achievements of Karnam Malleshwari? Who is the first female amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest? Who was the first Indian to go in space?

Ask these questions to any young gun of today’s generation and chances are rare that you’ll get precise answers.

The reason why this piece is taking shape is because of Rahul Bose directorial Poorna which released on March 31, 2017 across the nation with only a handful of takers. Numerous shows across the country stood cancelled because they couldn’t meet the minimum requirement of audience. Reason: people weren’t even aware of such a film being released. As unbelievable as it sounds, its true that majority of us didn’t even know that Malavath Poorna, an Indian is the youngest female in the world to summit Mount Everest, leave alone not knowing of the film’s release.

Yes, blame the poor marketing of Poorna’s makers that failed miserably to tell the audience of their film. However there’s other side to it. We as Indians have also failed here. Climbing the Everest at such a young age (Poorna was only 13years old) is a remarkable feat, something that deserves applauds not only for the time period, but for the generations to come. She did it in 2014, not long ago, but just after 3years, how many of us were actually aware of it?

The point here being- why does it call to make a film to recognise people who have done something so extraordinary? Come to think of it. Who knew Paan Singh Tomar or Neerja Bhanot before biopics on them released? Did we know Mary Kom was a five time world champion before she won a medal in Olympic until the film starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead was released? Barring M S Dhoni, we barely knew of anyone till we watched a film based on his/her life.

At this point, some will argue- that’s precisely why biopics are made so that we get to know of them. But just like Neerja Bhanot or Milkha Singh, should such people who have excelled tremendously in their fields and went unnoticed, wait for films to be made on them so that the nation recognises them?

Search Google. Copious sportspersons have been forced to sell off their medals or society leaders have been surviving on meagre income. There are many such examples who have made our society and country proud but none around us knows them.

Here may be comes the real role of media. News portals around us, which are so many that you are constantly bombarded with news at every second, should be actually taking such feats to an altogether new level. Shouldn’t debates and discussions on prime time which deal on if AIB Roast was morally correct, be focussing on such things more often? Shouldn’t there be platforms for such people to share their experiences with the common man? Not that such people should be worshipped, but basic information about them is probably all what they would crave for. What have we done instead? Didn’t even care to look for them. How many of us actually remember the names of participants from Indian contingent in the recently concluded Rio Olympics?

The ongoing trend in Bollywood says out loud that biopics are here to stay. It’s an indeed a golden phase in Hindi film industry where content driven films are being made, especially biopics which have by far been received by open arms. If the nation will get to know of heroes only through films, wish all filmmakers start making biopics. That’s one territory that will never fall short of content.

If news are to be believed, Aamir Khan will be seen essaying Rakesh Sharma very soon. Who’s Rakesh Sharma? Well, please find yourself.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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