Crash

Crash, undoubtedly is by far, one of the best movies I’ve caught in quite some time now (seems like I am enjoying something of a streak in good movies now, first RDB and now this). And this fulfilled the most necessary prerequisite for any magnificent flick; It makes you think. Racism, racial discrimination are the primary context in which the entire movie has been filmed with a series of interconnected episodes seamlessly woven into the storyline.

And it actually made me think that it all boils down to the kind of diversity America enjoys in the first place; it is by no means inherent, at best acquired. Reminds me of something I had read in the Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse by Nirad Chaudhari abt USA’s guiding motto being Ex Plunibus Unum (From Many to One) as compared to India’s Eko’ham Vahu’Sayam (Out of One Many) or as in its Latin form, E Uno Plures. As such, any effort to uphold and facilitate heterogeneity in a system which actively strives to homogenise its individuals can only be an utopian dream.

I mean to say, taking an analogy which might be completely out of line. India is primarily a Hindu nation right. Of course, we are a pluralist, multicultural society with a strong tradition of democracy but at the end of the day, the majority of India’s inhabitants are Hindus. Just look at the sheer number of deities in the Hindu pantheon. Guess it numbers somewhere around 108,000 or so. On the other hand, America; predominantly Christian, what do the one of the Ten Commandments say; Thou Shalt have no God other than me. Admittedly, a wretched analogy, but still, this is diversity, ain’t it.

Diversity cannot be fostered merely by a consciousness to be diverse. In India, the process of diversity, multiple ethnicities and their ilk commenced aeons ago. With a few exceptions, there are hardly any people in this country who can be identified as coming from a specific region or belonging to a specific religion. There has been so much of intermingling that most efforts at profiling ethnicity have come to naught in this country. Therein lies the beauty of India. America on the other hand was discovered in somewhere around late 15th Century. We had people like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King going around till around the first half of the previous century. Need I say more? There are no quick-fix solutions with regard to societal consciousness or individual bias. They can only be eroded with the passage of time and sometimes, sometimes efforts, however well-intentioned to rush up the process, as it were, actually amounts to a retrogade step. That is the fine line which all advocates of affirmative action or positive discrimination have to follow.

P.S. Whoa, I started with Crash and looked where I have ended. Actually, Crash reminded me of another entity as well…….Orkut……noticed how all the characters in the movie were connected to each other 🙂

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5 comments

  1. brilliant, and I’m being subtle.

    my only issue is, why would you want to homo- or heterogenize the mix? why can’t they be left like they are? the only way, submitted, people from so many diverze backgroundz can be coalezced into one is only though an abject sense of neglect on the part of the regulatorz on the distinctionz that mark out the variouz partz of the spectrum.

    why all this brouhaha about merging the diverze bandz into one whole. simply, let thingz be.

    nonetheless quenyan, excellent.

  2. Good read. Really like the way you choose yor words. Impressive… 😉

    Think I am gonna try and pick up that Nirad Chaudhuri novel. Can you give me a quick review please, if you have the time?

  3. Simplest reason, g. is bcoz our society has its founding principle as uniformity. Difference are meant to be weeded out, not encouraged. Aberrants are either classified as anti-socials and in the rarest of rare cases, pioneers.

    Similarity breed a sense of security, protectiveness. Conflict arises from an us-them debate. Similarity ensures there is only one entity, “we”. Ergo, an inherent societal security mechanism dictates, as it were, for differences to be shunned.

  4. there’z nothing right or wrong to encourage distinctivenessez in society among the varied peoplez in it till it achievez thoze blooming xenophobic tendenciez. racial zuperiority or call it what you will. everyone wantz to be superior to the next chap. when distinctionz reek of perpetual one-upmanship, that’z bad.

    forcible homogeneity on the contrary by making zome loze only precipitate matterz. remember uniform civil code. think muzlimz.

  5. Yeah, g., but you can’t escape differences in this country. Question is what differences amount to superiority. Region, religion, moolah are the ones bandied about most often but what abt looks, presentability or even table manners (somebody I know turns up her nose everytime she catches me using my fingers…)???

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