The story begins not too long ago...
In the begining Big B is "misquoted" in the media as trashing Slumbog Millionaire for its depiction of poverty. Without full facts Jug Suraiya in his column picks on Bachchan and "people like Bachchan" while making his point about recognising reality of poverty in order to obviously state the obvious.
But along the way he calls BigB's daughter-in-law a "manglik" (some rumor about bad inauspicious astrological mumbo jumbo), accuses "people like Bachchan" of being "culpable...in the continuance of poverty, and makes references to flatulence, passing wind, incest and family secrets
That sets the stage for BigB to make his entry and respond through his BIGADDA blog. The blogpost is angry, falsely modest, long, with meaningless interludes and dramatic emotional rhetoric. Just like a true BigB movie.
Below is my "slightly" faithful summary of Big B's argument....
I am but a small and insignificant metaphor in this huge ocean of knowledge and principles.
There is an odious culture that has given to lacerate and destruct the very existence of those that have through hard and difficult labour, earned what in my most modest disposition, can be termed public celebrity, which only exhibits how dubiously one could destroy individuals, with malicious bias.
I shall make myself literate enough to challenge any personal unjustified and prejudiced accusation. If you shall abuse me unjustly, I shall not hesitate to pay you back justly !! In a free society there cannot be a select community that shall have the liberty and protection of passing judgment without answerability.
I accuse the journalist Jug Suraiya of a rare episode of sheer cerebral inertia. Two journalists sparked this ‘hoo-ha’ (by) both brazenly cut and pasted passages from my Blog into unrecognisable gutter-press filth.
As (to) the marital disposition of my daughter-in-law as ‘manglik’ is disgusting. I came in person to you, at my own instigation and of my own volition. I confronted your entire editorial staff in your offices , after I had presented a faithful account of the private events surrounding my son’s marriage.
My wealth is not shameful. I am not ashamed of it.
He may turn up his nose at my commercial endorsement of ‘the world’s most expensive suiting material’, but I am proud to represent such a fine example of India’s great industrial heritage, that of the production of textiles. I refuse to be considered by his ilk as a specimen of ‘dirty laundry’ that must be ritually beaten clean, with my fellow citizens as witness.
Here I accuse Jug Suraiya of a pauperised conception of poverty. I am not splitting hairs here: ‘poverty’ ceases to be a useful word unless it is carefully defined. Come to think of it, any other view manifests a form of aesthetic poverty. Add it to the list of possible poverties a human being may suffer.
Please refer to Amartya Sen’s great book, ‘The Argumentative Indian’, and find that if you disagree with him, then you make his point in the process. May I also remind him as well that I defend until (his) death his right to disagree with me.
I argue that India needs more wealth. Hope is not the point. The point is the binding nature of an oath. Jug Suraiya has lost sight of the global industrial context and commercial meaning of SM, which surely have some measure of relevance on the subject of India’s material wealth prospects, and hence its correlative poverties.
SM is a deeply symbolic foot through the cinematic door into the vast domestic Indian market by the Western film industry. Why else would Hollywood have been so wildly ecstatic about a small budget British outfit with American funding? It is time for Jug Suraiya to wake up and smell the Starbucks.
It is the common ‘disease’ rife amongst the so-called ‘urbangentsia’: that of neurotic self-referentiality. At its worst, this self-referentiality is infested with effete self-loathing, born from that kind of masochistic conscience possessed by the culturally decadent, infected with the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of a self-styled elite who confuse their own egoism and class prejudices with genuine social conscience.
I contend that merely acknowledging how culpable we all are in the continuance of ‘disowned [material] poverty’ and engaging in some ritual hand-wringing is about as useless as all his publicly aired gastric wind. That your own esteemed associate editor, Jug Suraiya, has himself fallen victim to Media propaganda, is an indictment of its wild intoxications.
After all, Jug Suraiya may find his greatest talent yet - and even relief - in the rolling up of sleeves and the digging of new sanitary facilities with his own hands. He could not only do with some such facilities for his own scatological literary tropes.
I offer my humble apologies to the author if I fail to adequately paraphrase him but I am confident enough that I have not misunderstood his point.
I do not know if it is just me, but I am still rolling on the floor LOL!!!
In the end there is an interesting point Big B makes about "the cultural bias towards foreign representations of India’s identity, privileged above our own" which inspite of everything written above is heartfelt. I only wish he would have made it in a way that made sense!!!