Munnabhai, Vinamrata and The Macho Indian man

First things first, Munnabhai and Circuit ROCK, and so does their creator Rajkumar Hirani. The series started with a “Gangster goes to Medical school” storyline, which took the country by storm and metamorphized Munnabhai & Circuit from screenplay characters to a Brand. The Brand’s identity is now further strengthened with the sequel Lage Raho Munnabhai, which thoroughly stimulates your appetite, and leaves you wanting for more. LRMB is an example of effective story-telling and Hirani has very beautifully managed to deliver age-old Gandhian principles in a package that people can identify with.

I must admit though that based on what I see around me, I did feel that the movie might land up in trouble soon with some political group asking for a ban on it. Strangely, for some reason, everyone has accepted the “Gandhi-giri” sportingly and I do wish people would stop telling us what we can or cannot watch.

I watched LRMB twice on the same day and each time, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and never for a moment felt the 3 hours pass by. This, in a way, symbolizes the repeat-business potential of the product. To appreciate it deeply, you should try comparing it with an average product experience, like any Emraan Hashmi movie, and Voila, you instantly see the Magic woven by Hirani & team.

In the movie, Gandhiji teaches and proves to Munnabhai that Vinamrata (Politeness) and Ahimsa (Non-violence) can work in today’s world too. Well, if you take that teaching out-of-the-movie and into-your-life, you start seeing that these principles do work, albeit, with persistence. The problem is, over these years, society has started associating arrogance and a short temper with Machismo. We see that no matter where the Indian man is, he wants to start a fight and win it too. The typical Indian man today is not as conscious of being right, as he is of delivering the first and last blow to his opponent. And when I use the term “Indian man”, I do so with deliberation since things aren’t the same in the west, where macho men are not necessarily considered desirable.

As Gandhiji said in the movie, accepting your mistake takes more strength than fighting and winning a battle where you’re in the wrong. How many real-life examples have we seen of people coming ahead and accepting they are wrong? It surely does take strength and when you come across a person who has the guts to do so, you get a really positive vibe. A wave of such transformation has the potential of saving so much energy and so many lives; lives that are lost in incidents of rivalry, road rage and many such situations of conflict, aggression and confrontation.

Politeness isn’t cowardice and I’m happy to know there are many people who agree. The climate is right for Munnabhai-2, and it’s proven by the news pouring in …. “Books on Gandhiji flyingoff the shelf since LRMB was released”, “Munnabhai-2 made tax-free in delhi”… the magic seems to be working so …. Lage Raho Munnabhai!