The Bollywood film Ek Tha Tiger (“There was a Tiger”) has been a phenomenal success. It crossed the one billion Rupee mark in just 5 days of its release in August 2012 and crossed the two billion Rupee mark in less than two weeks. The hero is Tiger, an
Indian Secret Service agent, the best agent that RAW (India’s
intelligence agency) has. He is a trouble shooter who travels all over
the world terminating foreign agents, especially those of NonPakistani
ISI. One NonPak agent he lets go is Zoya, played by Katrina Kaif.
Tiger and Zoya meet again in Istanbul at a political summit and with one dialog leading to another, they are seen escaping Istanbul in a speedboat. Watching this scene brought memories of James Bond & Tatiana Romanova escaping in a speedboat from Istanbul in From Russia with Love. So similar and yet so different are these two films that we have been meaning to write about the difference for months. This week, we happened to see From Russia With Love on TV and so here we are.
Despite the horror it may create in English-Educated Indians, Ek Tha Tiger is the better film. It is a crisper, neater and a more natural story. The action is much more realistic and the pace is faster. And the softer moments, that’s Bollywood’s forte any way. The film has already started a fashion trend, the Salman Scarf, reports the Washington Post.
(Mashallah song) (Salman Scarf on 15-year Ghulam Mohammed, Paktia, Afgh.)
These two movies differ and differ greatly in what they reveal about today’s India and the 1960s Britain.
There is no moral equivalence between Britain and Russia in that 1963 Bond film. That film takes it for granted that every sensible Russian, like Ms. Romanova, would opt to leave Russia to go to England, especially in the company of James Bond. It would be considered ludicrous for James Bond or any British hero to give up Britain in exchange for his girl leaving Russia. No film would be made with such a crazy theme and, if made, no body would watch it.
That’s exactly what we expected of Ek Tha Tiger. But No. Unlike the Bond film, Ek Tha Tiger actually creates a moral equivalence between India and NonPakistan. The Indian hero, the best RAW agent ever, decides to run away from India because his lover, a NonPak ISI agent, refuses to betray her regime and move to India. The film spins this into a virtue of peace and has the hero tell his commander that they will both return when India & Pakistan stop fighting each other.
Just think about this a minute. Russia never attacked Britain while NonPakistan has attacked India four times. Russia never created and trained legions of terrorists to attack Britain while NonPak has created and trained legions of terrorists to attack India just as Al Qaida has done to both America and Britain. The raison d’etre of Russia was never to conquer or destroy Britain while attacking and possibly destroying India is the single-minded purpose of the NonPak-Army-ISI complex.
Yet, it is an Indian film that creates and markets a moral equivalence between India & NonPakistan. This boggles the mind until you realize the mental makeup of Indians:
- First, they want above all to be left alone in peace. We met a few college students just after the horrific attack on Mumbai in November 2008. These well to do students were more confused than angry; they kept asking “why do they do this? what do they want?“
Meaning India should give the terrorists what they want so that the terrorists would leave India alone.
This is exactly how India treated Mahmoud of Ghazni, the first Turko-Afghan conqueror who attacked India around 1,000 CE and returned with massive loot. This pattern continued until the Turko-Afghans wanted it all and so occupied North India. But that lesson was never learned. This is why Indians have willingly given up territory to NonPakistan and China since independence in 1947 only to find that border disputes just move to new demands.
- Secondly, NonPakistan is an emotional topic for North Indians. They think, despite all evidence to the contrary, that if India could just give more, if India could just be nicer to NonPakistan, then all will be well. They tell themselves that India, being the elder & bigger brother, should just accept the bad behavior of the younger brother, however bad that behavior might be. They preach to all Indians that if they just minimize their own religion and create confidence among NonPak Muslims then India will be reunited again.
Read what Markandey Katju, ex-Justice of the Indian Supreme Court and current Chairman of the Press Trust of India, said recently at Delhi University:
- “First of all let me tell you one thing Pakistan is no country. It’s a fake country, it’s artificially created country by the British who had the policy of divide and rule by starting this bogus two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims have two separate nations,”
This by itself is not wrong but Katju went further, much further into fantasy land. According to the Times of India:
- “The former Supreme Court judge was confident that in next 15-20 years India and Pakistan would reunite and a strong, powerful, secular and modern minded government would come to power.”
This is exactly the dream of Ek Tha Tiger. The film ends with the message from Tiger that he will return to India with Zoya when there is no longer any need for RAW and ISI.
Even today’s Britain, a downgraded and increasingly irrelevant Britain, understands the difference between realistic expectations and dreamy hope. You see British pride and confidence in Skyfall, the latest Bond film. In contrast, India remains a soft society that eschews realistic planning & hard effort in favor of naive dreamy hopes. Guess which country was the colonizer and which was the colonized?
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