In our society, there is this tendency of romanticizing corruption and it irks me.
For instance, the number of movies with a central character like Simmba – one who blatantly accepts bribes, is corrupt and has grown up dreaming to become a corrupt cop and earn money – is increasing.
This is a departure from the 70s and the 80s where the lead would not accept a bribe even if his mother/sister/wife were ailing.
A nexus between the police and the local goons was always shown, but the light in which corruption is shown is changing.
Before the 90s, taking bribe money was a big taboo for the protagonist. In the early 2000s, movies like Gangaajal showed the police-politician nexus intricately, but the protagonist was still very honest. But now there are more characters like Chulbul Pandey and Simmba, instead of Singham.
What kind of message are you sending?
Movies leave a deep impact on people.
Consciously or unconsciously people idealize these characters – the ones that act as the protagonist and are shown in a positive light.
So when they see Simmba accepting money in exchange for a few favors, with patronizing music in the background, they are automatically bound to think that such behavior is acceptable, rather good.
By showing that the protagonist got away even when he was involved in a ‘bad’ activity, without facing any consequences, the filmmakers are promoting such practices.
Have we failed as a society?
Movies are not made in isolation. The stories shown are a manifestation, albeit exaggerated, taken from the real world situation.
Our society has become such that it encourages corruption, taking bribes and having ‘2 number ka paisa’ (read black money) and hence these activities have crept inside movie scripts.
For the same reasons, even an IT raid is boasted of in social circles. One should just notice the pride in the tone of these people while doing so; as if having or even the probability of having black money is a good thing.
That is how low we have stooped and that is how acceptable black money has become.
Also Read: Dreams Of A Corruption Free Nation
Wide social acceptance of the bribe culture and glamorization of black money is the reason why people are often encouraged to take up jobs that provide sure shot avenues of the same.
For instance, society now prefers low-paying government jobs over high-paying private jobs just because of tax evasion (not paying income tax). The logic being that ‘2 number ka paisa’ is bound to come and one will not file income tax on it.
Civil services are particularly considered to be the ideal job for many, not because one gets to do meaningful work through it, but because the job profile is such that one can easily indulge in corrupt practices and make connections to perpetuate it.
And because of these ‘corruption opportunities’, the civil servants come with a price tag for marriage. It is an open secret that they are weighed in crores of rupees for dowry, depending on the amount of black money the officer can earn.
(Watch Rajkumar Rao starrer ’Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’ to get a loose idea of this situation).
Such price tags are demeaning, as if the person has no value, but is a mere commodity, open to auction in the marriage market where the future in-laws bid prices.
It is sad when people call it a ‘good career’ for these reasons. The definition of a good career can vary from person to person but the idea of what is good and bad is definitely universal.
So when people aspire to do a certain kind of job just because it has a wide scope of corruption, their moral grounds becomes questionable.
These are the kinds of jobs that pay one enough to lead an above average life. So just to earn an extra buck, people get ready to indulge in ‘any’ activity?
Is that how materialistic we have become? And then it isn’t even seen as a bad thing.
The glamorization of bribe money did not happen overnight, it took years to happen. You see, over time, being a Simmba became more acceptable than being a Singham and this is what really needs to be reversed.
Image Credits: Google Images
Source: The Author
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