February 06, 2007

Argumentative Indians!

Watched the movie "Guru". Enjoyed it in the sense that I dint get bored.But I don't think I would want to watch it once more. The after effectsof watching the movie was kind of fun. My roomie and I began discussingit. We had watched it on different days. The discussion turned to aninteresting debate - a post dinner one(to be noted, as pre dinnerdebates are mostly short lived). I am very unsure of what it startedlike..may be that the character "Guru" became successful by "breaking"the rules. My side of the argument was he did not "break" but only"bend" the rules. The system although is functional it was not flawless.He was very ambitious and only used the flaws in the system to hisadvantage and grew. He also improved the system in a way. Her argumentwas quite interesting. She strongly believes in the democratic values,feels no single person can get bigger than the system.

Me: Agreed. But at some point he did go above the system. The systemwoke up in time to raise its own standards.

She : Being corrupt is not bending the rules. It is perfect breaking therules. Not paying tax is as good as a crime.

Me : Fine. But this punishment was affordable to him. Paying a fewlakhs(or whatever money) is not that big a deal for a business tycoon.If someone finds punishment affordable then it means the system acceptsits flawed(at least in areas where the punishment is affordable) therebygiving concessions to those who break these rules.

She: Punishment is a punishment. Although it looks like a financial one,it can tarnish the image of the company and loose a lot of good will inthe market.

Me: In Guru's case the beneficiary was the common people and it was thegovernment that lost money. And moreover all Guru wanted to do was makemoney legally. The system with its corrupt bureaucracy came in his way.He found it far more time saving to just bribe and move on. Had thesystem been supportive there was no need for him to bend the rules.

She : He fought the system legally to get the license to start hisbusiness. Later he went on using corrupt ways to grow. Every individualin a system should act responsibly. He should have fought corruption.

Me : Fighting corruption is easier said than done! It would beidealistic to expect him to have done so. He was achieving his means byexploiting the system. Even corruption is a part of this very system.Even education is a part of this very system. Expecting individuals tobe responsible enough although your system doesn’t do much to help themgrow is a little asking for much. Even he was a part of this system. Thesystem dint give him the chance to grow naturally, so he tweaked therules. Had he broken them, he could not have been able to bear theaftermaths. He helped the system grow. Such people stretch the limits ofthe imagination of the society. Who could have thought a company couldhave been started without any money at all. He raised it from the publicmoney. They are required....

(Her part of the argument may not be fully represented as I was busy debating it out!)

The debate had gone on well after midnight. We were so excited at someparts of the arguments we were, I guess talking loudly. Then we suddenlyrealised it was well past bedtime. Many things were not settled. Both ofagreed to remain peaceful in our disagreements. We have realised to stayunder the same roof we need not compromise on our beliefs or thoughts.So naturally we had enjoyed the debate.


Bindu Kumar said...

i'm with ur roomie...she is right...no single person can get bigger than the system...i can't accept his argument that he has helped the people/country to develop by not paying the tax; which in turn will be used for the betterment of the people...

Praveen S said...

Hey Pratibha,
Nice argument da, I would have loved to take it on further.

But I thought another point could have come up in your discussion. In the movie, it all boiled down to the time of Guru Kanth Desai's trial. That was a make or break for him. The way he spoke there and put his point across was what changed him from a normal business man to tycoon. It was a touch melodramatic also, But then u should expect the same with a bollywood movie ;)

So it all finally comes down to the individual whether he is right in breaking the rules and getting the system to agree with him.

Pratibha said...

Hey Bindu, even the British tried telling Gandhi that "no single person is above the system"!

Glad to see your comment, Praveen. The "time" part of it did come into the discussion. Missed it while "documenting" :) Good point put across so clearly, as always.. keep posting comments..

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