September 15, 2006

More Satyagraha, Please!

A new movie featuring Gandhi, Lage Raho Munnabhai (Carry On Munnabhai), is the most popular Bollywood release of the year in Britain and the US:
The plot revolves around Munna, a small-time Mumbai crook played by Sanjay Dutt, who cheats to win a radio quiz about the life of Gandhi. When the inevitably beautiful radio presenter, played by Vidya Balan, invites him to give a lecture on Gandhi, a love-struck Munna hits the library to research his teachings.

There, an apparition of Gandhi - played by Dilip Prabhavalkar - appears to give him advice on his professional, spiritual and love life...

The film appears to have revived interest in Gandhi's life and teachings - especially among the young - where many serious works, and political campaigns, have failed.

A recent survey by the Economic Times newspaper asked Indian students and young business leaders to name their greatest icon. Bill Gates won with 37per cent, ahead of Gandhi on 30 per cent.

In the past week, however, books by and about Gandhi are reported to have been in huge demand. Leaders of India's ruling Congress party have proposed that senior members should see the film to mark the centenary of Satyagraha.


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