What makes Rahul Bose tick?

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What makes Rahul Bose tick?

India Blooms News Service | 20 Nov 2015

Kolkata, Nov 20 (IBNS): Many cine-buffs who are regular viewers of the KIFF every year, expressed their scepticism when they heard that actor-director Rahul Bose was to deliver the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture that is an integral part of the KIFF every year. This is traced to his relative youth because the previous two years, we had veteran industry people like filmmaker Govind Nihalani and Sharmila Tagore to deliver the same speech because Rahul is quite young and has not had the experience his predecessors can take pride in.

The sceptics were surprised with the way he approached his subject for the address – Cinema and Civilization with the wisdom of one who has seen all, been there, done that and so on. Though Nandan I is never as full as it ought to be what with film screenings competing with the address, those who attended were mesmerised less by the charisma of the man and more by his personality and erudition.


Though we are familiar with this actor’s involvement with socially significant issues like the tsunami and the post-Mumbai blasts, it is his concern for the stereotyped roles society dictates and which we should all fight against. Bose said the intrinsic belief in diversity that the film industry has demonstrated at every level, visible and invisible, sharp and subtle, covert and overt - displayed at all levels.


His address focussed on what he himself spelled out in no uncertain terms. “The Film industry has always looked at these two qualities and rewarded it. Your caste, your religion, your gender, the ethnic mix does not matter. In fact, the last 100 years have shown that it does not matter at all. It stands out as an ideal example of diversity being lifeblood of any society,” he said. He explained that the relationship between cinema and civilization could be compared with the relationship that sustains between siblings.

“Cinema, as younger siblings do, will hang on to every word and action of society. It will proclaim judgment of it, decide it can do things better but always derive inspiration from it,” he said. He drew from the example of Ray’s Ganashatru, an Indianised and contemporarised version of Henrik Ibsen’s noted play Enemy of the People to elaborate on his point.

Bose commented on the difficult situation the country is passing through.  “I wonder how Ray would have reacted to the statement made by a political leader after the gang rape of a girl in Delhi? The political leader said, ‘The woman should have thought twice before boarding that suspicious bus?’. Would Ray have accepted that?” he asked rhetorically.

The scepticism after all, was belied.

(Report by Shoma A. Chatterji)

What makes Rahul Bose tick?

India Blooms News Service
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