The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, January 2, 2000

Austerity to extravagance

THE write-up "20th century life styles — austerity to extravagance" by Deepanjali Diwedi (December 19) was both informative and instructive. Debates on the state of the poor in five-star comfort, cocktail parties to discuss the problems of troubled states, organisation of grand tamashas of our cultural heritage, costly public school education for the children of the elite and their eventually succumbing to the western culture of pop music, Italian and Chinese cuisine, He-man comics and wild-west thrillers — all have been symptoms of our cultural decay during the 20th century.

Could not the nation’s wealth be spent on educating people in basic hygiene and sanitation to save them from avoidable diseases? Or could not this have been invested in productive activities to create jobs for the unemployed since unemployment is one of the main factors responsible for the growth of terrorism in the country?

  What is unfortunate is that hardly a few appreciate the damage this semi-feudal culture of our elite is doing to the Indian society. So long as we continue to talk of decentralisation and taking planning to district and village level over pegs of whisky or evolve poverty alleviation programmes in five-star comfort, our basic approach to these issues of national concern will remain essentially hypocritical and the chasm between the thinking of the common people and the elite will continue to widen. Consequently, the crossing to the new century will apparently be anything but smooth.

The results are already there to see. The growth of fissiparous parochialism, assertion of tribal identities and rise of separatist slogans are directly proportional to the spread of the elitist culture. This certainly is not the kind of free India for which Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru or Bhagat Singh struggled in the first half of the century.


A living legend

Apropos of M.L. Dhawan’s article "Legend called Dilip Kumar" (December 12), Dilip Kumar is adored as a abhinay samraat in the real sense of the world. He is the favourite actor of many film stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Vinod Khanna and Govinda. Govinda says, "Working with Dilip Kumar offers a double benefit because his co-star gets payment from the producer and also gets a golden chance of learning acting from the living legend". Many actors like Manoj Kumar Rajendra Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, have tried to copy Dilip Kumar’s acting style. Dilip Kumar has acted in only 62 films during his glorious film career spanning over five decades. His dialogue delivery was excellent. He was at his best even when he did not utter a single word on the screen. He has excelled both in tragic and comic roles.



Dilip Kumar is a wonderful actor and excels in tragic roles. How Yusuf became Dilip Kumar is a mystery. According to one version the new name was given to him by Devika Rani.

Yusuf was a mischievous child. No one could have thought that one day he would become a great actor.

His first film was Jawar Bhata. He went on to work in Milan and Jugnu which established his credentials and Mela and Babul which catapulted him to stardom — Dilip also played the leading role in Andaz, Arzoo, Jogan, Deedar, Sangdil, Footpath, Shikasta, Aadmi etc. In all these films he had love-lorn look of tragic resignation and repeatedly reduced the audience to tears. Now Dilip had become the undisputed king of tragedy. He acted in classics like Daag and Devdas for which he won the third of his nine Filmfare award.