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From Donald to Dangal

Post truth. And Dangal and Trump.

January 8, 2017
donald-trump-post-truth

Donald Trump By Michael Vadon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The word of the year has been declared to be ‘post-truth’

Donald Trump came to power on the promise of making things better; his campaign ultimately, depicted the system as not-working and his model as a way to get out of it.

For me, a casual news reader, based across an ocean and some countries, the USA was standing back on its feet after a recession, and things were looking up. True, this can never be uniform across the country, but let’s be honest, is Tripura’s economy the same as Gujarat’s? There’s a sane reason we choose to look at the larger picture. But even those people who benefited during Obama’s presidency, be it directly or in directly, had no problem in accepting his polar opposite. They knew the reality. But they bought into Trump.

There have been reported instances of fake news influencing people. A presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, running a sex racket in the basement of a pizza outlet. Plausible? A man investigated it out with his own gun. Because the news convinced him that it was true.

 

aamir-dangal

Aamir Khan calls on PM By Narendra Modi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dangal has been declared to be a good movie; however, it takes massive creative liberties with what is supposed to be a real life story.Which is precisely the problem; when a film can earn more than 100 crores in a matter of days, it seems unlikely that the movie-watching people will sit down and fact-check everything what they saw.

What is the need to invent a villain when there was none? What was the need to add excess drama and tension when there was none? When the selling point of your film is that it is based on a real life story, what is the need to take liberties with it? Aamir Khan had a chance to make a real-life biopic, and he still gave us a Bollywood film. As this review says (while also giving an in-depth look on the similarities in all of Aamir’s films): “Dangal’s fixated on convincing us that Mahavir can never be wrong, that the problem is always with Geeta. It’s a strange implication, underscored in scene after scene, that Geeta is nothing without her father, a man.

“But what’s the problem with these things?”

Because they are part of what post-truth is. Because they prove that if you say it long enough, and loudly enough, you will be proved true.

Mosul. Aleppo. Nimrud. ISIS. Now, Palmyra. Migrants fleeing to Europe. South Sudan collapsing into civil war. Karan Johar being gay or not can sneak onto our front page, but all the rest can die a slow death by ignorance.

So, please, this year, understand what you’re reading. The moment you share or like something, you’re putting your personal stamp on it. So, read. Understand what you’re reading. Even the best newspapers have published fake news stories, and it doesn’t look like they will be able to stop that.  Heck, even we at SnapTimes have asked you to pay attention to the owners of your news providers.

Trust your brain just as much, if not more, than an article. It does help.


About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both.
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