New Delhi. After deliberating for weeks, JNU Students Union has banned the recent hit Raanjhanaa. Earlier, the movie was banned in Pakistan, though due to different reasons.
The reason for ban in JNU, according to our sources, is the stylishly inauthentic portrayal of JNU student leaders.
When Faking News reached the campus to get an opinion from the campus president J Kumar, a tall lanky malnourished looking bearded man in his early thirties, he asked us to wait as he was in the middle of a party meeting discussing the modalities of the next hunger strike.
Amidst puffs of cigarette and sips of tea, the veteran later told us, “Didn’t the makers of the film do any research? They should have met us, stayed with us in our rooms and accompanied us on our various morchas and meetings to get a better understanding of what constitutes a JNU student leader.”
“Look around and show me one man with a neatly trimmed beard, wearing a fitted kurta in bright summery colors, aviators, dimpled smile, and walking with a swagger?” Kumar threw open the challenge.
This reporter did look around and was surprised to find men and women of varying height and weight, dressed in jeans which competed for the ‘last washed’ prize, chappals dangerously close to disintegration and sack-like kurtas that showed solidarity in their degrees of fadedness.
“The kurta is our heritage. Its fadedness is directly proportional to a student leader’s commitment to the cause. The students and authorities should be aware of the mehnat and paseena that goes into running a democratic egalitarian campus. Washing the kurta would be equivalent to washing away the mehnat and this is unacceptable to anyone who is sincere and dedicated,” a junior student leader added.
“What they depicted in the film is against the values that we hold dear. And let us not even talk about the missing jhola,” he concluded with a dismissive toss of his head.
When asked what were the other aspects of the film that were problematic, J Kumar took out the last cigarette from the pack and indicated to Tilak, the dhabawallah to bring him his seventeenth cup of tea.
Pondering deeply, he replied, “The part where Abhay Deol is shown cheating in the exams. It was factually incorrect.” When asked to explicate, he took a deep puff coughed for ten seconds cleared his throat and began, “Most of the student leaders are old enough to be married with kids. But they have fossilized in their snail-paced PhDs only so that they can stay on in the campus and work for the betterment of the students and maybe at a later stage the betterment of the country. Now, a PhD student doesn’t have to take exams. It is four years of fun and fucking around with a hurried submission of the dissertation in the last month of the last year; quality be damned!”
By this time, a large group of old fossils leaders and future aspirants had gathered around us. As a last attempt, we asked whether there was any part at all that managed to touch a cord with them. They were unanimous in saying that they appreciated when a large group of students were shown theorizing why Kundan, the character played by Dhanush, had become a thief, and arriving at the same reason that Kundan himself had provided – because he was poor.
“You see, answers to most questions are simple. But it is important to theorize and jargonize because simple answers don’t give you credibility. Bombast is the hallmark of a leader,” said J Kumar.
“But that was not good enough for not getting banned,” he averred.
To prove that this ban was not against “free speech”, students leaders are planning various activities. While a hunger strike has already been announced, others are passionately rehearsing for a street play named Raanjhanaa-na.