KATHTHI movie is not only a Diwali blockbuster of 2014, but also a communist narrative from AR Muragadoss. The issues dealt in KATHTHI seem to have triggered responses in Tamil Nadu only in 2017.
Last month, after two and half years, I watched the rescreening of KATHTHI. When the ideology of the movie leaned towards communism to offer a stiff resistance to the iron fist of crony corporate capitalists, it was ironical that I watched the movie four times in a swanky ‘LUXE’uriuos multiplex at Phoenix market city which I presume to be an epitome of capitalist real estate marvels borrowed from western societies.
While the movie’s narrative is just about a conflict for water between a corporate behemoth and farmers, the issue is even deeper in the perspective of a ‘poor’ middle class Indian. Banks were denying loan waiver for farmers and at the same time were waiving off the loans of corporates in order to drive the investments and economy.
In this context of Kaththi-farm loans-banks, we should not ignore the fact that waiving off farm loans even to some extent is not good for India’s financial sector. I agree. Waiving off loans is not a good practice. It will upset the financial balance of the economy. But do banks or government (both UPA and NDA) have any credible statement to support their step motherly treatment towards corporates?
A farmer takes loan to feed himself and his family. The loan is for his survival and growth. It is a support given to him until he stands on his own expecting that he will not need it later. But what is happening? Why are farmers in continuous need for loans? Why are they unable to waive off loans they already took? Why are loans and subsidies given to a corporate company whose prime duty there is to do business? On the other hand, a corporate company is going to provide some hundreds of jobs and giving loans to it will indirectly provide livelihood for hundreds of its employees and its families. I agree. Then who should be given the preference? A farmer or a multinational company?
The benefits of sustainable growth in agriculture and corporate sector are both complementary to India. Agriculture was a backbone of economy and India was a prosperous nation until the British colonized it. But today, a sustainable agriculture sector to satisfy growing needs and a healthy corporate sector are necessary to India in today’s globalized world.
So, where does Communism find it relevance here? Ilayathalapathy Vijay clears his innocent sister’s ignorance about Communism by giving an intelligent reference to Idly. ‘The next Idly which you eat after your hunger is satisfied belongs to someone else.’
Both farmers and corporates are hungry here. Whose hunger is legitimate? A farmer who wants to eat an Idly or a corporate who wants to take home the profits by selling the same idly?
Communism is an outdated ideology. It never worked in the past because no leader and country digested the real ideologies of communism. Every one interpreted it in their own way. Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Kerala, West Bengal and Naxalites in central India, were inspired from communism and interpreted in their own way. But no one satisfied their hunger by having an Idly but instead sucked blood out of the societies like a thirsty vampire.
Coming back to KATHTHI, the title which in fact slightly refers the symbol of communism, is not a great communist movie but a well-crafted commercial movie in the ideological complex web of communism. Red colour will be visible in crucial scenes of the movie. The crux of the story might be water but the depth of the story is not yet seen by many. There were several movies which have beautifully interpreted this complex ideology but none has become as popular as KATHTHI. Not because of the popular reference to Idly but because of ‘Selfie Pulla’, not because of the extreme dose of unknown statistics of corporate extravagances during the press meet in climax but because of good background score with mass appealing commercial take of the movie. Not because of communism but because of Vijay and AR Murugadoss.
On the day of the movie I initially planned to have dinner at a popular AC restaurant at CMBT, but after the movie I simply went to nearby Kayenthi bhavan at Velachery and ate 4 idlies served by an old man and his wife.
With different ideologies coming into the society and to counter the impending global challenges a liberal approach with a conservative mindset to serve the global audience is the need of hour. All I can say is ‘I am waiting’.
Images by tamilcinema from photobucket