We are living in an age where men and women of stature are getting dwarfed in our estimation by the day. Just about every public personality worth emulating turns out to have feet of clay. Simply there is no one left to inspire us. So when a Aamir Khan in an arid landscape of public heroes does a reasonably good job In ‘ Satyamev Jayate’ we go in raptures. The need to look up to, to emulate another is a fundamental human urge.
When we were growing up there were so many people we could pick and choose from who would inspire us. Indira Gandhi, Dr Swaminathan pioneering the green revolution, even Amitabh Bachchan ushering in the advent of the angry young man, just to name a few. Never mind that many of these big names eventually disappointed us. What is of importance is that the big names in the past would stay in our consciousness for quite some time till we could see through them. A classic case being that of Indira Gandhi who blemished her own greatness by some astonishing, self serving decisions she took late in her life and career. But we look around today and we find public figures emerging and disappearing with little staying power. It was almost as if these figures were media creations who strutted and walked their short time on the Indian stage then disappeared in a swirl of ignominy.
Take the case of Anna Hazare and his band and their short lived revolution of a corrupt free India. Where are these worthies today? Only a year back we had showered rose petals on them. And today they reek of charges of petty corruption, myopic caste and communal biases and outright ludicrous proposals that are fit fodder only for a late night comic show. It is almost that many of us in the media had filled them up with gas and for a short time they had floated over us, only to fall down limp and useless.
The point I am making is that when we look up to these idols we are also investing our emotions and aspirations in them. That is a huge process because when they fall by the wayside we also are not left untouched. So is it worth the while to invest our hopes and desires in these gas balloons? So this time around let’s be careful how much we want to eulogize and invest in Aamir Khan. Let him first display some staying power. Only then we should decide.