A petition filed in the High Court. The plea is laughed at, brushed off and is little supported by the general public. The petitioner is firm in his beliefs and is not deteriorated by such a response. He sees this as an opportunity to create awareness about his problem. He reaches out to people and talks about his problem – a problem that is not understood by “General People”. Does this story sound familiar? It’s not the story of The Indian Stammering Association, but it’s the story of the recently released – “Guzaarish”. I am glad that the Hindi film industry has some hope with film-makers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. And co-incidentally, the movie has released right on time. I say it’s the right time because it’s at a time when TISA’s petition has been filed, and very much like the euthanasia plea in Guzaarish, the petition has been laughed at and written off. If you feel disheartened because of this, then do not drop your shoulders. Do watch this movie. The way the character “Ethan” tells about his sufferings to people who do not understand his pain is simply superb and inspiring. When TISA filed the petition, I tried to speak about it with a few of my colleagues. I was also laughed at, and was met with a disappointing response. A few responses were as ridiculous as – 1) The Film-makers themselves must have paid the association. 2) It’s only for fund-raising and publicity. 3) Such things are seeds of terrorism. But we took this as an opportunity to speak out about our problems with our comments on the news articles. We have already posted our answers to all the questions raised by media. We do not want stereotyping people who stammer as socially and intellectually deficient people for cheap laughter. We as children have suffered being victims of mockery and bully. We have also experienced those embarrassing moments while watching such movies with friends / families. It does have a BIG impact on the minds. It affects, and affects big time! In Kaminay also, there is one scene where stammering is mocked at. A group of people talk about the two twin brothers, and on learning that both the twins have speech impediments, one of them mocks at them by saying – “Ek totla aur ek hakla….” And all of them have a hearty laugh. Yes, this is again mockery, but this was portrayed as one of the sufferings of those twin brothers. At the same time, the film makers have shown in the movie how Stammering affects the protagonist and isolates him from others. How when a girl asks him to tell a story, just because she is amused by the way he stuttered, hurts him. These are the kind of problems the PWS goes through, and are well depicted. After watching Guzaarish, it gives me hope. Hope that Bollywood is still not gone to dogs, and there are a few good film makers. Secondly, it gives me hope that we should take this as an opportunity and make ourselves heard and at the same time be firm in our beliefs. Whatever is the verdict, at the end of the day, we would have educated a few hundreds of people out of a billion.
- Monday August 19th 2019“No matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter what our situation, compassion is something we all need to receive and give.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer … more
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