Munnabhai, the lead character of two hit bollywood films – Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai left an indelible effect on the people. A character who wears the demeanour of a goon (gunda mawali), a typical urban anti-social element, goes through a series of experiences in life that make him to re-adjust his sentience. Feeling dejected at the facile and acerbic qualities that have creeped into our society, he undergoes a transformation when he finds a guiding light in the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and his own ruminations on his sufferings. He later transpires to a reformist who is empathetic, love-worthy, modest yet profound in his manner. Munna possessed an immense respect for everyone regardless of religion, caste or gender which later brings a change in the hearts (hriday parivartan) of the adversaries.
The incidents that occurred in Kashmir in the recent past and the commotion generated by the attracted controversies has left a fraction of people angry and another fraction angry at the former. But a majority feels dejected at the sight of the violence which persists in the physical actions, expressed opinions and underlying intention across the wide spectrum of mass media, politics and public. We hardly realise that we’ve long forgotten the common resolve to restore peace in Kashmir that it has remained devoid of. Our actions have in turn ascertained the postponement of it.
Here’s the teachings of Munnabhai that might bring a positive shift if brought into practice.
Jadoo ki Jhappi
Munna Bhai invents ‘Jadoo ki Jhappi’ – a method of comfort and the compassion the he shows towards those in need. Despite the school’s emphasis on mechanical, impersonal, bureaucratic relationships between doctors and patients, Munna constantly seeks to impose a more empathetic, almost holistic regimen. The situation finds a striking resemblance in Kashmir where the stakeholders are engaged in contriving belligerent strategies to prove they’re heavyweight champions. Munnabhai defies all conventions by treating a brain-dead man and several others with ‘Jadoo ki Jhappi’.
Munna bhai engages in intense study of Gandhi’s teachings and prepares diligently for an upcoming interview. It is during this period that the image of Gandhi addressed by his nickname “Bapu” appears and offers help and advice to Munna. Munna starts to co-host a radio-show with Janhavi and Gandhi’s image, guiding his audience to use Gandhigiri to solve everyday problems. Munna later launches a “non-violent” protest to reclaim the house occupied by authoritarian, influential forces. He calls his protest “Get well soon, lucky” which eventually succeeds and peace is restored among the parties. Had the manner of protest been stone pelting and indulging in unlawful activities, the justice would only have been delayed, the situation become worse and the truth lost in the commotion.