Teach them reasoning, questioning


Teach them reasoning, questioning, Chukka Ramaiah, Information in mathematics problems. The toast of the season is Dhoom Broom.

There is startling evidence that many high school students cannot draw inferences from texts, distinguish the relevant information in mathematics problems, or provide and defend a thesis in an essay. Teachers know questions to be one of their most familiar - maybe even one of their most powerful-tools

The toast of the season is Dhoom Broom. Yes, as we welcomed the New Year, along with the rest of the world with three cheers; glasses were also raised, rather unwittingly, for two serendipitous happenings of last year that have set the 2014 ball rolling. And, now, everybody is talking about the seminal change the Ballot Box has brought to the lives of Delhi people and the way Dhoom 3 has busted the Box Office records.

Bollywood and ballot have never had such big box office hits as they have today. Incidentally, the heroes of the two mega successes – Aamir Khan on silver screen and Arvind Kejriwal on political stage – have created waves in India and abroad by their stellar performance in their respective roles as the leading actor in Dhoom 3 and as the Aam Aadmi Party’s supremo in Delhi. Both are real heroes and have set new standard for themselves as well as for others in cinema and politics.

That is the problem. Everyone wants to emulate them, show others that they are also capable of performing as good, if not better, as Aamir and Arvind in movies and politics. Though the difference between cinema and statecraft is as much as that between sugar and salt, they do mix occasionally to give a cinematic effect to real politics on screen. Already, there is a talk of scripting a film based on the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party as an alternative to the mainstream parties that have run out of ideas of governing a country that is full of youth population yearning for a new political spirit that matches its ebullience.

Before such a movie hits the screens (before the parliamentary polls?), presumably to influence millions of voters across the country to vote for ‘clean’ candidates who can deliver on their promises rather than doing a vanishing act after getting votes, fulfilling of water and power pledges by Delhi’s new hero has set off a chain reaction in other States to reduce tariffs on two most essential utilities. When Arvind could do, why not others is the refrain and in the coming days as he unveils more ‘reforms,’ demands for such measures (what other parties call populist) elsewhere are going to snowball.

It’s a different issue whether he could replicate his Delhi Assembly poll success at national level. But he has become a political catalyst to cleanse a corrupt system that is disconnected with reality and devoid of values. Those who have never taken note of him have started talking about him, his principles and his simple living and high thinking. The elite and the urban middle class are embracing his AAP in droves.

What is the secret of his success in a short span of just about a year? Like in a Bollywood blockbuster, did Arvind mix all the ingredients in right proportions to unseat Congress stalwart Sheila Dikshit from her Delhi throne last month? Or, his political plan ran along the lines of story plots of hit Hindi movies like Dhoom 3 that offer something (or nothing) for everybody?

Comparisons may be preposterous. But that’s what an English TV channel has done, bringing in Aamir and his film director onto the show and skillfully injecting into it Kejriwal and his unprecedented victory and discussing their impact on national political scene. The common trait that stands them apart from the rest of their compatriots is their whole-hearted devotion to whatever task they take up; and their honesty instills confidence in the work they do, doesn’t matter whether it is political or entertainment.

Just four days into the New Year, both heroes have emerged as the big winners in their respective field of activity. With Kejriwal winning trust vote in the Delhi Assembly with a comfortable majority and the Congress assuring him – and the nation – that it does not have any intention of toppling his government as long as he sticks to the promised agenda, a sword of Damocles is no longer hanging over the head of Arvind.

Aamir Khan has every reason to smile all the way to his bank as Dhoom 3 has become the first Bollywood movie to hit 100 (crores, of course) in just three days and two weeks after the film release, its total domestic and overseas BO collections have crossed Rs 400 crore.

Despite theatre tills ringing with cash globally, critics have a field day pooh-poohing Dhoom 3 for having lost its ‘plot’ and reducing it to a special effect car & bike chase spectacle. If it is viewed as a pure entertainment, well, it is worth the buck spent on buying the ticket. If one goes to see holes, they are big enough to pass trailer trucks through. That the film is a mega commercial success should not mask the fact that it was a two-year effort and took the Indian cinema industry’s technical standards to a new level.

On the political front, Kejriwal is being criticised for adopting populist measures too soon without keeping state finances in mind, conveniently ignoring the fact that he is the prime motivator for political change. Indeed, reel to reality is worth watching.

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