Saturday, October 2, 2010

A couple of funny stories based on Mahatma Gandhi's ideas

Mahatma Gandhi getting off a train
Today, 2 October, is Mahatma's birth anniversary. Here are two hilarious stories based on his ideas:
  1. Eric Frank Russell's "... And Then There Were None"; download: Interstellar colonists meet Gandhian resistance.
  2. [movie] "Lago Raho Munnabhai" (2006) (@imdb): Perhaps the most influential movie ever made. Anywhere.

    Ever wondered what would happen if traffic cops handed you flowers for minor traffic offenses instead of fine, & politely told you not to violate the rule again? Indian city of Indore actually tried it, inspired by the movie, with fantastic results. It never became widespread practice principally because local governments in India look at traffic fines as a revenue source rather than an effort to make roads safer.

    Things moved very fast in a Bangalore community when a corrupt babu was told he would get polite reminders for inaction next day. Polite reminders from a few tens of thousands of people. No violence, no public protests!

    There were innumerable experiments of this kind across India in months following the movie's release. Over time, things have fizzled out. I guess we need more movies of this kind.

    I've only seen the original Hindi version. But most Hindi movies now-a-days are also released with English subtitles; sometimes dubbed & even edited-to-Hollywood-length versions are also available. Try at your favorite source.