A soul is what gives a person heart. A heart is what makes the person a human. A human is that being which has feelings. Feelings are what define morality. Morality is what makes a person good or bad. And good or bad is what defines a person’s life. And life is what we all live. And live is what we do, with dignity. And dignity is all about respect, respect that is all about honour… honour is justice. Justice is fairness. Fairness is the desire. The desire… of ever soul.
And soul is the one single thing that No One Killed Jessica has. Oh yes, Bollywood has already proven to be true to its New Year Resolution Number Two [Bollywood Takes a New Year Resolution].
Normally a film critic analyzes a film’s script, its direction, the music, the screenplay, the acting, as I was doing in the first few minutes of No One Killed Jessica. But then the realization hit me – this is what has happened. It is our nation which wrote the script, it is our nation who was ACTUALLY DOING WHAT WE PRESUMED WAS ACTING; it is this nation which was the director. And it is this nation that has won. And the greatest victory belonged to No One Killed Jessica.
It speaks out loud.
Against injustice. For dignity. For honour. For all that’s fair.
I am not going to rate this film. I am not going to pass a judgment for or against it. All I know is, if Rang De Basanti showed us a presumably non-existent link with the Great Leaders of our Past, then No One Killed Jessica proves its very existence. It shows us the power of truth. The power of belief. The power of hope. The will to fight for that which is right. The strive to never give up. It shows us the power that one person’s will and belief holds: it tells us that there is still a Mahatma Gandhi somewhere, hidden in every person, in every Indian. There is still an imperial legacy blinding us: that of corruption, that of injustice, that of misused power… and there are still freedom fighters. There is still a Gandhi. There is still a Bhagat Singh. At the same time there is still a Bharat, a Hindustan that is not free. And that the people are still united, that they are yearning to smell the free air, to taste freedom. That we are not going to bend down. That we are going to rise, from the ashes, like a Phoenix, we are going to blind the world with the light that shines within us: a light that is so powerful that any spark to protect the guilty will be blinded.
It makes you feel frustrated, it makes you feel guilty, it makes you feel helpless. But it tells you that no one but you can fight that which burdens you so. It tells us to wake up. It shows us the way.
If Rang De Basanti said “A generation awakens”, then No One Killed Jessica says, “A generation has awakened, brushed, stepped out of the home, fought, fought hard, harder, and has won, has smiled with pride… has shown the world a way that it has always been looking for.”
This is not Bollywood. This is the soul of India, the power of democracy, the goodness in every person, the sense of equality hurt by injustice, the dignity behind every act of valour, the honour awaiting us all, the glow of righteousness, the guilt of unfairness, the sovereignty of the heart, the secularism of the judiciary, the belief in innocence, the hope of the nation, all rolled into one, deep, powerful, inspirational voice… calling.
Jessica is smiling at you as she stands there, waiting with a candle.
Will you go?