Valour: Playing the Game within the Highest Stake

Indian Philosophy/ Lagaan Once Upon a Time in India                                          


“Let me remind you all of one thing: this is not a game we are playing for fun and entertainment – this is a fight we must win”, says Bhuvan. It is yet one of a myriad line that has been delivered with conviction to justify what it means to strive not just for mere survival; but to put up a fight that can develop a sense of will power and determination without compromising the moral values that are nurtured throughout the Indian culture and its rich heritage.

As the story of Lagaan Once Upon a Time in India has started to unravel, it will be realized that this is not only all about Indian farmers being enslaved by the British Imperialists. This is about a journey of the strong-minded individuals who are originally residing in the village of Champaner epitomizing unison: for if they are together, they gain more strength and inhabit more courage. Despite the many challenges confronting these people, the human spirit that enlightens them to put up a good battle has served as a catalyst for a less violent clash. The taxes are high; the drought is terrible; the dominant ruling is rampant; the quest for equality is even harder to endure; the emotions are trying to pre-occupy them – the poor inhabitants’ roots of suffering have once seemed to be too impossible to resolve. What make them hold on and weigh upon the burden that life has to offer are their extreme devotion to God, their determinism to survive, their selflessness embarked in characters, their dedication to tasks at hand, and their unwavering principles that they continue to carry on.

To do my duty, I can’t be false to my religion says the man whom they call ‘Your Highness’ when the British Captain asks him to eat the meat as a condition to get through a deal. Raja Puran Singh refuses to violate his Dharma. This faithfulness to their belief also applies to cases wherein if one person has to represent his/her village (game of Cricket for example), he/she must seek the best ways to succeed for he/she doesn’t just bear the honor of his/her self but for the sake of the entire community is at risk. No matter how difficult it is to defeat the odds that are presented, one must stay sincere to his/her Dharma for it fulfills not only the perpetuation of identities and solidification of interests but also promotes social values and order in the society.

People may get disheartened at times, but that neither means giving up nor not being able to defy the conflicts especially of choice and justice. The effort is definitely worth it because it is through extraordinary commitment that the moral victory is attained. In the film, the plot settles with a happy ending symbolized by the much awaited rain. This is not due to any cliché that aims to please its viewers. Rather, it signifies that the good wins over the evil. Both teams that are built can have their own reasons as to why they execute such actions; but there is one who can be hailed as champion – whose virtue is conscientious, and leadership which exemplifies execution of responsibilities that is devoid of worldly ambitions and impure intentions.

Listen, O, my friend… what’s this fear you have? This earth is ours and so is the sky…

Categories: Reflection | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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