Black Panther, Tagore and Rahman

Ramakant Shankar

Posted on February 25 2018 - Gifts for the Geeks - Geek Mythology : Black Panther, Tagore and Rahman

Gifts for the Geeks - Geek Mythology : Black Panther, Tagore and Rahman

"If you had to choose a moment in history to be born, and you did not know ahead of time who you would be -- you didn't know whether you were going to be born into a wealthy family or a poor family, what country you'd be born in, whether you were going to be a man or a woman -- if you had to choose blindly what moment you'd want to be born, you'd choose now." said Barack Obama in 2016. 

 Barack Obama was right. Specifically, the year 2015 was the most peaceful year in human history, despite what the constant deliberate anxiety-inducing negative media coverage of the world events will have you believe. 

( Yes, this piece is about Black Panther. Reaching there in a bit.) 
If you find that hard to believe, Bill Gates recently recommended "Enlightenment Now" as the book to read if you were to read just one book this year: this book presents a detailed data-based analysis of the peaceful present that people seem to disregard for the mirage of a greater-history that never was (, with respect to value for human life). 
Of course, there are wars being fought, lives being lost, and homes and minds being destroyed by various sorts of discrimination even today. Where hope lives, though, is within the increasing radius of the sphere of inclusion which has become a universal language. Put simply, it means there's hope because the people defending inclusion aren't a trivial minority in our era. 
These proponents have, at different times in human history, represented the force that increased the radius of inclusion, against the accepted flow. They've reported and rejected not just discrimination, but the norm of the "culture, traditions and values" that made facetious attempts at even recognizing the discrimination they bred and nurtured. 
I have an underwhelming three-word review for Black Panther as a Superhero movie: It was Okay. Great direction, brilliant actors, but a mediocre story-line. 
And yet, the movie left an impression; a feeling of familiarity. Black Panther didn't care to be a goofy Marvel entertainer, or a preaching sermon, or a cinematic masterpiece. It was what it was: the familiar proponent who reports and rejects discriminating culture and traditions when T'Challa tells his ancestors that he's done with their culture of shutting their world out for the fear of losing their own power; when he pushes the sphere of inclusion by stating that wise men build bridges; and fools build barriers. 
This peaceful era we live in today, and the sphere of inclusion that grows, did not shoot up from the soil one fine day; neither is it perfect and happy for those still suffering. It was brought to reality by people who reported and rejected discrimination. By people who are reporting and rejecting discrimination. To make sure that sphere of inclusion continues to grow to improve lives of those still suffering because of discrimination, these proponents are vital. Black Panther may not be the greatest superhero movie, but it is the most important one (at least subjectively) because it is the proponent that fearlessly reports and rejects discrimination. 
"Okay, but what's Tagore and Rahman got to do with all this?" 
The feeling of familiarity, while watching Black Panther, that left an impression on me, was tied to Tagore and Rahman by the universality of the message. Rabindranath Tagore wrote- and A R Rahman played- these words that are as universal as the music: 
"Where knowledge is free, and where the world has not been broken up into fragments by tireless efforts of men; 
Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where the currents of tireless striving originate and flow without hindrance all over; 
Where the clear stream of reason and thoughts has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of lowly habits and deeds; 
Where the velour is not divided into 1000 different streams; 
Where all the deeds and emotions are blissful given by you; 
My father, strike the sleeping India [country] without mercy, so that she may awaken into such a heaven." 
The country doesn't have to be India. Wherever you might live, it is universally important that your "world has not been broken up into fragments by tireless efforts of men; and, the clear stream of reason and thoughts has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of lowly habits and deeds." 
To Reason and Thoughts. To Black Panther. To Equality. 
Article written by Mr. T'Shukla, who claims to be a Software Developer working out of Wakanda. In addition to being a computer geek, he is a comic-book movie fan.
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