Tuesday, August 30, 2005

facts boo-boo

We've read about the objections to a reference in RGV's Sarkar to a gold medal-winning "shooter" hired as an assassin. {more and more}. Essentially, Shaikh Ahmad Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum became UAE's national hero after he won for the country its first gold medal in the men's double trap shooting event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. All this is commendable. But how do you take this and a stray reference in a work of fiction (limited to just words, it lasts less than 10 seconds -- and perhaps a few more in the later reference by Selvar Mani) and decide to get offended? We've had a long history of people choosing to get offended by things that were not intended as offensive. It's probably richer than the history of people who were offended by things that were meant to offend them. We've got people screaming It's outrageous. How can they depict a UAE gold medallist as a hitman? The movie should be scrapped immediately. Dude! Give yourself a break.

The latest salvo has a quote from Moraad Ali Khan, who won the double-trap team gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002: "He (Al Maktoum) feels that this reference should immediately be removed so that it does not insult him and any other achievers who have excelled in the Olympics for their country." So they have more than one "gold medallist." I have to go watch RGV's film again, but I don't think the dialogues were particular about which real-life person they were referring to (and unconsciously offended). However, we have two people who might choose to be offended (and they've chosen the more famous of the two). Moreoever, the article gets its facts wrong about the reference:"In Sarkar, the character played by Amitabh Bachchan hires an Olympic gold medallist shooter from Dubai for contract killing." Dudes. Please watch the movie again, carefully.

The article concludes with another quote from Moraad: "Sheikh Ahmed was very direct on this issue. Although his name has not been mentioned in the movie, he took it as a direct insult as there is no other gold medallist in shooting in Dubai and the whole of UAE." Could someone tell me whom Moraad represented when he won his gold? We have two candidates here and we need to resolve this first, help them get their facts straight, and then give them a cold shower to focus on more important things.

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