Excerpt: The thing with character-driven films is that they often expect the characters to fill up for the story itself. Sometimes it works, most often it does not. In Gulabo Sitabo, it works only in those parts where either Amitabh Bachchan or the Lucknawi essence holds us by the arms. Some years from now, those are the only two things that we might remember about this whimsical film. And therein lies its principal shortcoming.
Review: Director Shoojit Sarkar and story, screenplay, and dialogue writer Juhi Chaturvedi‘s Gulabo Sitabo is a story about ‘Mirza’ (Amitabh Bachchan), a 78-year-old epitome of greed, who is willing to move heaven and earth to get ownership of his obsession — an old dilapidated mansion (‘Fatima Mahal’) of his much-older wife ‘Begum’ (Farrukh Jaffar) in the heart of Lucknow.
In his path, however, stand not just his wife but also a group of tenants, especially ‘Baankey’ (Ayushmann Khuranna)’ a shrewd, sly and squatted tenant, who matches Mirza bit for a bit in their ceaseless bantering.
What follows is a wacky slice of life that escalates quickly from the shenanigans within the Fatima Mahal to the politico-administrative corridors of Lucknow city.
It is an interesting premise that also benefits from whispered handling of the milieu by the technical team comprising cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay, editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati and apt background score.
But that’s about that.
Because beyond that, it, at the risk of repeating oneself, is down to the characters — notably Vijay Raaz (ASI Officer), Brijendra Kala (‘Christian Lawyer’ who is better because “he speaks English at home”) and Srishti Shrivastava (Baankey’s sister ‘Guddo’) — to shoulder the journey towards nowhere in particular.
After a point, it indeed feels like you are on a journey towards nowhere in particular. Till a rather unexpected climax suddenly lifts up the storytelling to tell us that ‘greed’ is of many types — without feeling self-righteous enough to pass any judgements.
It is a good note to end on. Just as, the quirky and zippy establishment of the universe of the film was a good start to the story. Most things in between, alas, do not quite do justice to the two ends of the thread.
Ayushmann does an exemplary job with the ‘lisp’, where he manages what most actors fail to achieve simultaneously — impact with restraint.
However, beyond that, he doesn’t really exhibit much that is beyond (or above) his recent golden run of author-backed, socially-relevant roles.
In other words, while there is barely anyone, if anyone, in the industry who I believe could replace Bachchan’s impact in the role of Mirza, I could, perhaps, say that ‘a’ Rajkumar Rao or even Kartik Aryan might have done just about fine in the role of Baankey.
Director Shoojit Sarkar has said that the film is a satire. To live up to the description, he does include comments on the workings of government departments, the ‘place’ of the English language in our society and the living conditions of even those living in the ‘Fatima Mahals’ of the country.
But, though handled with understated care, there is not much new to those subjects — and those things, consequently, do nothing to the heart.
For the curious souls, the title Gulabo Sitabo is said to be derived from a form of traditional glove puppetry of Uttar Pradesh in which a man’s harried wife (Sitabo) and his pampered mistress (Gulabo) bicker endlessly. Clearly, the Amitabh-Ayushmann pair was supposed to be the bickering duo. They sure exchange words in the film. But their exchange is nowhere near the zing of the show that real-life puppeteer (Mohammed Naushad) performs at different points in the film.
Talking of Uttar Pradesh, it needs to be said that the film oozes with unabashed romanticism of Lucknow city — carrying postcards of all the ‘must visit’ places of the city, from Imambara, to Hazratganj.
Verdict: There is nothing in the film that is bad. And yet, watch it primarily for Bachchan to, yet again, illustrate the difference between “the boys and the men”. For everything else, either watch Ayushmann or Shoojit Sarcar’s some other movie or travel to Lucknow to do some real ‘Ganj-ing’.
‘Achche Din’ For You As ‘Consumer Protection Act, 2019’ Comes Into Force
The Act provides for punishment for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.
NEW DELHI: The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force yesterday. Briefing the media about the new law through a video conference in New Delhi yesterday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions.
He said the Act includes the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order a recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements.
आज विडियो कांफ्रेंसिंग के जरिए प्रेस को संबोधित किया और आज से प्रभावी हुए नये #उपभोक्ता_संरक्षण_कानून_2019 के प्रमुख प्रावधानों, इसके नये नियम-कानून,सजा के प्रावधान और उपभोक्ताओं के अधिकार संरक्षण के बारे में चर्चा की। यह कानून उपभोक्ताओं के हाथ मजबूत करेगा। @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/db1V2gyDgH
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
To give effect to the provisions of the new #Consumer_Protection_Act, essential Rules notified with effect from 20th July, 2020. Some most important are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules and Appointment of President and Member in State/District Commission Rules.1/2 pic.twitter.com/5YJw9AqKF8
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
Some other essential Rules notified are Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules; Mediation Rules; Model Rules and General Rules. e-Commerce Rules are under notification. 2/2 @jagograhakjago pic.twitter.com/tnXe83zNXb
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 20, 2020
Paswan said that the rules for the prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.
The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others, empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.
The Minister said an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act. This will simplify the adjudication process.
A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.
The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions. There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh.
There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF). The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases and other matters.
The New Act also introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.
The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.
The court may, in case of a first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.
Under this new Act, besides general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, Appointment of President & Members in State/District Commission Rules, Mediation Rules, Model Rules and E-Commerce Rules and Consumer Commission Procedure Regulations, Mediation Regulations and Administrative control over State Commission & District Commission Regulations.
Paswan said that the Central Consumer Protection Council Rules are provided for constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields.
The Council, which has a three-year tenure, will have Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and NER. There is also provision for having working groups from amongst the members for specific tasks.
In his concluding remarks, Shri Paswan said that in earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a single-point access to justice was given, which is also time-consuming.
The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country.
“Sachin Pilot Nikamma Hai, Nakaara Hai… Kuchh Kaam Nahin Kar Raha Hai”: Ashok Gehlot
CM Gehlot alleged that Pilot along with the BJP had been conspiring for the last six months to topple his government.
JAIPUR (Rajasthan): Days after Sachin Pilot and his rebel camp declared an open rebellion against Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan chief minister described his former deputy as a “worthless” person and alleged that he backstabbed Congress by conspiring with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to dislodge his party’s government in the state. He also said that never in the history of the Congress has a party chief indulged in toppling his own government.
#WATCH Hum jaante the ki wo (Sachin Pilot) nikkamma hai, nakaara hai, kuch kaam nahi kar raha hai, khaali logon ko ladvaa raha hai…Main yahan baingan bechne nahi aaya hoon, main sabzi bechne nahi aaya hoon. Main CM ban’ne aaya hoon: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot pic.twitter.com/VKicK8IRJP
— ANI (@ANI) July 20, 2020
“Rajasthan is the only state in the country where no demands were raised from any quarter to change the Pradesh Congress Committee president in the last seven years. We knew that no work is happening. We knew he is nikamma and nakaara (useless). We still didn’t question him keeping the party interest in mind,” said Gehlot to the media.
The chief minister alleged that Pilot along with the BJP had been conspiring for the last six months to topple his government.
“Nobody believed me when I used to say that a conspiracy is being hatched to topple the government. I am not here to sell vegetables, I am the chief minister,” Gehlot said.
Ashok Gehlot’s no holds bar personal attack at Sachin Pilot did not end here as he added, “Masoom Chehra, Hindi-English Mey Command. Media ko impress Kar Rakha tha Pure Country Ke Andar. Bahot Mehnat Kari Rajasthan ke Andar government, Girane Ki.” [He managed to impress national media with an innocent face backed by his command over English and Hindi language.]
“People of Rajasthan know his contribution to the state. I never questioned him [Sachin Pilot] and his actions for the larger interest of the party,” Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.
Earlier in the day, the Rajasthan High Court began hearing on the writ petition filed by rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident party MLAs from Rajasthan, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the state Assembly speaker. The petition was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta on Friday and arguments were heard.
China Has Departed From Mutual Understandings In Respect Of The LAC: MEA
India slams China for violating peace agreements, deploying a large number of troops along LAC in Ladakh.
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Ministry today said the Chinese side has been deploying a large number of troops and armaments along the LAC since early May.
Briefing media virtually this evening, Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, this is not in accordance with the provisions of various bilateral agreements, especially the key 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas.
He stated that the Indian side had to undertake counter deployments and the resulting tension has thereafter expressed itself. The spokesperson said that in early May, the Chinese side had taken action to hinder India’s normal, traditional patrolling pattern in the Galwan Valley area.
The resulting face-off was addressed by the ground commanders as per the provisions of the bilateral agreements and protocols.
In mid-May, the Chinese side sought to change the status quo in other areas of the Western Sector. India had registered protest on the Chinese actions through both the Diplomatic and Military channels and made it clear that any such change was unacceptable.
Subsequently, the Senior Commanders met on 6th June and agreed on a process for de-escalation and disengagement along the LAC that involved reciprocal actions. Both sides had agreed to respect and abide by the LAC and not undertake any activity to alter the status quo.
Mr Srivastava said the Chinese side departed from these understandings in respect of the LAC in the Galwan Valley area and sought to erect structures just across the LAC. When this attempt was foiled, Chinese troops took violent actions on 15th June that directly resulted in casualties. He said both sides remain deployed in large numbers in the region thereafter, while military and diplomatic contacts are continuing.
The spokesperson said respecting and strictly observing the Line of Actual Control is the basis for peace and tranquillity in the border areas and explicitly recognized so in the 1993 and subsequent agreements.
He said Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC in all sectors of the India-China border areas and abide scrupulously by it. They have been patrolling all along the LAC, including in the Galwan Valley, for a long time.
He said all infrastructure built by the Indian side has always been on its own side of the LAC.
He stressed that the Indian side has never undertaken any actions across the LAC and has never attempted to unilaterally change the status quo.
The spokesperson said that however, that has not been reciprocated by the Chinese side and that from time to time has led to face-offs.
He said the deployment of a large body of troops and changes in behaviour has also been aggravated by unjustified and untenable claims. He pointed out that the recent shift in the Chinese position on the Galwan Valley is one example.
Srivastava said the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is the basis of India China bilateral relationship. He said it is imperative that the established mechanisms are used by both parties to address the current situation.
He said India expects the Chinese side to ensure the expeditious restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas. He added that a continuation of the current situation would only vitiate the atmosphere for the development of the relationship.
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