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Chacha Nehru (and Chachi)



Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamla Nehru in their wedding dress.

There is something strange going on at Doordarshan. On the occasion of Nehru's birthday, which is celebrated in India as 'Children's Day', they showed Sai Paranjape's Bhago Boot (2001). True to the old time-tested tradition of Doordarshan, that's all well and fine. I used to enjoy these kid movies shown religiously (often repeated) on this particular day . But this year, thanks to the digitalization and restoration of old archives, the film was preceded with a special presentation - an old reel having Chacha Nehru talking to a group of Kids about need for Children's cinema whose 'best judge should be children'. Between the clicks of camera, you could see the old man entertaining the kids with his famous talking skills. Rapt audience, which included his grandchildren - young Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, he told the kids that American films are sometimes good but often they have too much violence, he doesn't like that,  there's already too much of that in his life. And then at the end he cracked a joke about Sanjay's idea of fun - smearing ink on other people.

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