Monday, September 05, 2005

The journey which changed history

One week break and I was all the way busy watching movies. Since most of them were romantic ones, I was also in a romantic mood :-). Before Sunrise, Before Sunset (These are sequels), 100 Girls (Romantic Comedy) were some of those romantic flicks. The Mating habits of Earthbound human was too funny. I have watched one of my all time favorites, Amelie, once again. Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Ong Bak – Thai Warrior etc. followed suite. Everything was going fine until I saw The Motorcycle Diaries.

Diarios de motocicleta (2004) talks about a journey embarked by Ernesto Guevara (23) and Alberto Granado (29), typical college students of the 1950s, on a motorcycle, looking for chicks, fun and adventure before they grow up and have a more serious life. They decided to travel across Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru covering more than 10,000 kilometers.

Initially the journey was adventurous. But Ernesto, who was in his final year of medicine and an acute asthma patient, as they explored the inlands, was touched by the hardships and exploitations faced by the normal people of Latin America. The poor farmers' lands were captured using power and were made to work like slaves in mines and factories. After completing his journey, he flew back to Buenos Aires with a mind that had decided something. He finished his graduation and then what he did is history.

After liberating Cuba along with Fidel Castro, Ernesto moved on to other Latin American countries for their liberation. He believed that only a revolution can bring out a change. People called him ‘Commander Che’, ‘Che Guevara’, or simply ‘Che’ (corresponds to mate/pal/man/dude in colloquial Argentinean dialect). Later in October 1967, he was killed by the CIA backed Bolivian army in La Higuera near Vallegrande, Bolivia. He was on his feat of liberating Bolivia and was engaged in Guerilla Warfare in the Bolivian forests when he was caught.

The thing I liked about Dr. Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna is the power of his vision. He dreamt about a united South America without borders, bound by a common mestizo (mixture of European and Amerindian, the people of Latin America fall under these origins) culture. Since he chose the revolutionary way, no wonder why the US felt an imminent threat growing in the form of a leftist super nation in their vicinity and assassinated him.

Meanwhile I was also thinking about the recent US attacks on Iraq as well as Afghanistan and the ‘forced-peace’ prevailed during cold war time. When USSR was there, there were less such attacks done by the US and whenever an attack happened the USSR was there to counter it. That is why I called it ‘forced-peace’. Had the USSR been there, these attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn’t have happened. Hence, history would have been different if a big leftist nation as dreamed by Che, was formed near the US under their nose. Might be a gut feeling, but still, I feel that if such a nation was there, the US wouldn’t have dared to attack other countries as part of its deliberate act of proclaiming supremacy and looting natural resources of other countries.

Thus, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on the diary notes of Che Guevara, talks about a journey started for fun but changed the course of history. It is a matter of fact that the rural India is still under exploitation of the weaker classes, particularly in states like Bihar, UP, Andhra Pradesh etc. (Please don’t get offended, but this is a truth). May be not to revolutionize things like Che did, but when will I start such a journey through the hamlets of India?