OPINION

Taare Zameen Par - Is Every Child Special?

August 31, 2008
Cine Cynic

Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par is a wonderful movie, but for its tagline. "Every child is special," has now become part of the Used-Taglines-List which has been growing with each movie. I will wait for the day when our film-makers no longer feel compelled to contribute to the list.

If you think about it, Taare Zamee Par is about a special child in various senses of the term. Dyslexia is Ishaan Awasthi's curse and also his gift (if we go by the Davis Dyslexia Association International). Ishaan's gift, in a more direct sense, is painting. That gift makes him prodigious, not just special. The movie proves the specialty of that child to the rest of the world, not just to his parents.

A movie that fits this movie's tagline is yet to be made. That movie would be about a normal child without disabilities nor special talents, a child who is not specially abled either in the literal or in the euphemistic sense, and if things need to be made worse, is plain mediocre. But then, how will it really work? It perhaps won't.

"Every child is special," is a trite remark that we are all obliged to believe. It has been so often used, without meaning it, that we don't stop to think if it's true, nor to think if we believe in it. Even if someone stops to think, they are haunted by guilt and fear that proving it, justifying it, rationalizing it, or even questioning it may be heretic.

There is a proverb in Telugu: kAki pilla kAkiki muddu. A baby crow is special to the crow. Not to every or most or many crows, but to the parent crow. Children are special to their parents. To the rest of the world in most cases, especially to the parents of other children, they are simply other children.

That's alright. Every child need not be special to everybody; adults are not. Though it would be nice to have more, any person needs just one other person to make them feel special.

Cine Cynic writes about movies, only on Desicritics because no one else will publish such criticism. The author also contributes to a few tech blogs, and in the remaining free time pens short stories.
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Taare Zameen Par - Is Every Child Special?

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#1
Gurumurthy Swaminathan
August 31, 2008
02:13 PM

Hi
The tagline "Every child is special" indicates not a special ability of the child. The idea is that every child is special (compared to an adult) in their innocence, vulnerability, ability to learn, etc. They are at a stage where the need utmost care in moulding them and hence cannot be treated lightly. They also need plenty of love to develop their emotional and intellectual ability. It certainly does not indicate the gifted nature of the child. I am guessing that you are not a parent! I became a parent recently and the experience helped me to appreciate not only my child but other children also!

#2
Ravi Kulkarni
September 2, 2008
05:46 PM

I agree with Gurumurthy. Every child has a tremendous potential. Every child is not special just for his or her parents but to everyone around them who have the ability influence that child. How far a child can go only depends upon the time, patience and skills of the care giver, at least in cases of those children who have been fortunate to be born with full faculties intact ("normal"). Even challenged children have many possibilities as this movie demonstrates. If we think of humanity as one, then it makes sense for everyone to take good care of ANY child, not just their own. After all, it may be the next Gandhi or Einstein we are talking about.

Ravi

#3
Heart
September 18, 2008
01:52 PM

Yes, every child is special in many context. You were once a child, right? When you're parent didn't think you as you were (SPECIAL), I wouldn't be able to read this blog!---

Look at you---You were special as you are now!

So, every tiny-little children are so special---

#4
kerty
September 18, 2008
02:54 PM

Ravi

"If we think of humanity as one, then it makes sense for everyone to take good care of ANY child, not just their own."

Would you send me your paycheck? My Kids need it. Just kidding.

That taking care of a child is not a collective or socialized(govenment) project but responsibility of respective parents - if each parent takes care of their own, all kids would feel they are special, and no kid would be left to the mercy of neglect and step-kid attitude. If you burden me with taking care of somebody else's child, that child won't be special to me compared to my own, and that kid , at best, would remain a neglected step-kid no matter how many slogans one raises about each kid being special. Nope. Only my own kids are special.

This movie, using a handicapped kid as a protagonist, tries to make the bolywoodish argument that parents do not treat their kids as special, in fact they ridicule them, and inhibit the development of kids. The movie tries to iconoclast traditional notion of merit that educational apparatus have come to develop in kids. If all kids are special, and if all kids are good at certain things, than what to do with schools but make them a mere rite of passage, where everybody coming out with 'A" grades, with no accompanying obligation to develop excellence as that would leave many children behind in comparison to other kids, so we can't have that in our post-merit egalitarian order. Its been called dumbing down, racing down to lowest denominators, dalitization. The movie is aptly named. When stars are pulled down to earth, they lose all their shine and glamor as they turn into lumps of dirt, indistinguishable from heap of garbage where they crash.

#5
kerty
September 18, 2008
03:11 PM

Ravi

"If we think of humanity as one, then it makes sense for everyone to take good care of ANY child, not just their own."

Would you send me your paycheck? My Kids need it. Just kidding.

Taking care of a child is not a collective or socialized(govenment) project but responsibility of respective parents - if each parent takes care of their own, all kids would feel they are special, and no kid would be left to the mercy of neglect or step-kid attitude.

If you burden me with taking care of somebody else's child, that child won't be special to me compared to my own, and that kid , at best, would remain a neglected step-kid no matter how many slogans one raises about each kid being special. Nope. Only my own kids are special to me.

This movie, using a handicapped kid as a protagonist, tries to make the bolywoodish and manipulative arguments - as usual, parents are the villains who do not treat their kids as special, in fact they ridicule them, and inhibit the development of kids. The movie tries to iconoclast traditional notion of merit that educational apparatus have come to strive to develop in kids. If all kids are special, and if all kids are good at certain things, than what to do with schools but make them a mere rite of passage, where everybody comes out with 'A", with no accompanying obligation to develop excellence as that would leave many children behind in comparison to other kids, so we can't have that in our post-merit egalitarian order. Its been called dumbing down, racing down to lowest denominators, dalitization. The movie is aptly named. When stars do get pulled down to earth, they lose all their shine and glamor as they turn into lumps of dirt, indistinguishable from heap of garbage where they crash. Taare fall to Jamin, Jamin does not scale the hight or brightness of Taare.

#6
bharati
URL
September 22, 2008
06:35 AM

I used to be like the child in Taare jammen par . I still am in the sense though I learned to use the copious brains I had to learn the emotions of the nearotypical folks and I studied IIT and IIM. when after class X the need for all the soft subject like social science , english , hindi stopped I literally moved to top of my scholl and went to IIT and IIM. so folks suffering from aspergers syndrome have hope.

Feminists obviously hate aspergers because the taare jameen par types are typical and steriotypical male.

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