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Return of the angry young man


Return of the angry young man

Much has been documented on the rise of Amitabh. The angry young man phenomenon of the early 70’s. Mirroring the angst of a generation experiencing the souring of the independence dream. Feeling let down by the government that was meant to be the ‘mai

Return of the angry young man
baap’, the ire in Amitabh movies was often directed against a father who didn’t turn out right. It caught the original romantic superstar Rajesh Khanna by surprise as his durbars and box office collections began to thin out.

Return of the angry young man
After a heady decade and a half, followed by a string of flops, Amitabh in his own words realised ‘the new generation was not angry anymore’. As India began it’s romance with liberalisation, the anger gave way to eager anticipation of good times that lay ahead. Amitabh transformed into a ‘benevolent uncle’, the gracious host of KBC. And the romantic RK was reborn as SRK.

Return of the angry young man
Fast forward two and a half decades and we found ourselves on the wrong side of India shining. The prospect that the good times were not lasting forever, initially met with nervous humour, became a threat that refused to budge. With the need for protecting wellbeing replacing romance, the romance with MMS, the magic uncle, turned sour. As India sought reassurance that someone was in charge, quiet was no longer the adjective for strength.

As our new source of hope (boy can he talk!) and his band of digital followers demonstrate, being able to combat challenges, not through quiet results, but aggressive expression, is the new mantra.

Not so long ago, for the intimidating Mathew Hayden, aggression meant what you saw in Rahul Dravid’s eyes. Today as the quiet league of Laxman, Dravid, SRT and finally Dhoni hang up their boots, you might need to watch out for the middle finger instead.

Return of the angry young man

Welcome aboard … captain