Those frustrated to see persistent bashing of business as evil in Bollywood (and Hollywood) movies will welcome the "Guru". I plan to see it as soon as the DVD version is released.
Who would ever have thought that one of the villains of a Bollywood film could be import duty? "Guru," the latest Bollywood blockbuster by the respected director Mani Ratnam, is that rare film -- perhaps Bollywood's first -- in which free markets are lauded as a force for good. Aliens emerging from the Taj Mahal would be less surprising.
"Guru" stars Abhishek Bachchan as Gurukant Desai, a character inspired by Dhirubhai Ambani. Ambani was that rare tycoon who went from rags to riches during the worst years of India's license raj, building Reliance Industries, which today is India's largest private-sector company. In the era in which Ambani flourished, the state strangled private enterprise with licenses, regulations and sundry restrictions. Jawaharlal Nehru's dictum that "Profit is a dirty word" about sums it up.