“We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind” – Edward Bernays (1891-1995)
Edward Bernays is regarded as father of public relations and pioneer of propaganda. In the 1920’s when smoking was taboo for women, and the general public opinion was that only low class women smoked, Bernays changed it all. As part of a campaign for American Tobacco company which sought women as their customers, Bernays branded cigarettes as feminist. He organized the famous ‘Torches of Freedom’ where women flaunted cigarettes to express their freedom from the shackles of male chauvinism. He believed people can be manipulated, and they should be for a right cause. Ironically, he himself never smoked, and persistently tried to make his wife quit smoking. But he failed, and by 1960’s he worked with pro-health groups and supported anti-smoking campaigns.
The men and women of Bernay’s ilk have one agenda: to manipulate your and my mind. The way we think, eat, live, and behave is not really ours. We need to go deeper, beyond our minds, and connect to our own real selves. Otherwise the world of glamour and propaganda would devour us.
Mansoor Khan is an archetypal example of an intelligent man who dared to live beyond the mind- he truly transcended the razzle-dazzle world of Bollywood. Despite establishing himself as an excellent film director, he dared to change his life.
In the mid 1980’s Bollywood’s reputation took a serious downslide. The movies dished out by the tinsel town was sub-standard; the slicks predictable and boring.
Enter Mansoor Khan with new ideas and a freshness, which took the entertainment industry by storm. He had fresh actors, debutant music directors and new singers, and Quyamat se Quyamat tak was a pleasant and welcome change that Bollywood looked for. The film won the prestigious National award for the best movie of the year, and numerous other accolades flowed in.
Mansoor Khan had become a household name; having graduated from IIT, and then studied at the prestigious Cornell and MIT added to his impressive persona. Then came Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar– another super brilliant winner at the box office; critics and fans lavished praise. Mansoor Khan was here to stay. People compared him with his father Nasir Hussain and declared the son’s talents surpassed his father’s directorial skills.
To be continued…