Patriotism in my Veins: Why Clerk is the Greatest Deshbhakti Film of All Time

Bollywood

Patriotism in my Veins: Why Clerk is the Greatest Deshbhakti Film of All Time

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

f you aren’t particularly fond of the weird and wonderful, you must have probably missed the news of a mysterious sarcophagus being unearthed in Alexandria a few months ago. When word spread that one of the exhumed bodies could belong to Alexander the Great, a set of people had an interesting request: They wanted to drink the liquid that was oozing out from his tomb so that they could gain the powers that made Alexander almost undefeatable on the battlefield.

Believe it or not but I could relate with those crazy dudes because that’s exactly what I wanted to do when I discovered the HD version of Clerk, the 1989 cult masterpiece on a streaming website. You see, I was desperate to taste the genius of writer-director-actor-producer, Manoj Kumar’s twilight years. After all, it takes extraordinary skill and a maddening vacuum of ingenuity to be the first filmmaker in history to carefully craft a film about virtuous nationalism, victimhood, and self-inflicted celibacy of a sarkari clerk.  

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