Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for writing and directing Rang De Basanti (2006) and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013). He is the writer and director of the films Aks (2001) and Delhi-6 (2009). He was born on 7 July 1963 in Delhi. His father worked for the Claridges hotel in New Delhi. He was a part of the selection camp as a swimmer in the 1982 Asian Games held at New Delhi but was not selected in the final round. He studied at Air Force Bal Bharati School in Delhi. In 1992, Rakeysh married P.S. Bharathi. The couple have a daughter, Bhairavi, and a son named Vedant. Mehra criticized the vote-bank politics behind the introduction of the Mandal Commission by VP Singh and said it inspired him to pen the script of Rang De Basanti.
Mehra has criticized India’s education system as being too marks-driven, without any emphasis on actual achievement. Ridiculing the system, he said: “We’d started work on “96.7”, till I realized it had become redundant, and I should work on a subject called 100%. It was about the education system. Perhaps I’ll make it once I understand the whole system… perhaps my views are very lopsided right now. But the seeds have been sown,”. He further added: “Imagine if Shakespeare goes to DU (Delhi University) and he’s told, ‘We can’t take you based on stories you’ve written as your mark sheet isn’t that cool.’ Or if a Leonardo or Rabindranath Tagore goes there and writes something called “Gitanjali” and they tell him, ‘Mr. Tagore, it’s nice to write things such as ‘Where the head is held high’, but where is your mark sheet?”
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