You’re not alone. Our first reaction was the same as yours. The moment we read this blasphemous line on the Wikipedia page of Farhan Akhtar’s upcoming biopic “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” calling it “a Bollywood biographical film on former Indian athlete Silvester Swami,” we at first squinted at the screen. Then we Googled Silvester Swamy. Besides the same Wikipedia page, there were suggestions to auto-correct Silvester to Sylvester, no doubt after the very macho Hollywood star.
But here’s the thing. “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” is not about an imaginary athlete named Silvester Swamy or even Sylvester Swamy. The movie, as the name pointedly suggests, is about the Flying Sikh of India, the legendary Milkha Singh. What’s even more astounding is that Wikipedia knows who Milkha Singh is. Why there even is a page.
We do live in an information explosion age and even though scores of websites and news channels mixed up Pt Ravi Shankar and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, there can never be enough of these identity faux-pas.
The universal encyclopedia that has become a popular reference point for many people, and that ”anyone can edit” is not legit after all.
This reminds us of this Molly Lewis’ song, The Wikepedia Song, where the singer laments as a scorned lover because Wikipedia doesn’t have all the answers.