Reader Contribution: So, Despite a censoring state the show goes on!
It was a success that the state had to unleash all its power to suppress the voice of protest and still the show went on even as its echoes were heard across the world. The Fourth Udaipur Film Festival took place in Udaipur on 14h , 15th and 16th October 2016. About a month back […]
It was a success that the state had to unleash all its power to suppress the voice of protest and still the show went on even as its echoes were heard across the world. The Fourth Udaipur Film Festival took place in Udaipur on 14h , 15th and 16th October 2016.
About a month back the convener of the film festival Dharmraj had taken permission from the Dean , Rajasthan College of Agriculture for the auditorium and the requisite fee was deposited. The venue was advertised in all the communications and posters of the festival and on 13th of October , the permission was withdrawn by the administration of Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology. The University said that the organizers did not have the permission of the district administration.
The district administration and the police kept on postponing their decision till 11.00pm on the 13th and finally refused to give permission to have the festival at the venue announced and because of the constant pestering of the committee and other intellectuals of the town conceded to allow it to be held at Vidyabhavan auditorium. But here too dear policemen in uniform and plain cloths were guarding the shows, taking detailed notes and asking simplistic questions to the organizers and the audience. The ghost of Rohit Vemula had snatched their sleep and made them restless. How could they be expected to know the sin, cos, delta or omega of the cinema of protest?
The fourth Udaipur Film Festival was dedicated to Iranian film director Abbas Karostami, Mahashweta Devi, Punjabi novelist Gurdayal Singh and Sulabha Deshpande. Organized by Udaipur Film Society and Jan Sanskriti Manch the festival raised the voice of what happened in the model state of Gujarat at Una and in Maharani’s Marwar with Delta Meghwal. In the wake of war hysteria and blind folded glorification of the armed forces, the plight of the sweepers and cleaners of Mumbai and Pune municipal corporation was depicted in a film Kachra-Vyuh directed by Atul Pethe.It documents that 22,327 employees engaged in this job of scavenging die every year. Are they not martyrs? Their wages are so low that they cannot take loans from banks. Will the PM’s swachchata abhiyan include revision of their wages?
A highlight of the festival was the the premier of the film Kairana Surkhiyon ke Baad. Directed by Nakul Sahni, the celebrated director of films like ‘Muzaffar Nagar Baki hai’ and’ Izzatnagar ki Asabhya Betiyan’, Naqkul Sahni had come to Udaipur in the last film festival. The twenty seven minutes film exposes the real causes of the communal divide and economic backwardness of Kairana , which never find place in TV debates. In fact, this film was also a cause of the restlessness of the Hindu brigade who were saying that why should such films be shown in Udaipur which is a calm place. It shows their status quoist character. The children’s session was a very lively session in which children from a number of schools including DPS participated in good number. They made paintings, sang songs, listened to stories and saw a film ‘Gattu’ based on the life and dreams of a rag- picker boy.
Another very important film was Flames of Freedom directed by Subrat Kumar Sahu. The film documents the struggle of the tribes, dalits and OBCs in Odisha’s town Ichchapur. It presents how the brahminic forces hace captured the land and othe natural resources of these people and how they have united to fight against this exploitation. The presence of Samuel John in the festival was a great motivation. The film ‘Anhe Ghode Da Daan’ in which he played the lead role touches and disturbs the audience. The pathos, helplessness and a robust optimism make a contrasting ethos of the film. He plays the role very convincingly. Other films and documentaries like Sairat and Masaan were also liked by the audience.
The oppressors succeeded in the sense that the audience was less than the last festivals. But the audience which was there stayed and enjoyed every bit of the festival. The organizers succeeded more because the crooked design of the administration working at the command of the RSS and allies was fully exposed and spread all across the country.
The film festival was also successful because Delta Maghwal’s father was there, Bhanwar Meghwanshi was there, Prof. Sudha Chaudhary was there, Jayesh Parmar from Una Ladat Samiti was there, Saurabh Kumar who has made Agnishikha was there and Prem Chand Gandhi from Jaipur , General Secretary of Pragatisheel Lekhal Sangh was there. It was a success that the policemen saw films, it was a success because the teachers accompanying children said that such films should be shown in schools also.
My message is – You show me your lathi, I will show me my film/ you call me names , I will sing you a song.
Contributed by: Dr.H.S.Chandalia
Note: Views are of reader only and not of UT
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