Skip to main content

Bollywood film director Hansal Mehta expresses "serious concern" over RSS' communal, divisive agenda

By Our Representative
Well-known film director Hansal Mehta has expressed serious concerns over the overt activities and statements of the RSS and allied organizations, after the recent BJP victory in the general elections of 2014. He has stated that "communal and divisive agenda of the century old rightist organization RSS is now open and public." In an interview, which is part of a series of audio-visual interviews to be released soon, Mehta has sought to compare the way the Government of India is acting with the Emergency days (1975-77), imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Available for viewing on the internet on the joint You Tube video channel by “Communalism Combat” and www.hillele.org, the interview shows Mehta saying, "Even during and after Emergency, it was impossible or difficult to make serious and honest films over the period of emergency or about Indira Gandhi.” However, he expresses surprise over the new situation, especially the fact that now it is “easier (to make critical films) in the neighbouring Pakistan."
“Communalism Combat” is a periodical run by well-known human rights activist Teesta Setalvad who is the interviewer. Mehta is director of films “Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar” (a story of migrants) and “Shahid” (on minority rights), which are “forthright in their assessment of the present scenario, while talking about the threat of hate-driven divisive politics”, Setalvad says. 
Mehta won the National Film Award as best director for Shahid (2014), which marked shift in priorities of the government at the centre. This, according to Setalvad, was one major reason that “Shahid” was unceremoniously replaced from being the inaugural film of the National Film Festival in May 2014, soon after election results, due to the crucial issues it raises.
“A fear of challenging the ideology of the ruling dispensation governs this mood of self-censorship”, says Mehta, who emphasizes, “There have been such threats before, even during moments of our own authoritarian past.”
Talking about Hindi cinema, past and present, Mehta says that in his assessment the Bollywood films in the 1950s were more serious and sensitive towards society, raising several questions, tackling even the gender question. “After the angry young man of the 1970s it was tokenism that replaced a more thematic understanding of issues", he underlined.
In the interview, Setalvad said, Mehta talked “cheerfully about his hobby, specifically about his first venture into television with a highly popular food show”. She adds, “A lover of good cuisine and passionate about its creation, Hansal Mehta is today learning the nuances of Awadhi Cuisine. It was Hansal, who produced the famous Sanjiv Kapur’s show Khana Khazana.”
Setalvad adds, “Dedicated to creating more films like ‘Shahid’, that turns the mirror of society within, Mehta spoke about creating a sex comedy with the same brutal dedication. This interview of Hansal Mehta is the first of the series of interviews by Communalism Combat and www.hillele.org. The series will include interactions with actors, film makers, artists, academics, writers-poets, activists, politicians and musicians, all of which would be launched on their You Tube Channel Hillele TV (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3G7YYiSQ65t2AilCtw-anw).”
---
Click Hansal Mehta’s interview, please click  http://youtu.be/1HKbUh-g5Gk

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.