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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.