THIRUVANANATHPAURAM: The celebrated documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan is happy about getting a positive high court verdict for one-time screening of his documentary ‘Reason,’ but he is extremely disturbed and concerned about the growing ‘intolerance’ in the country.
He says, in these dark days, it is a very welcome verdict.
“Even though it is one particular day for one screening tomorrow we have got the victory. It shows that all is not lost. Somewhere, some court, we get justice,” he said.
On the restrictions imposed by the central government on documentary?
Anand Patwardhan: Coming from the central government, the restrictions are not totally unexpected. Because whenever the right wing government is in power this happens and even other governments had trouble with censorship. Especially when the right wing is in power the trouble increases. In a way they are being stupid because they are giving free publicity to a film. More people will watch because they are making such a noise about it. They are cracking down on it. People will be curious to see why they are cracking down. If I was a government I would have kept quiet and let the screening happen in International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFKK). Why should they be so worried about few delegates watching the film? It is not as if millions of people are watching it in the festival. It doesn’t make sense why they are doing it. Every day they are proving that it is an undeclared emergency. Every day they are proving in different ways that “we are not a democracy anymore.”
On the allegations that your films will lead to law and order problems?
My films have never created violence anywhere. In fact my films are all about non violent protests. Yes about resistance. But certainly not the kind of law and order problem that they are claiming it would create. That shows their ignorance about my films. My films believe in democratic rights so it is quite absurd for them to claim that it will lead to violence. In fact they are the ones (right wing forces) who create law and order problems.
Why is it important to watch Vivek?
My film is important. It is important to know about the history of the right wing emergence in the country. The film shows you that this is an experiment which happened more than 100 years ago and we are seeing the culmination of it right now. There are different examples in the film of what has been happening during the last five years. It is about the intolerance that is growing in the country. It talks about many things, about killings. The brutal murders of rationalists like Gobind Pansare, Narendra Dabolkhar, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. It’s about the killings of minorities and dalits in the name of cow protection. Actually I didn’t set out to target one particular party. What the film is showing is the kind of growing intolerance that we are witnessing in the county in the present times.