The movie – Vivek is much more than simply an activist movie; it’s an essential, savage history lesson which we can ignore only at our peril.
Far and away the main Indian name one of the world premieres the developers built for its 43rd Toronto International Film Festival, veteran documentarian Anand Patwardhan’s four-hour-and-twenty-minute Vivek (English name: Forged ) is a unflinching probe to the innards of this Hindutva mill that thrives fanning religious exception and casteist prejudices while propping up the feudal, anti-egalitarian principles spawned by Brahmanism.
The movie – Vivek is much more than simply an activist movie; it’s a very important, savage history lesson which we can ignore only at our peril – gets down and dirty as it wrestles with the massive challenges posed, along with the unsettling queries triggered, from the downward spiral the world’s biggest democracy was pushed into with a government that seems another way – if not gloat gleefully and publicly – if marauding cow vigilantes go on a killing spree in the name of Hindu assertion. As illuminating as it’s upsetting, the movie, combines rigour and the gravitas of a chronicler together with a streetfighter to provide a portrait of India’s soul. The movie shines a light onto the opposition against Brahmanism from the ones that are influenced – Dalits, Muslims, students and human rights activists – and – points towards the risks to limb and life which these people today face in the deal.
At the beginning, the movie shows us the essence of the dangers involved in this struggle for its preservation of the spirit of a secular, inclusive India. In the daylight murders of both rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, leftist activist Govind Pansare and scholar M.M. Kalburgi into the destiny of Dalit research pupil Rohith Vemula along with the killing of adventuresome journalist Gauri Lankesh, the film traverses a broad arc, bringing in its own sweep the continuous marginalization of Dalits and Muslims, the Malegaon blasts along with the fallout of these investigations, the rising clout of this Goa-based Sanatan Sanstha, along with also the mounting unrest on campuses Throughout the country (like Hyderabad Central University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Film and Television Institute of India, Allahabad University, Delhi University), one of the items.
A placard exhibited by a protesting FTII pupil falls back Voltaire to sum up the mood of those times:”It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” However, it certainly is not only the progress of the previous four decades which Vivek covers; it resides upon Indian history spanning well over a century to comprehend in which the Hindutva ideology’s hatred for another has sprung from and also the course the resistance to it’s obtained not just over time but also in the current times. Its storm-troopers draw from the classes that it’s left jobless.”
Patwardhan himself supplies the movie’s voiceover linking the numerous strands of this cautionary tale that starts with’Slaying of the Demons’, and courses throughout seven sections titled’Reclaiming Shivaji’,’Legacy’,”Sanatan Religion’,”In the Name of Cow’,”Struggling to Learn, Learning to Fight’,’Terror and Stories of’ Terror’ and’Fathering that the Hindu Nation’ before finishing with an Epilogue.
This movie is a sprawling epic call-to-action targeted toward pricking the conscience of Indians. The question is: would the censors allow the movie travel unhindered one of the individuals of the country, individuals whose future is at stake since the ideologues and foot soldiers of Hindutva conduct riot beneath the benign gaze of a judgment institution foresworn to ripping the social fabric of India to shreds?
Vivek might not change the manner Hindutva votaries believe, nor maybe how Indians generally will vote at the next Lok Sabha elections, but what it surely does is show us the ugliness of this cesspool that’s Hindutva – a political doctrine which has been compared to India’s freedom struggle but now wishes to usurp the hard-earned liberty of a delightfully diverse state and impose upon it upper-caste Hindu uniformity.
Student chief Kanhaiya Kumar, creating a speech about the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus after being discharged from a month of captivity on the flimsy charge of sedition, sets the struggle into a direct context:”we don’t want independence from India, we need independence in India, liberty from feudalism, liberty from communalism, freedom from oppression…”
Possibly the most touching moment comes late in this remarkable documentary movie. Mohammad Sartaj of the Indian Air Force, son of Mohammad Akhlaq, the Dadri ironsmith who had been lynched by bunny vigilantes on suspicion of owning beef putting off several copycat strikes, states:”There is not any nation like India.
He, of course, goes on to add that a few components are trying to poison the air for reasons he refuses to delve into. But don’t we know what pushes the Hindutva job? The notions unabashedly trotted from the leaders in addition to the rank and file of this”Hindu Nazi” outfits could be disregarded since outright moronic had they never been a grave threat to the pluralism that defines the India we understand. Nothing in the movie is funnier – and even more shocking – compared to footage of a TV news anchor who’s notorious because of his eponymous unbridled way of grilling his guests thundering in a JNU student that has been handily branded an anti-national and invited into some show about a martyred Indian military guy:”You won’t talk over me. I have run out of patience with your petty and half-literate arguments” Has some assertion produced on television been ironic?
Sorrow, anger, shock, terror, bewilderment and doubt: Vivek elicits diverse emotions because it runs its course. However, the precision and clarity that Patwardhan brings to bear upon his request sanity’s building makes the film essential viewing for anyone that has a stake in India’s future.