Short Film on Pehlu Khan Lynching at Govt-sponsored Festival Draws Sangh’s Ire
New Delhi: In the midst of the Bulundshahar violence and a government embattled over lynching incidents, a short film on Pehlu Khan’s lynching in Rajasthan was shownatNationalFilmDevelopment Corporation’s film Bazaar in the I&B ministry’s showcase International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that ended in Goa last week. While the film elicited much praise from crit- ics, it has angered some sections of the Sangh Parivar. The film called Al-War had a tagline “Religion does not eat flesh, but humans.”
The director of the film, Jaideep Yadav, said his short feature film, produced by Raapchik Films, was shot in Haryana and was based on Pehlu Khan’s lynching incident. In April last year, Pehlu Khan, 55, was beaten to death on suspicion of cattle smuggling.
The viewing room usually consists of a coveted audience of national and international film pro- ducers and distributors and film festival agents who pick up interesting films that can be promoted or screened in film festivals.
While the selection process for this section are not stringent, that a film on a sensitive subject made it to the “viewing room” of the festival has upset some veterans in the RSS.
A senior official at the directorate of Film Festival (DFF) that organised IFFI this year told ET they had nothing to do with the selection of the movie as it is an internal team of NFDC that decides movies for the “viewing room” at Film Bazaar that took place as part of IFFI. NFDC senior officials declined to comment on this issue. An email sent to the NFDC management on Tuesday went unanswered. Raja Chinal, who is lear nt to be in charge of matters related to films, did not respond to ET’s calls or text messages.
Surendra Jain, VHP spokesperson said movies made on lynching “tend to show one-sided picture of the crime with an aim to defame Hindu organisations.”