Short Film on Pehlu Khan Lynch­ing at Govt-spon­sored Fes­ti­val Draws Sangh’s Ire

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Va­sudha.Venu­gopal @times­group.com

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.”

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