by user Elektrone
So, Parzania would not be screened in Gujarat. Not anytime soon at least. It seems the entire state is being held hostage to a particular ideology and anyone protesting against it would be silenced. All sighs stifled and all pain concluded imaginary. As if it never happened. Or even if it did, it no longer matters. To quote Faiz:
nisaar maiN terii galiiyon pe ai vatan, ke jahaaN chalii hai rasm ke ko’ii na sar uThaa ke chale
Parzania is a heart-wrenching story of the Mody family and their son Azhar who was lost during the Gujarat riots of 2002. They used to live in the same ill-fated Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad where Ahsan Jafri used to live (who along with many others were put to death despite repeated pleas to the Police for help). Dara Mody, his wife Roopa and their daughter Benaifer were still waiting for the return of Azhar when Rahul Dholakia, a fellow Gujarati pained by what happened during those days of madness, decided to make Parzania. The names might have been changed in the movie but the wounds are real. Naseeruddin Shah plays the role of Dara and Sarika plays the role of his wife. The movie was released all over India on 26th January 2007 to rave reviews. The movie is apparently doing well in most of the theaters it has been released and is asking some pertinent questions from its viewers. Not so much in Gujarat. Even though there is no official ban, the multiplex owners have decided not to screen the movie. > > “As the movie is on the subject of the Godhra riots, we feel it is likely to create problems if shown in multiplexes. We have decided not to screen the movie,” said Multiplex Owners Association President Manubhai Patel.
The apparent reason is the threat of disruption from Babu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal leader and himself an accused in the Narpda Patiya massacre. > > Multiplex owners in the state justified their decision, saying that they feared vandalism, especially in the wake of the Bajrang Dal warning that it would disrupt any attempt to screen the movie if it hurt Hindu sentiments.
So, an accused rioter and his band of hoodlums have apparently become the caretaker of ‘Hindu sentiments’ in Gujarat. Babu Bajrangi insisted on watching the movie first to let him decide whether it was ‘fit’ to be released in Gujarat. Dholakia refused saying that “they were not the authority”. I should have added ‘they don’t have any authority’ but that is not true. That ‘they shouldn’t have any authority’ seems too much of an ask in Gujarat these days.
I salute Rahul Dholakia for his courage and conviction. It is because of people like him that secularism in India is not a mere slogan but a higher ideal to which millions of Indians aspire to, every day, day after day and pass it to their posterity. As Faiz further writes:
yuuN hi hameshaa ulajhtii rahii hai zulm se Khalq na unkii rasm nayii hai, na apnii riit nayii yuuN hi hameshaa khilaaye haiN hum ne aag mein phuul na unkii haar nayii hai na apnii jiit nayii
Promo of Parzania: