Politics and history are now near-defunct subjects in our cinema. Who wants to take the risk? Specially after what happened to Tandav…This is why you will see an abundance of sports bio-pics. But not politics. Too risky, yaar.
This is why we must applaud producer Ajay G. Rai for showing us that there can be a spark of rebellion even during the prolonged season of submission and servility. Ajay who has been a powerful part of the Hindi film industry for a good 20 years(he started his career as a production manager in 2001) has always believed in making the right mov(i)es.
The impressive repertoire of films produced and co-produced under his distinguished banner JAR Pictures include Mumbai Meri Jaan, Gulaal, No One Killed Jessica,Gangs Of Wasseypur , Liars Dice(an absolute gem that was never released in theatres, now available on Netflix), Nil Battey Sannata and most recently that masterpiece Fire In The Mountain .
Ajay’s repertoire is not about making deals and setting up projects. “For me, there has to be a strong reason to be associated with any film or series.I am never in it for money,” he says.
Grahan which takes us back to the horrific genocide of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, recreates the events during and after those three days and two nights after Mrs Indira Gandhi’s assassination when India and the Sikh community burnt.Ajay was told it was dangerous to tread into such volatile territory. “But it was risk worth taking. Cinema can and must change the way we look at life and history.”
The series now on Disney+Hotstar and is a must-see for all who were not born when the genocide happened.
Diljit Dosanth one of the most distinguished members of the Sikh community was born in 1984. He will star as a victim of the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi in film entitled 1984..
Says Diljit, “I was born in 1984. I was a baby when the riots happened. But I’ve heard the elders of the family talking about it. Jo hua wohnahin honi chahiye thee. Cinema must recreate history truthfully so that we don’t make the same mistakes again,” says Diljit, adding that the film to be produced by Ali Abbas Zafar will be shot in Punjab and Delhi.
Interestingly, Diljit has already done a film on the 1984 riots. “And that too was titled 1984. It was a film directed by my friend Anurag Singh which I am really proud of. That film was in Punjabi and set in rural Punjab. The forthcoming film 1984 is set in Delhi in the midst of the riots.”
The other truly remarkable films on the 1984 riots are Shonali Bose’s Amu and Aamir Khan’s Rubaru Roshni. There are other films on the subject. But they have been crude weak attempts to make sense of one of the most brutal and barbaric chapters of Indian history.
What makes human beings turn into venomous killers ready to destroy rape and loot their own friends and neighbours? Ajay Rai intends to find more answers to such questions that many politicians would prefer to bury under the rubble of lies.
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