Madhur Bhandarkar is known for making realistic films but his latest movie Indu Sarkar is too realistic for Congress’s comfort. Indu Sarkar set to release on 28th of July is based on the emergency from 1975 to 1977 depicting the terror under the reign of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Some of the dialogues and the scenes in the movie have already raised eyebrows. Is Madhur Bhandarkar really trying to defame the first Gandhi family or just trying to ignite the debate of emergency once again? Let’s hear it straight from his mouth what makes it so contentious & controversial.
1. Congress says that you’re playing into the hands of the government right now and you’re just out to defame Indira Gandhi in your film. What’s your response on that?
Madhur: I have a trend of making movies which are real and issue based films. Now Congress will decide whether I should make a film on emergency or not. And the emergency is shown in documentaries, is there on books. And here I’m saying that this movie is 70% fiction and 30% reality. My story is also about Indu and her journey with her husband, her conflict with him, how both of them see the emergency in their own perspective. This is my subject. It is not a sponsored film and only a medium budget film.
2. If a film is made on a Congress icon, Congress goons attack and if on a BJP icon then BJP goons attack. We’ve never seen any united stand in the industry against this censorship or hooliganism. We can say that there’s a selective positioning within the industry. Isn’t this harmful for art?
Madhur: I have always stood by the film fraternity whenever there was an issue with the film, be it Udta Punjab, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. May be there has been some restraints. Yes, there’s selective positioning and that what makes me angry. What happened with me today might just happen with them. I was hurt because I wanted the industry to come together on one platform and speak for it, support it. Why there’s no freedom of speech for a filmmaker? Why he can’t say? It is harmful for the art indeed. Censorship and hooliganism in any form should be banned.
3. See, since you mentioned freedom of speech, it’s interesting that the intolerance brigade who speaks on every topic whenever some questions are raised and cry out “freedom of speech”; is surprisingly silent when it came to your film. Is it because you’re perceived as a pro government?
Madhur: I have no clue why did this happen. It was very shocking for me. The whole gang demanding freedom of expression was absolutely silent and not supported it. They are again selective here. When it suits them they will voice their opinion and when it not then they will remain silent. And I have friends in all political parties. I have even attended so many events of Congress, BJP and Communist Party. Individually I like them but this not a politically motivated film. It is about a human character. Yeh bilkul bhi prayojit nahi hai. Yeh toh biopic bhi nahi hai. Why the books and the documentaries are not banned? And when Amartya Sen made documentary nobody asked him whether it was sponsored by the opposition party then why they are asking me. They are being simply hypocrites.
4. Ok, so what prompted you to pick up this subject for your film?
Madhur: I felt as a filmmaker this is a very emotional subject. I was 6-7 years old when the emergency was declared. So honestly I have no memory of it. But I felt that people should know what happened during that time. I revisited myself. I wanted to make a film on a period and I am most fascinated by the contemporary India and the emergency era was the apt subject for it because people avoid this topic and don’t talk much about it. I got a positive feedback after the trailer from the students of various colleges and they are keen to know the history back then. This movie will not only emotionally touch them but also educate them.
5. Emergency Era was one the most controversial periods of Indian history. Opposition parties were jailed, media houses were shut down, and mass sterilization took place. So do you believe that India Gandhi was a dictator back then?
Madhur: No, no. I don’t want to comment on a person or individual. My film is not a political film; it is only against a political backdrop. I’m here to narrate a character, Indu. This is not against Gandhi family.
6. Do you feel pressurized when you portray characters like Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi in a sensitive issue like yours even though it is 70% fiction?
Madhur: Yeah we have to take care of everything. Lots of actors also have a problem sometimes while doing a film that it is a political film. Because they feel that the repercussions come to them in form of morchas, protests, and warnings. So I have to see to that nothing goes off the track.
We at NewsAurChai wish success to this upcoming movie Indu Sarkar and are eagerly wait for your future projects!
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