Art & Entertainment

Vipul Amrutlal Shah On JNU Students' Protest Against 'Bastar': Isn't The Celebration Of The Killing Of 76 Jawans A Hate Campaign Against The Nation?

JNU students protested against the makers of 'Bastar: The Naxal Story'. They called it 'hate propaganda' and also demanded “immediate action” against the director and actors of the movie.

Advertisement

Instagram%20
Vipul Amrutlal Shah on 'Bastar: The Naxal Story' Photo: Instagram
info_icon

After the blockbuster, 'The Kerala Story', astute filmmakers Sudipto Sen and Vipul Amrutlal Shah joined hands for yet another hard-hitting story. Sen and Shah have collaborated for 'Bastar: The Naxal Story' featuring Adah Sharma in the lead. She is playing an IPS officer. Post the release of the teaser, it sparked controversy as Adah's character directly took a dig at the Leftists and the Naxalites. Left, liberal, vampanthi, pseudo-intellectual are some of the terms used in the film. The film's poster read, 'hidden truth that will take the nation by a storm'. Sudipto and Vipul intend to tell the true story of how Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) celebrated the killings of 76 CRPF jawans by the Maoists.

Advertisement

Ahead of 'Bastar: The Naxal Story' trailer release, Outlook India had a conversation with Sudipto Sen and Vipul Amrutlal Shah where they were asked how the idea germinated. Sen said, ''You can imagine the movement which is going on in Bastar. The Maoist movement has a history of 50-55 years. If we go by their time frame, it was in 1967 when the Maoist movement erupted in the country. Now, to tell the story of the Maoists and to get into the skin of the movement, definitely, we have done a lot of research. As this is not part of mainstream Indian politics, the information and statistics and the reality of most of the cases are far away from the public domain. So, we had to go to the locations again and again. I travelled to Bastar for hundred times. Bastar: The Naxal Story is the outcome of our hard work.''

Advertisement

Shah added, ''When I got the story and heard the research and saw everything, like The Kerala Story, I absolutely felt compelled to tell this story. The fact that, on one hand, people try to justify Naxalite's violence but when you hear the story of 76 CRPF jawans being killed...I recently saw a story where a four-month-old baby was hit with an iron rod and killed. When you hear stories of that kind, and then when you see the research where the highly intellectual people, sitting in cities, trying to create a cover fire for these people and this violence. More than 15,000 jawans and more than 70,000 people overall have been killed in Bastar. That's not our data, it's the government's data. If that is the kind of violence that has been perpetrated on people there and nobody wants to talk about it, it's a little weird. That is what compelled me to make this story.''

Poster%20of%20the%20film%20Bastar%3A%20The%20Naxal%20Story
Poster of the film Bastar: The Naxal Story Photo: Instagram
info_icon

He continued, ''In Bastar, the roads and schools are not allowed to be constructed, hospitals cannot be built, mobile network is not welcomed there, and water supply is not important for them. They won't allow water supply pipes to be planted across the Bastar region. So, what kind of people are these who are saying that 'we are trying to good for the local people'? But they don't want any development and nobody wants to talk about it. So, we felt that we need to bring this truth to the audience and that is what we have done.''

Many have claimed 'Bastar' to be a propaganda film like 'The Kerala Story'. When Vipul was asked if 'Bastar: The Naxal Story' is a propaganda film. To which he said, ''76 jawans were killed or not? They were killed. There was a local news report that 8 infants were snatched from their mother's hands and thrown into the fire. They were burnt alive. All the media publications printed that there were celebrations at the JNU when 76 CRPF jawans were killed. So, when we are telling these true facts, what's the whitewash here? We are neither taking names of any political party nor we have spoken about any political leader throughout the film. So, whom are we trying to whitewash? The second thing is if that is the allegation then it's a very weak argument because you are not able to confront the argument with truth. Show me that these 76 jawans were not dead. I will say that it's a propaganda film.''

Advertisement

JNU students protested against the makers of 'Bastar: The Naxal Story'. They called it 'hate propaganda' and also demanded “immediate action” against the director and actors of the movie. On this, the 'Human' director said, ''It's so ironic that some people in JNU did celebrate the killing of 76 jawans. That isn't a hate campaign against the nation? But the hate campaign is to show it in cinema. Can you imagine a more weird and baseless argument than this? Why only this? JNU has a long history of doing activity that is against the interest of the nation. We all know 'Afzal tere katil zinda hain', all these happened in JNU or not? The shocking thing is rather than stopping those people who are doing these in JNU, they want to attack us for showing the truth. I would leave it to the audience to decide whether celebrating our jawans killing is a bigger crime or showing it on celluloid is a bigger crime. Let's audience decide.''.

Advertisement

'Bastar: The Naxal Story' is all set to hit the screens on March 15, 2024.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement