My wife goes to school at Buffalo. And I look at my wife’s yahoogroups and see the notification:
Film: Â‘Final SolutionÂ’ (2004)[ Author’s Note: Subtle undertone–; Indians are Nazis], 148 mins, IndiaDirector: Rakesh Sharma (Filmmaker will be in attendance) [Author’s note: Of course he is in attendance–this is his US junket, now he shall spend his time in the fleshpots of capitalistic decadence studying sin cities first hand]
In a conundrum fuelled by fascist regimes and apathetic national governments [Author’s note: what the hell does a conundrum fuelled by fascist regimes mean in any case?], Â‘Final SolutionÂ’ is an attempt to chronicle the brutal events of a state-sponsored genocide that occurred in Gujarat,India in the year 2002. It is a study of the politicsof hate. In 2002, India saw about 2,500 Moslems being brutally murdered, hundreds of women raped and more than 200,000 families left homeless. Right-wing Hindu fundamentalists argued that this bloodshed was necessary to retaliate against the equally brutal and senseless burning and killing of 58 Hindus on the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra, Gujarat on February 27, 2002. The film examines the aftermath of the deadly violence that followed this event between the months February 2002 – July 2003. Borrowing the chilling term EndÃ¶slung, meaning the systematic relocation and murders by the Nazis, for the title of his film, Rakesh Sharma seeks to remind that Â“those who forget history are condemned to relive it.”
What’s with us as Indians? I mean just looking at this paragraph above makes me squirm . It also makes me understand why we have been invaded ad nauseum by Islamic despots and imperialist powers for centuries. That’s because we as a country, through the ages, have kept on producing enough traitors to keep our enemies smug and happy. Traitors ? Am I over reacting? After all here’s a Channel V ex-producer who after being associated with such a serious news channel has decided, out of the force of his own conscience, to expose the vicious Nazi-scale “Final Solution” type state-sponsored pogrom perpetrated on Muslims (sorry Moslems) by the apathetic Indian national government. (My lesson of the day: it was the “national” government which was responsible for the genocide—last time I heard the shrill barkings of Shabnam Hashmi and her ilk, it was the Gujarat government that was culpable.)
I must be a crazy right wing loon. But hold on, I don’t believe in organized religion. I also believe that Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, is a dangerous man who deserves to be behind bars for criminal negligence and for inciting riots. But I also believe that Hitler he is not—either Rakesh Sharma and his friends have no idea of Mr Modi or they have no idea of Hitler or what the Final Solution was.
It might be the later. The “Final Solution” was conceived at the Wannsee conference by office holders in the German administration to come up with a long-term plan to murder and dislocate Jews. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that even one murder in Gujrat was conceived at the state or national level, no evidence that it was ever a part of government policy. Because it was not.
The reason I stress this is because it is precisely here that the treachery of Mr Sharma lies. Mr Sharma knows the truth. Yet he, very mischievously, associates a term (Final Solution) which has a far darker connotation for Westerners (it implies violence as a part of government policy) with what happened in Gujrat in order to get brownie points from those who matter.
And who are they? The Western audience ! The people who don’t know better, who have deeply entrenched stereotypes of Hindus and India. Mr Sharma’s meal ticket comes in pandering to that stereotype———–of India being a land torn asunder by Hindu-government-orchestrated religious and caste violence (he has made another documentary on caste violence !). Being a self-flagellator and a dissident is a sure-fire way to get noticed in the place that matters—-the US of A. That’s where the dollars come from, not to speak of the soundbytes and the awards that matter.Me bad. I am ascribing motives to a noble individual. But am I ? If Mr Sharma really wants to stop the hate and the violence, should he not be in Gujrat showing his movie and shaming people into reform? Should he not be touring India’s educational institutes informing students of the truth behind the genocide. In all my years at Jadavpur University, I never once saw these documentary film makers despite the glowing leftist traditions of my alma mater. I however have seen them at Stonybrook, in NYC, in the valley……..the last places on earth where there is a need to educate people on the dangers of communal violence. Unless of course your motive is not to educate but to sensationalize.Sensationalize. Yes, that’s the word. The publicity literature above says ” state-sponsored”. Libelous. There has never been any proof whatsoever that the state sponsored or paid for any of the violence. The official movie description is a bit toned-down where Final Solution is said to ” examine the patterns of pre-planned genocidal violence (by right-wing Hindutva cadres), which many claim was state-supported, if not state-sponsored.”
Hmm……..”many claim was state-supported, if not state-sponsored.” Clever use of words, right? Once you can put “many claim” before your sentence you can get away with anything…..like “many claim” Elvis is still alive. Plus you also weaken your assertion with the “state-supported” word….however none of this second guessing finds its way into the promotion which is as provocative as can be.
Let me draw your attention to this news item.
March 22, 2005
The fighting in the town of Dera Bugti erupted last Thursday after the tribesmen allegedly attacked a convoy of pickup trucks carrying paramilitary troops along a mountain road.
Officials have said up to 45 people, including eight soldiers, were killed in the clashes between the Frontier Corps troops and Bugti tribesmen, who dominate Dera Bugti.
It was an alarming escalation of a low-level rebellion in Baluchistan, the country’s poorest province, where tribesmen are demanding more returns from the natural gas extracted from their territory and resent the army’s moves to set up garrisons in the region.
Abdul Samad Lasi, the top government administrator in the area, said yesterday that several homes of Hindus near the temple in Dera Bugti also were damaged by rockets in the fighting.
“This is true that some 17 Hindus were killed and their temple was severely damaged,” Lasi said.
Full article here.
Now let’s imagine if this had happened here in India. A mosque destroyed and the top government administrator speaking non-chalantly of the death of 17 Muslims…sorry Moslems.
All hell would have broken loose. Shabnam Hashmi would have been barking herself hoarse on every street corner saying that the Indian army (the greatest institution we have) has shown bias by destroying a minority place of worship, Arundhuti Roy would be fingering herself into a frenzy, Dilip Kumar would be frothing at the mouth, the JNU crowd would be bleeding green and Rakesh Sharma and his friends would rush out with their cameras and then line up at the US embassy for visas.
But with Pakistan, we have a shattering silence. It’s also interesting that we don’t have a single Pakistani Mir Jaffer—-they do not promote themselves at the cost of their country. And none of the bleeding-heart liberals on India’s side care for Hindus. Cause it is not fashionable. Or in other words no money in it.
Pakistan has gotten rid of its minority problem by decimating the Hindus and Bangladesh is following in its footsteps. Yet they do it silently without world attention because both of them are dictatorships (yes I know Bangladesh is nominally a democracy) and people like Rakesh Sharma would be getting canings on the soles of their feet if they were in Pakistan.
However in democratic India, these traitors can get away with doing anything. They can take the full benefits of their Indian citizenship and spit on their country’s face……..case in point the Kashmiri freedom fighters of the Hurriyat conference send their sons and daughters to Indian schools far away from Kashmir while they spew venom at our country. Cause they are Indians only when it is convenient.
As to people like Rakesh Sharma…..the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. However as mentioned before, they are not really concerned with Indians at all—their main ploy is to sell a negative image of India to westerners and denigrating India is something that cannot be ignored. Hence the need to have an informed rebuttal for his sleight of hand—-while his entertainment value comes from his ability to lie and exaggerate our entertainment value has to come from being able to call his bluff.
I remember, along with some friends of mine at Stonybrook, calling Shabnam Hasmi’s bluff in 2002 when she came on a venom-sprewing mission. I wish there are people at Buffalo who can do the same. And hasten Mr Sharma onto his next movie project for which this ex-channel-V staffer is suitably suited—a funny documentary on the “Kama Sutra”.
You can bet I will wait eagerly for that one.