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‘Tezpur-1962’: An incident that never found a place in History

The film has won the National Award for the Best Investigative Film and documents about the town that was witness to hundreds of people who had to evacuate due to the fear of foreign invasion.

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A sculpture at Tezpur, Assam. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Often referred as the cultural capital of Assam, Tezpur is located on the banks of the Brahmaputra. This place is of utmost importance because during 1962 Sino-India war, this town was witness to hundreds of people who had to evacuate due to the fear of foreign invasion. Samujjal Kashyap, a Guwahati based engineer turned director has tried to catch a glimpse of what they had been through by his documentary “Tezpur-1962”.

On being asked how he decided to make a film on Tezpur, Kashyap said, he came to know about the Youth Emergency Organisation (YEO) that was formed during the evacuation of Tezpur that is approximately 170 kilometres from Guwahati. Even though many believe that everyone left the area, but he came to know that YEO was there to patrol that area. This is how the idea to make a fictional film about YEO struck him. The purpose to make this film was to bring forth the efforts made by YEO that were not recognized and remained untold in the pages of history.

800px-A_view_of_Chowk_Market,_Tezpur
A market at Tezpur. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The town was evacuated because of the wrong assessment by the then centre. Apart from the centre, the Foreign Policy and Forward Policy (which included building of military outposts and patrolling in disputed areas) of Jawaharlal Nehru is to be blamed as well. During that time, the Indian army was not too capable of handling this sort of warfare and during that time, the Chinese troops intruded the area at a lightning speed.

In the documentary, Journalist Mrinal Talukdar said, there is very little information available in the about the incident. The primary reason is that the incident was a disgraceful one, the battle was lost by Indians and that the Government was prepared to take an initiative to bring forth it’s shameful past. Therefore the incident was written about mainly in print but there is hardly any video documentation on it.

Related Article: Meet Prakash Jha who is making a documentary on plight of Pakistani Hindus

It is a government-sponsored project, so I could not talk about many things. For instance, earlier the Tibetan government collected tax in Dirang. I could not mention that in my documentary. Also, about the McMahon Line, the demarcation was not done properly and the Chinese did not agree on it. I could not mention that either,” Kashyap told to a leading newspaper.

There were many hurdles that Kashyap had to face while shooting the documentary. The Twang roads were in bad condition and due to extreme weather conditions, shooting was difficult. People who were interviewed for the documentary were too old to feature in it as throughout he was concerned about their health. Joshy Joseph, a documentary filmmaker has helped him with the editing, adds Kashyap.

Despite too many hurdles, Kashyap was successful in documenting the incident by giving everyone a taste of these people’s lives. This year, in 2016, the film has won the National Award for the Best Investigative Film.

 

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Death Knell For The Rape Culture

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day

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Death knell for the rape culture
Death knell for the rape culture. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day. Hearty thanks to the countless candle marchers. The credit also goes to those conscious media and columnists who all fueled the agitation and energized the activists. Here PM Modi’s dynamism can’t be overlooked either, because this ordinance, which was long overdue, has happened now.

Let’s all pray that the ‘fear of death’ will be an effective deterrent.  Hope, this will “frighten away” the real vices. In the meanwhile, it would also be very wise on the part of the government to look for other preventive measures since we have lot many “vices” in lot many avatars and assortments which only encourage the sex related crimes. There are also very dangerous “vices” which, when start to infect one’s thought-process, might give birth to the countless Trojan horses, Malwares, even virulent I-love-You. The virus infecting tragedy usually strikes ones very fast who are with weak inborn “antivirus”. This, in fact, turns “sane men into perverts” if one objectively analyses. But what is too bizarre is that some of such virus generating vices are let to flourish under the cover of silence while some are made to believe through media as “virtues” and while others as “talent” — with a whole lot of modish adornment and poetic adulation. Do you want to acknowledge that ones who cried hard against the despicable rape culture are the premier dealers of these vices? Some are producers too. I cut short here.  Because these days I fear the “thunder of hypocrisy” then the roars of the tiger in a jungle!

Candle March for death penalty of rapists.
Candle March. Pixabay

Yes, remaining complacent by mere hanging the perverts will be thus a downright immaturity. The identifying the causes of those vices that are hurting the society at large are equally important.  Of course, many try to overlook those vices as if they never make a bad impact upon the mindset an individual. Here I’ve an argument — has the heat of the hearth stopped boiling the water or burn your pack of currency notes to ash? As mentioned above, we can draw a perfect “analogy” between the virus infecting a computer leading to its inevitable “malfunction” with the people’s behavioral degeneration and wrong indulgences due to the continuous exposure and acceptance of vices.

Also Read: Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

However, it would surely be good if the Government and awakened women organizations boldly pinpoint those forces as well which are culpable for presenting women as no less than commodities, and the dealers of the vices. In this, one is skeptical whether we can turn to the media with hope, or with doubt! Because, very absurdly, the definition of “good life” and its values have now been willfully distorted and redefined to suit the situation, plans and programs such that they would help further the agendas of that forces which rule the roost.

Stop the Terror of Rape.
Stop the Terror of Rape.

Anyway, whether one agrees or disagree, disinfecting/detoxing the “mindset” of the society is the only pathway to the sane society which we are now crying for. The healthy thought, healthy attitude, healthy acts can only toll the death knell for any kind of rapes or any kind of depravity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali