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RAM KE NAAM: A controversy or a blatant truth

Ram Ke Naam movie was produced in 1992 by Anand Patwardhan

from not even being telecasted to a must-watch

The eminent director, Anand Patwardhan, records his journey of picturising his most controversial movie, “Ram Ke Naam” (In The Name Of God), in a recent article. Produced in 1992, the movie is one amongst the trilogy of the director describing the “rise of religious fundamentalism”.  First being “Una Mitra Di Yaad Pyaari/ In Memory Of Friends”, second is Ram Ke Naam/ In The Name Of God and the final one is “Pitra, Putra aur Dharmayuddha/Father, Son and Holy War”.

the filmmaker Anand Patwardhan
the filmmaker Anand Patwardhan

India has long witnessed a communal conflict and the religious sects have never tried to put an end to it. Moreover, the political parties mould the events in ways that would benefit their own agendas. The noted director puts forth the events in his article that paved ways for a long communal riot over the Babri Mosque at Ayodhya. He argues that where on one hand the Hindu community claimed it to be the built at the birthplace of Lord Rama, historians have not found any traces of such a place birth place though they came up with it to be an ancient Buddhist city of Saket.

This whole argument was heated when in 1949 a temple priest, Shastriji, broke out in the Mosque premises and installed an idol of Lord Rama, claiming the Mosque built by Mughal Emperor Babar being a transgressive act. He asserts: “The rationale for this act of destruction and construction was that Babar had supposedly built this mosque after demolishing a temple to Lord Ram that had marked the exact location of Lord Ram’s birth.” The Director worked in a two-member crew consisting of him and his colleague Pervez who passed away before having a look at the final editing.

the cover for the movie
the cover for the movie

To answer what could have been the reason of such claim he says: “Today, Ayodhya is full of Ram temples and at least 20 of them claim to be built at the birthplace of Ram. The reason is obvious. Any temple that establishes itself as the birthplace of Ram gets huge donations from its devotees.” His film encompasses the Rath Yatra in 1990 when it reached Bombay, but it has a longish context to it.

Bothe the crew members traced the events that took place in the name of constructing a Temple taking over the Mosque. The Muslim-Hindu trajectory turned out to be such that the place where one was majority the other was an oppressed minority. On October 30, 1990, a mob went to Uttar Pradesh in order to attack the Babri Mosque despite of the swearing that Mulayam Singh Yadav provided of not letting even a bird in. The day became exemplum for later days showcasing what all can be seen in proving one’s religion as superior. An official count of 29 deaths was recorded; however, later hyperbolas of some leaders reported it reaching to a thousand and the bodies being thrown away into the Saryu River.

a newspaper report during the rath yatra
a newspaper report during the rath yatra

The filmmaker furthers with his own struggle of telecasting a disputed movie. Even after winning “a national award for Best Investigative Documentary as well as a Filmfare Award for Best documentary”, the movie was regarded anti- Indian by some great personalities. He even had to go through a bias at the television broadcasting at Doordarshan, against which he later had to file a case. After 5 years of contest, he finally was able to make it reach to a larger audience but the reputation of the movie didn’t let it to be a huge success.

Though the court has settled the dispute now by giving spaces to the Temple, the Mosque and the Akhada. However, this never-ending dispute has not been settled. one has to look into the matter to find an impasse to this. The movie exposes the audience to the reality of the situations.

Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Masters in English and has also done her studies in German Language. Twitter: @meghash06510344

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These 10 Events after Independence changed India Forever

These ten events that happened in the past changed the country forever: 

Independence Day
India is Celebrating its 71st Independence Day. Wikimedia
  • India celebrates the Independence day on 15th August
  • Since the partition and Independence of 1947, the country has come a long way on its own
  • We look at ten events that changed India forever

August 15, 2017: Today India celebrates its 71st Independence Day. In 1947, India became a sovereign nation independent of foreign rule, which came at the cost of a partition.

However, in these 71 years, India has come a long way to become a reputable nation in the international standings.

These ten events that happened in the past changed the country forever:

1. The Indo-Sino war of 1962: 

The 1962 war with China resulted in a humiliating defeat for India. While India was trying to stand on its own feet, independent from the foreigners, the savage offense from China was a blow to India’s confidence. The communist China attacked India on 20th October 1962 in Ladakh. Some say the war emerged out of nowhere. India did not see it coming, and was not prepared for it. The war, however, created animosity between two neighbors who are today the regional powers in the continent.

2. The Indo-Pak war of 1971: 

India and Pakistan have been at war since the partition. The 1971 war between the two countries lasted just 13 days, but a major event of history was written. Bangladesh was liberated from Pakistan and became an independent nation. With this creation, the geopolitics of the Indian subcontinent changed forever. A buffer zone in the form of Bangladesh had emerged. Further, the dispute of Teesta river was a continual issue until recently.

ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi Condemns Religious Violence on 71st Indian Independence Day, Warns “Will Not Accept Violence In The Name Of Faith”

3. The National Emergency of 1975: 

Indira Gandhi government declared the National Emergency in 1975. The fundamental rights of the people and the constitution became worthless. Liberty was erased from the lives of the citizens. All in all, it was an attack on the very democracy of India. Many people were put behind bars and opposition was totally shut off.

4. Anti-Sikh Riots in 1984: 

The Khalistani militants who were demanding a separate state were terminated by the government of India as part of the Operation Bluestar. Indira Gandhi had ordered an attack on a militant group hiding in Golden Temple, Amritsar which is considered the Holiest place for Sikhs. What followed was the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. The agitated public thus initiated a revenge against innocent Sikhs. In Delhi alone, 2,733 Sikhs were killed. This incident still influences the political atmosphere of Punjab.

5. The VP Singh Mandal Commission: 

After independence, the scheduled castes and tribes were recognized as in dire need of social welfare and opportunity to equality. But the Other Backward Classes (OBC) were not involved. It was in 1990 when PM VP Singh declared that the Mandal Commission report, submitted in 1980, was accepted. It changed the phase of many spheres of citizen lives. Education universities were flooded by young people who sought retributive justice. Many enjoyed prosperity and better standards of living.

6. Liberalization in India: 

The Liberalization policy of 1991 was presented by Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. It proved to be the most historic policy in the country’s legacy. Economic reforms were introduced in the country. India was further integrated with global markets and finance. This led to India enjoying a massive rate of progress.

7. 1992 Demolition of Babri Masjid: 

Hindutva ideology possessed people destroyed the Babri Masjid upon learning that four hundred years ago a Muslim ruler had destroyed the Ram Temple where the Lord was born. Hindus demanded a Ram temple be built. This case became a famous dispute between two religions that once coexisted peacefully in one nation. It also influences the politics of the country today.

8. Gujarat Riots 2002: 

A train was set ablaze on fire in a conspiracy. The train was returning from Ayodhya to Gujarat and was carrying Hindus. In retaliation, hundreds of Muslims were killed. The Chief Minister of the state at that time was Narendra Modi, who is the current Prime Minister of India. He came under a lot of fire for the inability to control the situation.

9. Mumbai Terror 2008: 

Popularly referred to as the 26/11, this was the worst attack on the Indian soil. It revealed the loopholes in security arrangements of India and thus improved army and weaponry.

10. 2014 PM Elections:

The 2014 elections shocked Congress and their supporters. For the first time in the country, a party other than Congress received a majority in the Lok Sabha. The whole status quo of the country trembled. The party which is communal in nature was now at power.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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