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Society is more violent now: Filmmaker Ketan Mehta

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The Indian society is turning more violent now, said Ketan Mehta while expressing his concern about the young students of the country during the third edition of Taj Literature Festival which ended on Sunday.

Mehta said, “India is an extremely liberal country and its character is changing now. I am uncomfortable with that. We are witnessing a violent and polarized society now.

Mehta had made the films like ‘’Maya Memsaheb’’ and ‘’Mirch Masala’’ and is working on his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’. ’’ He also made a movie “Toba Tek Singh” along with six directors from India and Pakistan to mark the 70th year of Partition. The movie will be released next month.

He also compared the current situation of the country with his movie ‘’Holi’’ ‘ released in 1984. Holi, shot mainly on the campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, also based on the theme of student rebellion on the campus.

Speaking about ‘Holi’, which was based on the violence of society faced by students, Mehta said, ‘’ There was a strike at FTII when I was a student there. I was reliving the experience through the movie.

“If an artist chooses to play safe, he stops being an artist. As an artist, I don’t have the skill and I keep doing what I want to do,” he said.

“Toba Tek Singh”, which is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s Zeal For Unity (ZFU) project, is a biography of famous Sanskrit writer Saadat Hasan Manto. It is also seen as an initiative between India-Pakistan.

Speaking about the movie, he said that it talks about a mental asylum in Lahore and the consequences of two countries decision on the exchange of lunatics few years later Partition. “It is an extremely poignant story about the greatest human tragedy. Manto is the maverick of the times and Pankaj Kapur has done a great job as Toba Tek Singh,” he said.

Mehta also talks about his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’ leading character Kangana Ranaut, said Kangana is the best fit for the role.

“Rani of Jhansi is one of the strongest woman characters in world history. Ranaut has fire in the belly and she has the hunger to do something new,” said the director, adding that the film’s shooting will begin in October.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor will be the movie thereafter.

“I had planned three movies as a series. ‘Mangal Pandey, The Rising’ was the first in the series and ‘Rani of Jhansi’ is the second, which I am currently working. The third will be on Bahadur Shah Zafar,” he said.

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

World Hindu Congress, Hindu
Hindus don’t oppose anyone, don’t aspire to dominate: RSS chief

“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)