By Sudisha Limbu
In April this year, Munish Raizada Films debuted Transparency: Pardarshita, a Hindi-language political documentary that talks about the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement that was at its peak in 2011-2012. The documentary follows Doctor Munish Raizada as he interviews various political figures, analysts and journalists who followed the movement closely and saw the genesis of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Arvind Kejriwal. The documentary is an effort towards analyzing the emergence of AAP and to provide a view of the politics that took place behind the curtains of hype, fanfare and glamorized good intentions.
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The documentary also features three original soundtracks that go well with the themes it explores over the course of its 6 episodes. For this article, I would like to talk about one soundtrack in particular.
Bol Re Dilli Bol is a well put together song composed by Pravesh Mallick with poignant lyrics by Annu Rizvi, and sung by Kailash Kher, a well-known name in India. The lyrics are directed not towards the listener or the viewer but towards the city of Delhi, the country’s capital that was also the hub of the IAC movement and AAP, as Kher beseeches that Dilli unravel the stories of corruption that it hides in its bosom. The music video for the song shows images of Delhi and the dilapidated state it is in while the lyrics tell the tale of a city that has been cheated and put to shame by its own. [Spoilers ahead] The music video also features snippets of the interviews conducted by Dr. Raizada with various people pointing out the failings of AAP and Kejriwal, while the video itself cuts to images of Kejriwal when the lyrics go Jhooth ka jisne peeta dhol, Khol de uski pol (Expose the one who beats the drum of lies).
Watch the video for Bol Re Dilli Bol here:
Many promises were made during the emergence of AAP concerning efforts to fight corruption and bring about better days for the city and its people, none of which saw the light of day. Eventually AAP, and Kejriwal by extension, did what almost all political parties do once they gain momentum- they exchanged the hopes of those who trusted them for the very things they said they would help fight. When viewed from this standpoint, one realizes that Transparency is an excellent name for the documentary as it provides a holistic analysis of how AAP lost just that (the party eventually removed the list of donors who were funding or providing chanda to the party, which is referenced frequently by the song and the music video) and thereby lost its supporters, and the song does not distract from this message but rather adds nuance to it.
Doctor Raizada is a neonatologist based in Chicago who was at the forefront of the IAC movement and a core member of AAP.