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A problem for the Solution



Filmmaker Rakesh Sharma. Photo: Sampath Kumar.

NUISANCE JUST got a new language for the proponents of Right Wing fundamentalism. Rakesh Sharma's much-hailed, much-feted and much-criticised Final Solution based on the Gujarat genocide, has just been dubbed into Gujarati. Some 10,000 VCDs have been made for free distribution all over the State. What is more, the viewers are requested to make more of the same. The director actually makes an appeal to people to make copies. "I am issuing a formal appeal to people to make pirate copies of the film because with any screening at an auditorium or distribution of VCDs, you can only reach a certain number of people. More people can be reached if anybody who gets one VCD makes five out of it and gives them away to others. The message is important. It has to reach as many people as it can."

Then the film is being made into Kannada also. Incidentally, Karnataka is the next hotbed for followers of hate crime.

In Oriya too

And there will be 2000 copies in Oriya for a film that has won more international awards than people have cared to remember back home. Just the other day, it won two awards at the 26th Three Continents FilmFest at Nantes, a first for an Indian documentary. While Montgolfiere d'Or came for Best Documentary, Le Prix Fip/Pil du Public, the Audience Award added popularity. But all the awards do not mean that Sharma, who had trouble getting the film cleared by the Censors, can take things easy. At the Pravaasi meet in Mumbai this past week, a volunteer distributing free VCDs of the film to the guests gathered to listen to the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was detained by the police for five hours. Though no charges were pressed, the cops, according to Sharma, asked the volunteer to pay a fine of Rs.1200 for trespassing. "We declined to pay the fine and the police let us go after some time, saying it is a routine matter. Probably they developed cold feet seeing so many international visitors. It seems some cop at the local level with sympathies everywhere had decided to flex his muscles. They probably detained the volunteer only to save a potentially embarrassing situation for Modi."

But the Mumbai incident was just a hiccup for a man who has got used to fighting it out at every level for his film whose 15000 copies have already been distributed with journals like Communalism Combat and Samayik Varta. In New Delhi, the VCDs of Final Solution are available at People Tree near Regal cinema, Connaught Place.

ZIYA US SALAM

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