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From the director's diary


IT IS ABOUT A PATRIOT WHO RAISED AN ARMY OF 8000 PEOPLE to free HIS COUNTRY SHYAM BENEGAL



THE ACE: Shyam Benegal

Shyam Benegal was ready to take all the discontent and controversies in his stride when he was making Bose - The Forgotten Hero. He knew this film based on "historical facts" might not go down well with many who hadn't done as much reading as he did to bring his film "close to reality".

Says the filmmaker, "My film is based on four major centres of research on Netaji: the Netaji Research Bureau in Kolkata, which is the largest archival bureau in India and the biggest resource on him, then Nehru Memorial Library in the National Achieves, Delhi, the India Office Records Bureau and the Chandra Bose Museum at Ginza in Tokyo. I knew that many people would grumble. It is natural, because many people do not know much about him. And it is because not much is being written about him in comparison to Gandhi and Nehru. But I find it strange that instead of a healthy debate, they grumble and sulk. That's not a fine way of reaching a conclusion."

Satisfactory results

But having done the research for almost two years and going through the findings of Justice Mukherjee, who is also conducting research on Netaji's sudden disappearance, Benegal finds himself, "satisfied".

"Though people in Kolkata did sulk about showing Bose's marriage to a European lady and having a daughter by her but my film is historically accurate. And his marriage is in any case not the central theme of the film. It is about a patriot who was grabbed by the police but escaped out of his country. And who ran from one country to another, was totally alone without any credentials, and yet single-handedly he raised an army of 8000 people for the freedom of his country," says Benegal.

Not that the lukewarm response to Bose... at the box office has wilted his spirits. He thinks that Justice Mukherjee's findings on the mystery of Bose's sudden disappearance will be "an appealing subject to make a film on".

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