My World

Just a place for my thoughts and views…..

Father, Son and Holy War

with 7 comments

Watched the documentary Father, Son and Holy War by Anand Patwardhan. Its a 2-hour movie with two parts : Part 1: Trial by Fire and Part2: Hero Pharmacy. The movie starts with the incident of sati of a Rajasthani woman, Roop Kanwar in 1987, communal riot after the demolition of mosque in Ayodhya and then moves to gender discrimination in Muslim Law with the second part centering around the manhood and machoism.
It is very difficult to believe that even in 20th century the sati is committed by the Rajput woman after the death of her husband. The documentary focuses on the blind belief by the people who were of the view that the dead husband attains spiritual salvation if the wife becomes sati and she is revered as the goddess. Even Roop Kanwar’s brother quoted that he was proud of her sister because of sati committed by her. Was there not one rational person among the crowd, who was watching the event live, who could have stopped this act??
The film moves to the communal fire of 1993 in Mumbai after the demolition of Babri Masjid when the many Muslim shops were burned and Muslim people were killed while the police stood by without taking any action. Infact a Muslim girl very boldly says in the front of the policeman during the shooting of the movie that the policemen supported the Hindus while they were beating the Muslims. Now, if these policemen, who have been given the duty of protecting the citizens, watch the crime happenning in front of them, then how can we rely on them??
But the documentary also showed a Muslim family helping their Hindu neighbors in rebuilding the house after it was burnt during the riot. Is it not possible that we live in harmony without the notion of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh……………??
Then we watch a Muslim lady fighting against the gender discriminatory laws. Around 40-yr old Muslim man says that in the Muslim Law, women are given the second-class. Do we have to blindly follow what has been written in the old scriptures?? Can’t we change the laws??
Then the movie moves to the second part . Hero Pharmacy explores the concept of manhood. We have been reading in History books about the Muslim invaders who raped the Hindu women , destroyed temples. A section of Hindu wants to take revenge of the crimes committed thosands of years back. They believe that non-violence is an act of impotency. They want to be real-men. We can hear statement of a giggling man talking about rape. rape movie mein dekhne mein mazaa nahin aata. haqeeqat mein dekho to hum bhi participate kar sakte hain (Watching rape in movies is not as interesting as watching in real. If ever we get a chance to watch in real,we will also participate).This was the statement made by him which would leave you shaken about the mentality of men.
Once in the movie you can see a Hindu leader telling his followers to have atleast seven children so that Muslims do not ever become the majority and the heritage of Hindu is preserved in India. The leaders are using religion and machoism as a tool of control.
The documentary explores that even today there is a gender discrimination. A lady says that giving birth to a girl is liking giving birth to a stone. Leave the males but don’t these females who themselves give birth to the child are responsible for the suppression of their own community. During the movie you come across many facts that will keep you shaken. Do watch the movie if you can. But just watching the movie is not the solution of the issues raised in it. The movie is just to make aware of the happennings that we are unaware of. We are in the 21st century and still the thinking of the people haven’t changed and its we who can bring about achange. But we can’t bring the change until we are aware of the problems and we make others too aware of it.
For your information this documentary and other made by Anand Patwardhan were banned from being telecasted. But after about 10 yrs this movie got the Supreme Court order to be telecasted. Get more info on these documentaries here.


Written by Priyanka Varma

September 24, 2006 at 8:47 am

Posted in Movies

7 Responses

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  1. I hav to say a lot…

    but i think u hav to w8 for my post…

    nice work…..:)


    September 25, 2006 at 11:16 am

  2. @amitesh
    do write.. a lot has to be said on this…


    September 25, 2006 at 5:26 pm

  3. hi

    These are very very sensitive issues. Practices like sati etc that are being followed from centuries… cannot be removed just by imposing a law, i guess it will take a generation or so for the practice to be totally removed.

    Sometimes patience is the key.

    Regarding the hindu muslim thing…. if u know the BJP came into existance thru this biasing and all that it did in the 1990’s. And got massive recognition after the babri masjid thing…



    September 25, 2006 at 5:45 pm

  4. @sid…
    yes u r right that the practices which have been followed for centuries can’t be removed by just putting some laws..but i think ppl like us can help in bringing the changes by making ppl around us aware abt the prevailing practices.. Making ppl aware will not bring a radical change but if everyone makes an effort there can be a great change..
    about the existence of BJP, ppl should watch the other documentary “In the Name of God” by Anand Patwardhan.Actually ppl blindly believe in religious matters and these politicians just use this as their tool and this will continue to happen if common ppl themselves don’t want to face the truth


    September 25, 2006 at 6:09 pm

  5. hi

    I dont know id u attended the lecture given by prof. dandekar. I didnt attend too but he predicts a civil war in India soon. I was told that Prof. Devi has similar views.

    What I am trying to point out is just the same. If people start believing blindly in religious matters another godhra is not very far.



    September 25, 2006 at 6:26 pm

  6. @sid, pinka: The fact is that BJP has always made use of our religious attachments, be it Babri Masjid issue, Cow slaughter or the recent Vande Matram issue and all these issues have brought them huge victories. So its natural that theyll continue this till they come to know that its not useful anymore and theres where we come in. VOTE! far as practises like Sati are concerned, they are banned and extremely strict steps should be taken to immediately put an end to them. Its no less than a murder and is in no way less punishable.

    Theres one more documentary called the Lesser Humans in the Kiran Chokars folder, please watch it. Its a film on the prevailing untouchability in Gujarat.


    September 26, 2006 at 8:39 am

  7. @ujj
    u r right we can stop the leaders who make use of religion attachments for their victories by not giving them votes..but how do u make those ppl who blindly belief in them, be it educated or uneducated, and i think majority of us are like that who just belief in what these leaders say without thinking rationally upon it..

    I have watched the documentary “Lesser Humans” reveals how there is still the practice of untouchability also exposes that even after the law is made, they are not being followed..just making laws doesn’t put an end to the practices being followed from centuries….the authorities and even the educated citizens should ensure that these laws are being followed….


    September 27, 2006 at 8:46 am

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