Type “communal riots” in the Google search engine. The screen would flash with the links to the site that unfolds the story of Gujarat communal violence occurred in 2002. After all, the intensity of the violence is appallingly gruesome. But the Indian film industry, whether bollywood, tollywood or kollywood, which is almost running out of ideas and dusting the old movies off the shelf has brushed aside this incident that took lives of thousands of innocent Muslims.
But now, film director Rahul dholakia has shown the audacity to make a movie on this ruthlessly executed pogrom. Do not call this business opportunism. This is not an attempt to make money out of a tragedy. This is a film with a purpose.
This movie, titled “Parzania”, is a depiction of sufferings of a parsi couple who lost their son during the cowardice act. Its based on a true story of a parsi family who live in Gulbarga housing society, in Ahmedabad, which was assaulted mercilessly for the reason it was predominantly occupied by Muslims and it was a revenge to the burning of 58 Hindu passengers in a train by Muslim "terrorists" . The film shows the dastardly killings of innocent lives- young and old, men and women- without any discrimination. But Muslims, of course.
The film has Naseerudin shah, playing the role of head of the parsi family, Sarika, elegant looking mother and a little girl and a boy who light up the screen with their innocence. The film starts with the depiction of good time that the family has.-Husband and wife romancing in the kitchen, the family at the dining table and the father pampering his children. “ Parzania “, as the boy describes to his sister, is a place with mountains made of chocolate and ice-cream and rivers of kheer. It’s a imaginary world to which he is delighted to take his sister. The film, as it slowly builds up, also shows the lives of other Muslims and handful of Hindus in the locality. The director had brilliantly created scenes, prior to the assault, which very well bonds with the rest of the movie.
Director also points out the nexus between the Hindu fanatics (viz, VHP & Bajrang Dal), politicians and the police administration. This he shows through a character he’s planted – an American who is there in Gujarat working on a thesis about Gandhi. Rahul Dholakia shows the injustice caused to the India’s largest minority community through his eyes from the position of neutrality. In fact, he has made good use of all characters portrayed in the film.
Speaking of the performances of the protagonists, Naseerudin shah deserves a standing ovation in the hall. Every bit of his action conveys a pertinent message. Even a person who has never heard of his acting prowess and has no idea about what acting is would discern words through his mere action. It’s a marvelous acting from this veteran star. And sarika too has flawlessly played her role in spite of the long break in her career. And the kids are a real feast to the eyes.
This is a movie that evokes lots of emotions. In fact I watched this movie with a heavy heart and eyes filled with tears. And the lady who was sitting to my right was holding her seat handle tight when sarika speaks of her sufferings to NHRC( National Human rights commission) members at its hearing. The dialogue,” the doors my children would walk in without knocking, were even closed”, Caught my attention and sank my heart.
”Parzania” is worth watching as it comes as a reminder of loathsome genocide that India has ever seen, while the parsi family, in Ahmedabad, hopefully wait for their son to return. The movie carries the picture of their son Azhar at the end. And truly, this is a movie with a purpose.