Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia says the situation of the country is such today that everyone is trying to tap on the image of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose without truly understanding how secular the freedom fighter was.
The director’s latest “Raag Desh” is based on the Indian National Army (INA) trials.
Dhulia says his project is not an “agenda film” and is in fact an attempt to show the real side of Bose, which many people miss.
“Today, left right or centre, everybody is trying to tap on Netaji’s image without knowing what he stood for, what was his ideology. The entire exercise to make this film is to tell people what Netaji really was, what he did and how secular he was,” Dhulia told PTI.
The film recreates the INA trials or The Red Fort trials in 1940s of Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan.
They were court-martialled and tried at Delhi’s Red Fort. The three men were charged with treason and even a case of murder was slapped on them.
The director is aware that there are certain controversies surrounding Bose — including his death—but insists his film chronicles a side of history which won’t trouble anyone.
“The part of history which I am showing in the film, it will be acceptable to all. When the trails started, the entire India– Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim league, Congress—united against it.
“Hindu, Muslim and Sikh symbolised India and they all united and fought together for our independence. It is something which one should understand, specially today,” he says.
Dhulia, who has made several award-winning films like “Paan Singh Tomar” and “Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster”, says one cannot afford to tamper with history at all.
“It is recent history, not even medieval, where you can show you character singing songs. You cannot tamper with history at all and maintain the dignity of the subject. In our case, when the audience will see the film they would feel Netaji is right in front of them. The casting is that good.”
The period film features Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Mohit Marwah and Kenny Basumatary as Bose.
The director says he was “absolutely careful and thorough” in his research for the film, which gave him new insights into the struggle.
“I used to think we got our freedom by doing ‘zindabad murdabad’ and ‘dharnas’ but we didn’t really give our blood apart from Bhagat Singh and others in the early 1920s and 30s. But we gave so much blood to our freedom.
“We don’t really respect our freedom and that is the problem today. The new generation is unaware. The parents did not give the right value system, a sense of morality. So, as a filmmaker you can bridge this gap, try and fill this void of ignorance.”
“Raag Desh” is scheduled to release on July 28