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‘Ram Ke Naam’ (In the Name of God) on VCD

(PRWEB) January 30, 2005

Rudraa Home Video had recently launched their ‘Thinking Man’ series, an exclusive series of short films, experimental films and innovative, path-breaking and controversial documentaries to entertain and stimulate the thinking man. After the successful release of Arun Khopkar’s Golden Lotus winner ‘Narayan Gangaram Surve’, Rudraa Home Video has now released Anand Patwardhan’s Filmfare Award and National Award winning investigative documentary ‘Ram Ke Naam’ (In the Name of God) on VCD.

‘Ram Ke Naam’ (In the Name of God) was completed in 1991, after the period of the eighties and nineties, which brought globalization, but also a shrinking idea of nation and increased religious and caste based violence. An incisive account of the time and completed a year prior to the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid, the film examines the political machinations that would ultimately lead to the drastic action of Hindu militants, as well as the efforts of secular Indians - many of whom are Hindus - to combat the religious intolerance and hatred that has seized India in the name of God.

The film has been screened at various festivals and has won numerous awards including,

·    Best Documentary at the Filmfare Awards

·    Best Investigative Documentary at the National Awards

·    Ecumenical Prize at Nyon, Switzerland

·    Documentary Prize at Freibourg, Switzerland, and

·    Citizen's Prize at Yamagata, Japan

The film speaks for itself; and because it does, is far more compelling than any number of learned commentaries could be. The film provokes and questions, setting off debate and thought. As relevant today as when it was made, this Filmfare Award and National Award winning film is made available on video in a wide release for the first time.

Additional Information:

Censor Rating/Year: “U”/1991

Language: Hindi with English subtitles

Format:    VCD

Max. Retail Price: Rs.199.00

The Director:

Anand Patwardhan is not only one of India's most distinguished filmmakers; he is also a committed and impassioned worker against communalism and for social justice and peace. He has been making politically and socially charged documentaries for over three decades. A recipient of national and international awards, Patwardhan has had to fight many a court battle over his films, raising the hackles of the ruling establishment.

Patwardhan has been an activist ever since he was a student, having participated in various movements including the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency. Since then, he has been active in movements for housing rights, of the urban poor, for communal harmony, the environment, and movements against the Narmada Dam, against unjust, unsustainable development, and against nuclear testing in South Asia.

Director's Note:

15 years have passed from the time we filmed the events that led to the making of "Ram Ke Naam". The Babri Mosque was demolished, thousands of people lost their lives, the entire region was poisoned with communal hatred. Today the fever has diminished somewhat, but the film unfortunately, continues to remain relevant.

Communal forces have actively attempted to stop screenings in India and abroad while many secular people tended to look the other way, perhaps hoping that the problem of religious hatred would go away by itself. The biggest stumbling block was the Government of India. Our film was made to ease tensions and end communal violence. But it did not suit the politicians whose only aim was to cheat and exploit the people.

Finally after we won a court case the film was telecast in 1997 on Doordarshan. But one such screening is not enough to alert a vastly populated nation to the dangers of religious hatred. So I am specially happy about the VCD release of this film and hope it means that more people will watch it now.

Anyone watching the film will realize that if India has currently stepped back from the abyss, the credit must largely go to the unsung, common people of this country who have consistently demonstrated that their basic common sense cannot be compromised for long. And anyone watching will know what a debt we owe to the brave Pujari Laldas of the Ram Janmabhoomi/Babri Masjid complex who paid with his life for upholding the syncretic and humane legacy of this land.

Anand Patwardhan

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