Monday, December 20, 2010

A History Going Unnoticed..."Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey"

Recently a renowned director of Bollywood, Ashutosh Gowarikar, has directed a film "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey". It is a portrayal of Chittagong Uprising of 1930 led by Masterda Surjya Sen and his comrades. The film is based on the novel "Do and Die" written by Manini Chatterjee, who is the daughter-in-law of Kalpana Datta, one of the comrades of Masterda.

I got a chance to watch it last week. After watching it once, I saw it the second time with my family members. Even after watching it twice, I felt that I still needed to watch 100 more times. As a Bengali, it was something that I and my family could relate to. This Bengali connection coming from a Bollywood film is very rare. Even my mother who doesn't like Bollywood films due to explicitness, was keen to keep watching it scene after scene.

Masterda Surjya Sen was one of the earliest revolutionaries of Indian freedom movement against the British, just like Bhagat Singh or Chandrashekhan Azad. Unlike Surjya Sen, those other great heroes are revered in India. Even the actor who played Surjya Sen, Abhishekh Bachchan, did not know about Surjya Sen before doing this film. Another actress, Deepika Padukone, even told in an interview that instead of dedicating a little portion of the history book for Masterda, a whole chapter should be dedicated in his honor.

I myself like many others did not know much about the Chittagong Uprising incident before watching this film. Unlike other historical fiction movies, this film portrays the historical event of 1930 as a true event, rather than twisting much. There might be few twists from the real events, but the overall sequences were same.

I had high expectation about this film before its release. But like Abhishekh's other films, this movie went on to go as a flop. I believe the movie grossed less than 5 crore rupees so far. This is a major fall back not only for Ashutosh Gowarikar's attempt to make more movies on Indian revolution, but a disgrace to a great hero of India's revolutionary movement, Masterda. Already people don't know much about him. If they don't make an attempt to know about him through a film directed by a top-class director, then how would history be able to live in the future generations?

Besides the music of this movie was one of the highlighting part of the film. Sohail Sen, the music director of the film, has done a marvellous job in creating such great music with semi-Bengali touch. Pamela Jain's voice also suited to the overall tone of the film.

If such movies are gone unnoticed by the Indian people around the world, how could the great history of Indian revolution survive in the future? How could people of the future generation remember Khudiram Basu or Surjya Sen? Even the great figure like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is withering away from peoples' mind. If this continues, Gandhi, Nehru and other great figures would be totally forgotten within the next 30 to 40 years.


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