The piquancy of storytelling resides in the degree to which you have raised emotions in your audience, and when that movie comes out to be a grim reminder of our existence in the savage society, among the savage coalitions, their savage members and their savage deeds, then emotions are bound to be felt.
Parzania is one such movie based on the backdrop of 2002 Godhra Riots. It tells the story of a Parsi family who were caught in the mayhem of violence and how it led to the loss of their family member, disrupted their lives and gave them a false ray of hope to survive on. It vividly describes the torments on the people of a Muslim neighborhood including inhuman violent massacre, forced immolations, boycott by police and whatever your scariest nightmare may define. So when this film was screened in one of our sessions, teary eyes, soft whimpering, running noses, scarcity of water bottles, and consoling hugs could be observed all over the room. The emotions that were felt, couldn’t be described, the war in the name of religions did not make sense, the question that haunted was whether humanity existed at all, and if it did then who and when had placed it so below in the hinted hierarchy.
The haunting silence of the room was broken by Rafi Malek sir; he led the post screening discussion on Communal Riots in India. He talked about the coinage of the term ‘Hindutva’, how starkly it differed from ‘Hinduism’ and also about the core ideologies of these Hindu nationalist groups in India. To have been the researcher and the activist on the same subject of communal riots, he gave us the flabbergasting details on how ‘unreligious’ the motives are behind these ‘religious’ wars. Statistics indicate how some of these riots are the manipulated shape of rivalry between local goons, how the rioters are mainly composed of disoriented men from lower castes and thus how such barbaric events tend to repeat its history. This discussion saw lots of queries and an insight from young minds also it empowered one such member to make his words count among the rest.
The events of Godhra have been deep etched into the history and the tremors of it can still be felt. With rooted involvements of prominent figures from political and administration background, it has been one of the most disgusted evidence of the genocidal approach towards one of the most prominent segment of our country. The three day long period starting from the morning of 27th February, saw humanity in pitch dark and what followed is now a grim reminder that how Gandhi was once pushed out of his own land.