Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai
A documentary by Nakul Sawhney
(136 mins/ English Subtitles/ 2005)
Synopsis: In September 2013, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, India, witnessed one of India's worst ever anti-Muslim pogrom since Indian Independence. More than 100 people were killed and close to 80,000 people were displaced.
In the past, the two districts have seen relative harmony between Muslims and Hindus. What happened this time?
'Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai...' (Muzaffarnagar eventually...) straddles between various socio-political-economic dynamics in the area that affected or have been affected by the violence.
The film speaks to a cross-section of people. While looking at the immediate violence and it's repercussions, it takes a journey around the many facets of the massacre- the question of a woman's 'honour', which becomes the biggest rallying point to instigate people, the way communal polarisation was orchestrated by Hindu nationalist organisations including BJP-RSS, the merging of caste identity politics within the larger Hindutva fold and the breakdown of the once powerful farmers' union, Bhartiya Kissan Union, from this region, whose survival hinged on the unity of Hindu and Muslim peasants. It also explores the various aspects of Dalit politics in the districts and the dubious role of the Samajwadi Party, the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh at the time of the riots. This has, today, resulted in a feeling of complete alienation and marginalisation of the Muslim community.
All these aspects are weaved together by the 2014 Indian General election campaign. The film looks at how the massacre finally found its resonance in these elections.
But in the midst of this gloom the film narrates the tale of a continued and growing resistance in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts against the corporate- communal nexus.
Muzaffarangar and Shamli districts have not given in yet. And so, the film asks the question, what will be the fate of Muzaffarnagar, eventually?
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