{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

News Bengali

Ritwick Ghatak's family objects to BJP's use of clippings from his films

The Bharatiya Janata Party's youth wing sought to use clippings from the late filmmaker's films for a video promoting the benefits of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Roushni Sarkar

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) planned to use clippings from Ritwik Ghatak’s films for a propaganda video in favour of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Ghatak’s family objected to the use of the clippings and described the party’s intention as ‘unacceptable’ as it “violates the fundamental principles he stood for”, according to them.

Asking them to take down the content immediately, the statement given to the Scroll.in said, “To use any part of his filmography — divorced from context – to justify laws that will make every citizen of the country pass through an ordeal to re-establish their citizenship and might render millions from one particular community, Muslims, stateless is deemed unacceptable by us.”

They strongly criticised the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s intention of twisting the narrative of Ghatak’s films, who empathised with the underprivileged refugees of Bangladesh during Partition, and dedicated almost all of his works to highlight their plight. The political party, on the other hand, has been alleged of giving communal colour to Ghatak’s representation, to support the bill that has been called discriminatory for excluding a particular minority community. In response Ghatak’s family stated, “He was secular to the bone, as everyone who knew him can attest, and his writings and cinema are proof of this.”

On the other hand, a massive protest erupted in Ghatak’s native place Rajshahi, Bangladesh, where certain portions of his house were demolished with the intention to build a cycle garage. The people in Rajhashi have always expressed their demand to the government to create an exhibition of Ghatak’s works in his house. However, the recent development has generated agitation in the intellectual scenario across the border.