Interesting article by Shoma Chatterji on India Together titled Two new documentaries explode Gujarat’s myths. Excerpts:
…Rakesh Sharma has released two new Gujarati documentaries earlier this month. The films — Sharma has even used RTI to collect government data — expose unsavoury truths about farmers suicides as well as lower-caste rioters now in prison.
Khedu Mora Re (Oh My Farmer), over 62 minutes, explores the myth of a ‘vibrant’ Gujarat by graphically documenting the tragic series of farmer suicides in the state. Moving away from the disastrous consequences of Godhra and the communal carnage that takes precedence in the media, Sharma goes behind these suicides to reveal the farmers’ opposition to SEZs and the widespread anger fermenting within them against the Modi government’s lopsided policies, which, claim the farmers in the film, are tailored precisely into the scheme of corporates and industries.
Chet’ta Rejo (Beware) shows another face of inhumanity in Gujarat. Over its 72 minutes of running time, the film explores and exposes the saffronisation of the Dalit-OBC population and its consequent plight. Its focus is on the patterns of arrests and litigations since the 2002 riots. It shows how most of those charged with rioting, arson, murder and similar crimes are either tribal or Dalits and OBCs. The analysis of those arrested from 32 police stations in Ahmedabad suggests that of the 1577 detainees, only 30-odd belonged to upper castes. “Are these foot soldiers victims too? Cynically recruited, then discarded, left to rot in jails, what do the perpetrators of the violence feel today about the VHP and the BJP?”
Unfortunately, the movies are in Gujarati with no English sub-titles.