18 September, 2020

A Touch Of Raw Flesh

Tamas meets Ardh Satya: the Nihalani spell wanes, but Dev evokes a few real ghosts

A Touch Of Raw Flesh
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Dev isn’t about Amitabh Bachchan or Om Puri. Govind Nihalani’s latest film is about Meerut, Malegaon, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Baroda and countless other towns in India that have succumbed to the communal virus at some time or the other. By looking at the way majority communalism has crept into our constitutional institutions, corrupting them with ideological hardliners and rendering them incapable of rising to their calling, Dev makes a hard-hitting statement about the India we encounter. It’s about ‘us’ versus ‘them’, Hindus and Muslims, mainstream and isolated, ‘natural’ citizens and second-class citizens.

The parallels with recent history are hard to miss. A young Muslim boy who nurses wounds of indignity and itches to take revenge on a Hindu policeman. A compromising top cop who links his future to an ideologically aligned chief minister. A bomb blast near a Ganesha temple; RDX packed into a motorbike by young Muslims and the ensuing riots after the blast. A CM who says people’s anger must be allowed an outlet (so blatantly Gujarat 2002). His...

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