Screening of In the Name of God by Anand Patwardhan, with introduction by Ashish Rajadhyaksha
Apr 26, 2018
7:00 - 9:00pm
Para Site Education Room
In the Name of God
(Ram ke Naam)
1992 | Colour | 75 mins | Hindi with English subtitles
On the occasion of the exhibition A beast, a god, and a line, Para Site is pleased to present a special screening of the film In the Name of God by Anand Patwardhan, with an introductory talk by film and cultural theorist Ashish Rajadhyaksha.
India was established as a secular nation following its independence in 1947, yet religious fundamentalism grips much of its population, especially and increasingly amongst the Hindu majority. The film focuses on the militant organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and their campaign to destroy a 16th-century mosque presumed to have been built by Babar, the first Mughal Emperor of India, in Ayodhya. The VHP claims the mosque was constructed at the site of a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Ram's birthplace, which was razed to the ground by Babar. This controversial issue, which successive governments have refused to resolve, has led to religious riots costing thousands their lives. This finally culminated in the mosque’s destruction in December of 1992 by Hindu radicals; resulting in religious violence that immediately spread throughout India, Pakistan and Bangladesh leaving over five thousand dead and thousands homeless. The VHP's initial and ultimate goal has been to build a new temple for Lord Ram on the same site.
Filmed prior to the mosque’s demolition, In the Name of God examines the motivations which would ultimately lead to the drastic actions taken by the Hindu militants, as well as the efforts of secular Indians of all creeds to combat the religious intolerance.
In conjunction to the screening, Ashish Rajadhyaksha will present an insightful talk on the development of independent documentaries at these crucial junctures in modern Indian politics.
Anand Patwardhan is one of India’s leading filmmakers who has been producing politically-charged documentaries for over three decades. His works focus on caste politics, fundamentalism and the rise of sectarian violence in India. Other notable films include Bombay: Our City (Hamara Shaha) (1985), In Memory of Friends (1990), Father, Son, and Holy War (1995), A Narmada Diary (1995), War and Peace (2002) and Jai Bhim Comrade (2011).
Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a film and cultural theorist. He is widely published on the subject of Indian cinema, India’s cultural policy, and on visual arts. He is the co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (with Paul Willemen). He co-curated the show Bombay/Mumbai 1992-2001 (with Geeta Kapur), for the exhibition Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis (2002); You Don’t Belong (China/Hong Kong, 2012/13); and Tah-Satah: A Very Deep Surface: Between Film and Video (Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur). He is currently Professor of Practice at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.