‘What Will It Take Supertech To Deliver My House – My Dead Body?’

Dog-tired of chasing her house from a private builder after her husband’s death, Paramita Banerjee from Noida seeks President’s permission for mercy killing. Her appeal:

Just like me there are many homebuyers in Noida who are frustrated and angry due to the delay in possession of their flats. We have been waiting for several years and are yet to receive our homes from the builders. This delay has resulted in a financial burden on the homebuyers who are paying for rent and the home loan. Despite promises from the government and builders, no concrete action has been taken to resolve the issue.

The situation in Noida has worsened in the past few years. Several builders have delayed the projects, and in some cases, even abandoned them. The reasons for the delays are varied – ranging from financial difficulties and legal disputes to regulatory hurdles.

After the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), my husband and I were quite confident and we booked a flat at Supertech’s Sports City in Greater Noida on a 40:60 payment basis. We belong to a middle-class family so we sold our gold and managed to pay 40 per cent of the amount. Supertech had promised to deliver the flat by 2019. Soon the Pandemic hit our country and I lost my spouse during the pandemic and that ordeal knew no bounds.

Soon after, Supertech was declared bankrupt by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in March 2022. Now I stay in a rented apartment with my daughter, who’s a student of class IV. With the heavy school fees, living expenses, hefty ongoing EMI, I am struggling to meet my monthly expenses. This situation is also impacting our social and mental wellbeing. I feel cheated and helpless, and the trust in the government and the builders has been shattered.

ALSO READ: Can The Builder Pay For My Unborn Child?

I have been protesting for a long time to demand my rights, I visit the builder’s office only to get fake promises. Just like me many homebuyers have approached the government, the courts, and the National Company Law Tribunal, but the result has been disappointing. The government has not taken any concrete action to resolve the issue, and the courts have been unable to deliver timely justice. Moreover, as the value of the property has appreciated over the years.

Our honorable President, Mrs. Murmu is a woman and she can understand the pain of a single mother struggling to pay her only child’s school fees and being forced to live in a rented apartment despite spending life’s savings on buying a flat which is far from possession.

We have government agencies like CBI, EOW and ED, why can’t they find the address of Supertech’s owners? Why are we not getting any justice at all? Why has our government turned deaf ears towards the struggles of homebuyers?

The government should work towards establishing a transparent and accountable regulatory framework for the real estate sector. The implementation of RERA has been weak in many states, including Uttar Pradesh. The issue requires urgent attention from the government, the builders, and the industry bodies.

We homebuyers have invested our life savings in these flats, and we deserve to receive our homes on time. The government should take strict action, catch the so-called bankrupt builders, against the delay in possession of flats and streamline the regulatory framework to protect the interests of homebuyers. The builders should also be accountable for their actions and work towards completing the projects on time.

As told to Deepti Sharma

Sanjay Kak

‘G20 Srinagar Meet Is A Stage-Managed, State-Managed Show, Not Reality’

Sanjay Kak, an acclaimed, independent documentary filmmaker and writer, says the Srinagar spectacle is targeted more towards domestic consumption than global audience. His words:

What is going on in Srinagar right now is a performance – mere optics. Otherwise, this seems to be a fairly pedestrian, low-level gathering of bureaucrats, tourism officials, tour-operators and a sprinkling of Delhi-based diplomats. Not surprisingly, the organisers are so far reluctant to even make public the full list of who is attending it!

To be fair, the overkill had begun well before the event. And countries that we are otherwise told are significant to India have also had to take visible, embarrassing positions – including Saudi Arabia, with which India claims a recent and special proximity, having dropped out.

It’s only because the government of India has over-invested the event with significance that the spectacle that they are presenting now seem to be going awry. Those first images emerging out of Srinagar yesterday were very telling – an endless cavalcade of cars tearing down the road from the airport to the city centre,with emptied out streets watched over by armed security men, concealed behind cosmetic screens with the G20 logo plastered across them. The security is so tight it’s as if the prime minister was visiting Srinagar!

I wonder what the delegates and the accompanying media might have thought about all this. Surely, they too pick up the newspapers and read that the Boulevard Road on which they are housed has been shut down to the public – and that includes tourists from India – for three days?

ALSO READ: ‘Kashmir Will Never Be The Same Without Pandits’

Once again, it’s the optics that is baffling. In order to suggest that Srinagar was safe for the event we were flooded with media reports of the high-powered security that had been put in place. The main venue, the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), is by the Dal Lake, so we have been inundated with images of soldiers, armed to the teeth, racing around in high-speed boats – Marine Commandos, the CRPF. The National Security Guard was seen very visibly strutting around Lal Chowk. The army, we were told, is patrolling the hillsides that overlook the Convention Centre.

What is all of this war-like preparation meant to suggest? Normalcy in Kashmir?

The plans to take the delegates out of the secure perimeters of the SKICC and their hotel was also scuttled at the last moment. If Dachigam, which is less than 15 kms away from the SKICC, and Gulmarg, which had already been emptied out of tourists and ‘sanitised’ days before the event, are both not considered safe for the delegates, then what exactly is the government trying to project?

The real answer is that perhaps none of it is aimed at the G20 delegates or the world. It’s a performance of power for the domestic audience, and we know that a pliable Indian media will mostly not ask relevant questions. They will once again notch it up as one more triumph for the central government in Kashmir.

Let’s leave aside the question of civil rights, or, of the throttling of the media, for the moment. One of the questions that need to be asked – and I believe it was asked by some plucky journalists in Srinagar yesterday – is, why not then announce elections in Kashmir? Surely, if conditions are normal for tourists, then, so should they be for citizens, and voters!

(Sanjay Kak’s recent work includes the films, Red Ant Dream (2013), Jashn-e-Azadi (2007) and Words on Water (2002). He is the editor of the anthology, Until My Freedom Has Come – The New Intifada in Kashmir, and of the photobook, Witness – Kashmir 1986-2016, 9 Photographers, published independently under the imprint of Yaarbal Books)

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As told to Amit Sengupta

Saghar Mehdi

‘Rijiju’s Consistent Critique of Judicial System Was Unwarranted’

Saghar Mehdi, an advocate at the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court, speaks about Kiren Rijiju’s stint as Union Law Minister which was riddled with unsavoury outbursts:

I believe the transfer of Mr Kiren Rijiju from the Union law ministry was a result of his continuous and uncalled for vocal criticism of the collegium system for the appointment of judges in the Indian judiciary system. Mr Rijiju was repeatedly making ‘suggestions’ for the inclusion of the Executive in the decision-making process for the appointment of judges, which caused the Union government many an embarrassing moment. A bitter, unsavoury exchange left the government with no other option but to shift him to another ministry.

As far as the social or professional behavioural ethics go, it is ideal for the constituents of any system or organisation to work within one’s domain and responsibility assigned. This is particularly so in a robust democracy, where the three constitutional pillars, namely Legislature, Executive, Judiciary should not interfere in the work domain of others for smooth functioning of the state.

In this sense, the continuous and unwarranted outburst of a person holding a high office was widening the differences between the executive and the judiciary. If at all the ‘recommendations’ of Mr Rijiju were to be implemented by any chance, the judiciary would lose its impartiality. For, its actions and decision will then be seen or perceived as influenced by the government of the day. For any judicial system to remain unprejudiced, it should not perform under any kind of influence or indulgence of the government otherwise it will merely be reduced to a puppet in it hands.

ALSO READ: ‘Political Postings For Retd Judges Send A Wrong Signal’

The Union minister had also been terming the Collegium system of appointing judges as opaque and not accountable from many platforms and had been advocating an alternative mechanism (with the interference of the government). If at all you imagine it to be so, it will become like a double-edged sword with all the observations and judgments going under the lens on all the platforms creating more problems for both the constituents (of the appointment authority – the government and the judiciary).

Rijiju’s comments on retired judges – he said a few retired judges were part of the anti-India gang – probably the last straw that tested the government patience. It was a sub-standard, childish remark, and a direct attack on the judiciary.

Even the lawyers community across the country felt that the allegations against retired judges, who spent a lifetime to uphold the rule of law, marked a new low in the public discourse. It is justifiable to be critical in a healthy manner in a democracy but to be outrageous and launch a blunt attack on a responsible person is character assassination. And coming from a person sitting in a highly accountable position, this was unacceptable.

It is the beauty of Indian Constitution that it provides a fair and just platform to everyone to live freely and express their emotions and feelings. But this freedom and these rights should be duly reciprocated and practiced with mutual respect to one another.

Read More: lokmarg.com

As told to Rajat Rai

Prof Vilas Kharat

‘Dalits And Rajputs Are Joining Forces To Challenge Manuvadis’

Prof Vilas Kharat, a writer and political activists, says a new era in Indian politics is on the horizon with Rajputs allying with Backwards to bring social justice. His Views:

The country is waking up to a new dawn where the marginalized sections are uniting against the authoritarian class. Allow me explain and put things in perspective. There are two communities in India among the most mistreated and maligned: the first is the Mulniwasi (the original inhabitant, Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe) and the second is Kshatriyas (Rajputs).

These two communities have been pitted against each other since ages by a section of Manuwadi forces. The fact is that Mulniwasis and Rajputs have had cordial relations peaceful co-existence since ages. . Both the communities are bound with one uniting force, that it Lord Buddha and his teachings. The Mulniwasis consider them as the torch-bearers of Buddhism in India and spread his teaching which is the most beautiful gift to the world which this country gave. Incidentally, Lord Buddha was an Ikshvakuvanshi Kshatriya and hence the bond.

Now Rajput youths are coming back to their age-old Buddhist fold and reinventing the teachings of Lord Buddha with their Mulniwasi brethren. Nothing can be more beautiful than these two communities coming together for a better future and harmony of the country. History tells us that many a time these two communities joined forces to battle push back aggressors and expansionists.

The new slogan of – Jai Mulniwasi, Jai Kshatra Dharm—has also been coined during the meets of Dalit activists and Rajput youths, which seems like a beginning of a new era in India’s politics. We are happy to see that the Rajput youths have begun celebrating Buddha Poornima with Buddhist Mulniwasis in many parts of the country. This unity marks a new beginning in the history of India’s socio-political stage.

ALSO READ: ‘Rajputs Have To Fight Court Battles For Their Ancestry’

Rajput estates like Jashpur, Mewar, have a clear mention of the role of Mulniwasis in shaping of the kingdoms. Rjaput kingdoms had a major role of Mulniwasis not only in their army but also in their economy. The king of Bastar’s Kakatiya estate Praveer Bhanjdeo was killed protecting the rights of the Mulniwasis of the forest of the area. And now this history is being repeated.

These two communities also share the same kind of dejection and atrocities in terms of social justice at the hands of Manuvadis. Despite giving many generations to this country, the Rajput community is still being targeted by Manuvadis. There are targeted campaigns on social media, against the Rajput youths who are openly chanting the new slogan of ‘Jai Mulniwasi – Jai Kshatra Dharm’ or even ‘Namo Buddhay’. They are being labeled as traitors and sub-human by Manuvadis. But their historic bond remains unflinching. The Rajputs and Mulniwasis have shaped the country culturally, historically and now it’s time to shape it politically too.

Like the legendary great freedom fighters, Bhagwan Birsa Munda and Babu Kunwar Singh, the Mulniwasi and the Rajput youths are uniting for the betterment of this country. They share the same revolutionary feeling and love for the motherland like their ancestors did. We are sure that we will script not only a new history, but also bring about a change to the socio-political mindset of people soon.

The narrator is the national general secretary of Bharat Mukti Morcha, an offshoot of the BAMCEF (All India Backward and Minorities Employees Federation),

Read More: lokmarg.com

As told to Deepti Sharma

Asha Achy Joseph

‘The Kerala Story Seeks To Alienate, Demonise A Community’

Asha Achy Joseph, a filmmaker and academic, says the movie is problematic as it projects the core elements of a religion through the lens of extremism. Her views:

About The Kerala Story, at the outset one could say that the film’s text concerns the narrative of a Hindu girl who happens to love a Muslim boy and is cheated by him for an ulterior motive. The story unfolds to the audience as first-person narrative of the young woman after she is captured as a militant from an international border somewhere around Afghanistan. The film revolves around the factual evidence of ISIS converting young people to be used for their religious and political goals. The narration works generally through flashbacks.

In the subtext, we realise that the filmmaker’s focus is not on the love story, nor on the militant’s story — but on something else! We feel the filmmaker is not sure if he wants us to know the complete story. The lack of professionalism in genuinely engaging with the content is obvious. The audience is forced to look upon the core elements of a religion through the lens of religious extremism. They are then coerced into believing that any number of such cases can occur, is occurring, and it is all under cover. Clearly, fear is being induced, calling it “real incident”.

It is funny to see how this kind of film-making is taking the support of non-fiction to mislead the audience with the rhetoric of real-life story. This is a clear case of a below average text, thoroughly under-researched and lacking in details, with a subtext that has the clear agenda of religious and political polarisation.

This film intends to grab attention through extreme stereotypes and cliché from a national audience which is familiar with Bollywood entertainment guidelines. If the content had been made in Malayalam, it would have flopped on the first day, first show in the state. In Kerala, we make more than 200 films per year and the audience has good taste in choosing content. Also, a sizable population is inclined towards analysing films within the framework of international standards, and is tuned in with the regular film festival culture.

In Kerala, the general tendency has been to ignore the film. I watched the film on the first day; mostly, there were Hindi-speaking cosmopolitan audience, or workers from Hindi-speaking states. The theatre hall with around 200 seats was not full. Outside the theatre, there was police protection and I could see a couple of posters put up by protestors against the film.

ALSO READ: ‘The Kerala Story Weaponises The Conversion Issue’

Discussion on this film brings us to a typical post-truth scenario. A filmmaker is misrepresenting an event in recent history, claiming that a large number of people are affected in this region, and projecting his film/oneself as the saviour. He is using the ‘reality element’ to twist truth and we know that is what is called propaganda!

Polarisation can happen through positive or negative description of a phenomenon. In this film, in the guise of sounding a genuine alarm against the gruesome acts of extremist groups, the filmmaker is conveniently ‘othering’ communities. Here it is done through the alienation of other religions from the majority religion and we know that this is the political goal of Hindutva.  By alienating a large number of people from ‘other’ religions, the propagandists are envisioning a political climate of intolerance.

I would say the filmmaker is lucky to have chosen Kerala as the geographical area of this story. I am not sure if it were a story placed in any other state, could he have avoided inducing physical violence within the communities around? Through the release and run of this film without any violent incidents in Kerala, the country must take note that we have secured a democratic space for dialogue and debate, irrespective of the topic.

A last word about the perception of the filmmakers about women in Kerala: We are women who have shown exceptional models to the country; be it local self-government or micro- finance management or health-care or education. By no means of fiction, can the rest of the country undervalue us. The young women shown in this film does not do justice to the dignity of our young women as empowered citizens. We may be falling in or out of love, but that does not give anyone the license to portray us anyhow, according to their perceptions, or whims and fancies!

The narrator is the Dean of School of Communication at the Sacred Heart College in Kochi, Kerala. She is a state and national awardee in film-making and television content production

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As told to Amit Sengupta

Mitin Raj Singh

‘Forced Conversion Is A Bitter Truth But Kerala Story Weaponises The Issue’

Mitin Raj Singh, a movie buff who works with a reputed MNC at Banglore, says the movie merely seeks to pit one community against another. His views

Recently I watched the much-hyped movie The Kerala Story with my wife and friends. I am a well-informed citizen and proud Hindu and I am happy about the fact that someone came forward and made a movie about forced religious conversions in the country.

The movie has been at the center of controversy ever since the teaser of the film dropped and that had made me curious to watch it. The Kerala Story claims to be based on forceful conversion of 32,000-plus women in Kerala to Islam (I believe the actual number is more than this) out of which many of them were taken to ISIS-ruled-Syria as ‘brides of the Islamic State’.

Having said this, frankly speaking, The Kerala Story does little justice to the subject at hand, Instead, it seeks to pit one religion against the other and that is where the problem with the film lies. Sure, it does not want to malign Islam as a whole, but it definitely tries to provoke Hindus and poke at their sentiments. For Islamists, this movie hits where it hurts the most. It brings out the fact that promoting conversion to Islam is an organized and well networked activity. But the handling of such an importan subject leaves much to be desired.

The movie, attempting to capture the ambience of Kerala, falls short in its portrayal. In addition, the acting fails to communicate any feeling of authenticity or true connection to the inhabitants and culture of Kerala. The movie additionally incorporates a forced and unappealing Malayali accent and the dialogues are quite artificial-sounding. Over all, it is a half-baked venture.

ALSO READ: ‘We Must Counter Propaganda Films Instead of Banning Them’

The Kerala Story claims to be based on “many true stories.” However it lacks a sincere concern for the whole truth. The film constructs a narrative that tries to portray Kerala which is said to be God’s own country as a breeding ground for ISIS recruitment, implying that hundreds of people had joined the organization from the region highlighting a few events of missing females.

The whole controversy over the movie was triggered when our Prime Minister endorsed the film during the recent Karnataka election campaign and really escalated with Mamata Banerjee’s ban of the film in West Bengal.

Politicians have clearly used this movie to whip up anti-Muslim hate and violence. Already love jihad has been weaponised to allow horrific crimes. More people choosing to act on such a wrong belief will only worsen things. Before jumping into any conclusion, one should first be well read and aware of what actually happened and how easily religion is used for voting politics.

At the same time, we cannot bury our heads in sand, like an ostrich. Even if one single family has been destroyed by ISIS, their story must be told. But such an exercise must be undertaken without stoking hatred through propaganda films.

It is an irresponsible movie for sure. The Kerala Story is not The Kashmir Files when it comes to execution. However, it does, unfortunately, have the capability to stir communal tension. It could have been better and more responsibly made, for sure.

Read More: lokmarg.com

As told to Deepti Sharma

‘Every Corner of Imphal Has Become A Relief Camp For The Displaced’

Speaking through erratic phone network and partly via SMS Akhu Chingangbam, an Imphal-based musician, singer, songwriter and social activist, says peace looks a distant reality for Manipuris

The violence which engulfed the state of Manipur about ten days ago has subsided comparatively in terms of the intensity with which it had earlier started and spread. But, news of gun-firing and killings are still coming from different parts of Manipur. A state of curfew is still imposed in the city and there has been no Internet for a very, very long time.

We are all very concerned about peoples’ lives and their livelihoods here in Manipur. There have been confirmed reports that three members of the Meitei community were killed recently at Churchandpur, a Kuki-dominated district. Besides, we have heard news that all the vacated houses of the Meiteis in several districts have been occupied by the Kukis.

It is tragic that every nook and corner of Imphal is turning into relief camps. We, a group of young men and women, have been working in the relief camps from morning till night. The living condition in these camps is heart-wrenching. There are many cases of missing persons too. Peace is far, far away in our collective imagination for now.

When the violence first broke out, the law and order machinery simply gave away. The state government in Manipur was rather slow in taking action to control the violence which spread rapidly with terrible and tragic consequences. Consequently, a large number of people were displaced and forced to leave their homes and belongings to save their lives. Ordinary folks have also complained about the inactive role of the security forces during the crisis.

Indeed, this is high time that all the communities across the state should come together and reconcile in a realm of peaceful understanding, tolerance and co-existence. Since there is no Internet in Manipur, there has been a lot of false propaganda and fake news in the national and international media. Certainly, in the given, delicate circumstances, it is of utmost importance that all media houses should fact-check the information they receive before they publish it.

(The narrator leads Imphal Talkies, a popular folk rock band which is acclaimed not only in Manipur but in many parts of India. He has performed at various states in India, including in public protests, and especially with his song seeking the release of Dr Binayak Sen. Amid zeroo Internet and intermittent phone connectivity, Chingangbam communicated with Lokmarg over phone and partly via SMS)

Read More: lokmarg.com

As told to Amit Sengupta

Prashant Mani Tripathi

‘Govt Must Bring Population Control Bill Before It Is Too Late’

Prashant Mani Tripathi, a student leader pursuing LLM in Deen Dayal University, Gorakhpur, feels education and awareness will help control population explosion. His views:

I have recently seen several media report that India has surpassed China to become the world’s most populous nation. This indeed is a matter of concern. More mouths means greater strain on our limited resources. Two effective tools that can help us control this explosion are; progressive education and social awareness

If we are properly educated, we will definitely have the knowledge of how excessive population can bring down our living standards and drain our natural reserves. Even though as a country we are developing at a fast pace in various economic and scientific fields, the population bomb has the power to not only pull us back but also hinder the benefits of our economic growth. We also need to develop a system to propagate the evils of ‘overpopulation’ to the masses which will, in turn, be beneficial to us in many ways.

At the state level, as far as I think, the best way to keep an effective check on this explosion is to bring about Population Control Bill and implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as well as National Population Register (NPR). There are political divisions on the issue but these laws are the need of the hour. We are well aware of the porous international border and the illegal infiltration from various trafficking routes. All this happens with the tacit help of regional political parties who have little concern for the nation at large.

ALSO READ: Jobless India Is World’s Ticking Time Bomb

India is not growing uniformly and population growth is more concentrated in economically weaker sections of society. Population growth acts as a hurdle in addressing effectively the problem of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition and also in providing a better quality of health and education. Population Control laws can rid of such malaise. Presently, India is producing more job seekers in the country than its capacity to provide jobs and this gap is increasing the burden of unemployment and underemployment is turning a demographic dividend into a demographic disaster.

There are dual challenges for us – one to contain the population and second to exploit the population growth to our economic advantages i.e. to empower a large young population by making it skilled, productive, competent and contributory to the economic growth.

The best remedy is to harness out workforce with skill training so as to make them self-reliant. These days, the main focus of every parent is to make his/her child a doctor, an engineer, an IPS or an IAS. That point of view must change.

I would like to request parents not to put any kind of burden on their children to adopt a future of their choice and set them free. Every child is born with a special caliber and capacity and he/she should not be forced to mold in a cast of any other choice. Anyone can contribute to India’s development and progress in their own way and it should not be forceful. Together, we can grow and set new standards for the generations to come.

Read More: lokmarg.com

As told to Rajat Rai

‘We Must Find Other Ways to Counter Propaganda Films Than Banning’

Vidhu Vincent, a film director, writer and theatre activist from Kerala, recalls how propaganda films played a big role in the rise and growth of Nazism in Germany. Her views:

The Kerala Story, released recently has sparked off a controversy for its subject and treatment. There has been a widespread demand to ban the film as it promotes hatred against one community. The West Bengal government has banned it while BJP-ruled states have exempted from tax. In my opinion, it is not right to demand that the film should be banned. In that sense, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who has made yet another meaningful film called Afwah on the contradictions and tensions in contemporary India, is right: that no film should be banned and that there should be space for all opinions and perspectives in the cinema narrative – good or bad.

Mishra was talking about The Kashmir Files, where although he does not seem to agree with the content of the film, he would not seek a ban on it. Indeed, there should be reasonable debate and discussion about the film and let the audience watch it and make their observations about the film, however good or bad it might be.

Certainly, the right to freedom of expression is a constitutional right guaranteed in our pluralist and secular democracy, and everyone has every right to enjoy it. However, such propaganda films with apparently little regard for reality or facts, and with an ulterior motive to polarize or spread bad faith, needs to be countered in another way.

ALSO READ: ‘Kashmir Files A Political Ploy To Demonize Muslims’

We have to make real stories, big and small films, dramas, documentaries, literary works, refined and meaningful creations in arts, cinema and literature. We should write stories and poems etc., and show it in the public domain. Undoubtedly, this would be a strenuous and painstaking counter-action, but let the people decide what the real story is and what the reality is on the ground.

Vincent’s movie Manhole (left) won her the Kerala State Film Award for Best Director

Film critics have largely trashed The Kerala Story, with a prominentvoice describing it as “a poorly-made, poorly-acted rant which is not interested in interrogating the social complexities of Kerala, an India state proud of its multi-religious, multi-ethnic identity”. The quick change of the controversial film’s propaganda tag, to three women — from almost 30,000 women of Kerala who were allegedly converted to ISIS etc. — clearly shows how the film has been made up of lies. Now, everyone has been convinced of this lie because they had to correct it, during the judicial process where it was challenged.

It is historically well-known that the during the Nazi regime in Germany and the Holocaust that followed in parts of Europe, path-breaking filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favourite film director, made propaganda films like Triumph of the Will and Berlin Olympics, in a gigantic scale. In those times, these motion\documentary pictures were generally recognized as an epical and innovative work of propaganda film-making. The film took Riefenstahl’s career to a new level and gave her further international recognition. Not only in Germany, these films have also been screened in other parts of the world.

These propaganda films had played a big role in the rise and growth of Nazism in Germany. Hence, there is no doubt that these propaganda films will work at some level during certain times. Hence, it is all the more important to counter it with a new, mainstream and parallel cinematic and artistic narrative, and defend this narrative using the tools of art, culture and aesthetics.

The narrator made her feature film debut with the Malayalam film Manhole, which won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Director. The film also won two awards at the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala, including the Best Debutant Director Award

As told to Amit Sengupta

Dr Yadu Singh

‘Australians of All Faiths Must Unite Against Vandalism of Holy Places’

Dr Yadu Singh, of the Federation of Indian Associations of NSW Sydney, says vandalism of Hindu temples is an attack on the spirit of multilateralism and diversity in Australia

I am saddened and infuriated with the reports of vandalism of the local BAPS temple and anti-India graffiti on its walls at Rosehill suburb of Sydney, Australia. This is not the first time such incidents have taken place in Australia. Earlier, temples in Melbourne, including BAPS temple, and Brisbane were subjected to similar vandalism and hateful graffiti. I have visited the BAPS temple many times and feel anguished at the desecration.

I believe that these hate crimes must be condemned by every peace-loving member of society, irrespective of one’s faith. The perpetrators of such vandalism not only damages physical structures but also demean the spirit of unity and respect among diverse communities in Australia.

Australia is a country that prides itself on multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance. Such activities are a direct attack on this spirit. On the legal front, the culprits must be caught and punished. And on the social front, such hate crimes must be universally condemned. Attacks on places of worship of any faith, have no place in this nation. These un-Australian activities have no place in Australia, which is a successful multicultural and multi-faith nation

These activities seem to be the handiwork of hatemongers who seek to create an irreparable division between various faith segments of the Indian Australian community. Several Indian community organisations in a joint statement expressed that the attacks were an attempt to provoke disharmony and undermine the social fabric of Australia. The statement also highlighted the fact that these temples were not just places of worship but also cultural and social centres which bring together people from diverse backgrounds.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Sydney

The Indian community in Australia has called for greater awareness and education among the wider public to prevent such incidents in the future. They have also appealed to the Australian government to take a tough stance against those who promote sectarianism and intolerance.

ALSO READ: ‘Religious Leaders Must Foster Harmony, Not Discord’

The incident has once again highlighted the need for greater efforts towards promoting unity and harmony among diverse communities. Australia has a significant population of migrants from different parts of the world. The challenge, therefore, is to create an inclusive society that celebrates diversity and promotes mutual respect and understanding. 

The vandalisation of temples in Sydney by pro-Khalistan elements has caused deep hurt and outrage among the Indian community in Australia. There is a widespread belief that such acts go against the very grain of Sikhism, which propagates equal respect to all faiths. These vandals thus bring a bad name to Sikhism itself.

The incident is a stark reminder of the need for greater efforts towards building an inclusive and tolerant society. It is time for everyone to come together and work towards creating a better world where diversity is celebrated, and differences are respected. All segments of our community, especially Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Muslims must stand united to counter the growing menace of hate brewing within our community. I urge, as I always have, that we should act as Australians and shouldn’t bring political issues from India to Australian shores.

As told to Deepti Sharma