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Cinema and Terrorism in India: 1990s
Copyright Professor Rakesh Gupta,
Centre for Political Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
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This paper examines 3 films, viz. Gulzar's Maachis, Govind Nihalani's Drohakaal and Mani Ratnam's Roja, in that order within three axes of analyses: cinematic, political (self-determination, democratic, terrorism) and aesthetic. The three operate simultaneously even though a logical demarcation is attempted. At the three levels it is regarded as a mourning through which sensibility is transformed into sympathy for the act that needs serious consideration because it plays with human lives.
Methodologically, we give the gist of a review, the view of Gulzar on it, of Govind Nihalani on his protagonists, a gist of the film's story after which the scalpel of the three axes is used. It is used to unravel the predominant metaphor of the film: family. The scalpel resorts to streams in cinema, self-determination, liberal democratic theories and terrorism. Our comments on the review ar also located in the same terrain.
Nikhat Kazmi(1)comments on both the substance and the technique of Maachis. Lauding Gulzar's substance she says that it has a specific appeal 'for it chooses to look behind the prototype, into the personae, bringing to the fore a man who begins with a mission to kill, and ends up a victim, instead.' She regards it as a political film which is 'a bold, forthright political film that traces the rise and fall of the extremist.' The words she uses to describe the phenomena are: insurgency, extremist, militant, terrorist and terrorism. The use of these words is confusing. For example, insurgency may imply a mass support while terrorism may not. The word militant is generally used by the print media under terrorist threat since the expression militant does not have pejorative connotations that the word terrorist has. Editors in India, as well as abroad have admitted of its use under threat from the extremists.
On the technique of cinema, Kazmi is critical of Gulzar's picturization of songs. In another review she says 'Lata Mangeshkar's superb rendition of "Bhej Kahar" looses its magic in the bland dramatisation of Tabu sitting by the doorstep or dreaming beside the chullah. Even as Hariharan's poignant 'Tum Gaye' looks lost through the lip sync of a vacant Chandrachur Singh.' Even then, for her, it is 'sheer magic'. Still Maachis is not as poetic, picturesque ... like Ratnam's Bombay'. Why the difference we do not know though this begs the question as to Kazmi's aesthetic values: are they based on the value of experience or of awakening. We shall return to this later. Kazmi also does not raise the issue of what is political cinema. Quite a few questions can be raised in this regard. Politics deals with struggle, consolidation and decline of power. In a democracy it deals with self-determination, political and electoral process linked with the struggle for legitimation in which a terrorist is a political actor. Kazmi is of course silent. According to a Latin American film critic, cinema must unravel. Luis Bunuel ( 2 ) says that the cinematic technique though it is the subconscious nocturnal voyage must arrive at the truth behind what appears. To be fair to Kazmi she does make the point that Gulzar's extremist is a 'victim and not a villain'. Inferentially then we arrive at the essence of what Kazmi thinks is Gulzar's political issue, i.e., the individual as a terrorist. Does he have a personality? Is the terrorist personality (a la Adorno's Authoritarian Personality) depraved, rational, sensible, undemocratic?
Let us benefit from Gulzar himself before we go into the picture: Sathya Saran's( 3 ) dialogue with Gulzar shows, in his own words, that his protagonists are those of subjectivist feelings: 'Fear and how people live with it is a new area of exploration for me.' Maachis has a sur: 'of anguish that permeates the film is sometimes expressed as an anger against circumstances. There is a feeling of uncertainty about the future despite having made it through the traumatic experience.' Aandhi showed anger. New Delhi Times shows his anger and outrage and Maachis 'is somewhere between the two- there is anger but it is blended with strong poetic treatment.' This is not explained, i.e. the expression 'poetic treatment'. Yet one can draw a broad contour of it. His poetics is of the subjectivist individualist variety dealing with the individual's feelings even though the 'Circumstance' or what Kazmi calls 'political' may involve the other category: people / institutions.
This poetics is similar to the Hollywood poetics where the genre of war films deals with individual fear of death in which people are missing. In Govind Nihalani also one discovers the preoccupation with the individual. In an interview ( 4 ) on his film Drohkaal, he said 'My centre is always the individual. The human being is always the centre of my concern - his concern, his predicament, his aspirations, his angst and his achievements'. He claims that his film will find 'a niche which Ratnam's Roja will not.' In Drohkaal Nihalani focuses on the revolutionary and not a rightwing practitioner of terrorist tactics. If this was so in the case of Bhadra, his protagonist, then the debate in the forest is understandable but it would be a point of curiosity if it would be Abhay who would vacillate or Bhadra later on. In this case it is the police cop since Nihalani has sympathies with the revolutionary. One remark needs to be made on Roja: it deals with terrorism as method and not as ideology and is more accurate in understanding one of its chief weapons. Terrorism cuts across ideological divides.
The focus is on Maachis. It has a love story, an element of adventure, the compulsory song sequences (a Parsi tradition that pervades Hindi mainstream cinema), beautiful picturisation, technical finesse. As a genre dealing with fear it is traditional Hindi-Hollywood type. Look at another giant sized marvel dealing with fear on a liner: love story, spirit of adventure, fear of death and victory of the spirit in the Titanic. Both these films deal with history. It is here that Maachis is concerned with the angst in the wake of anti-Sikh riots. Titanic rewrites history.
Turning to the story line of Maachis, i.e. its gist of nine pages of Gulzar's story, it is: a tale of a youngster pushed into terrorism. The story takes off on Kirpal's anguish over the detention and torture of his dear friend Jassi (Zutshi) on the suspicion of his links with the assassination of a politician in Delhi. Kirpal, it is understood by the protagonists, and viewers, is to be betrothed to Jassi's sister Veeran. A bitter and angry Kirpal meets a gang of militants through his bus journey. These militants are from across the border and other youths who, like him, have been victims of police high handedness and events in Punjab.
The story works through the metaphor of the family ( 5 ). The referential family is that of Punjab and moments of friendship, camaraderie, routine love filled ambience made sweet by feelings of fraternal love and desires of sex involved in the coming betrothal. Kirpal (Chandrachur Singh), Jassi, Veeran (Tabu) are known to each other since childhood and have grown together with the intensity of the feeling of the understanding that Chandrachur and Veeran will marry and Chandrachur and Jassi are like twins. The social setting is more of a cardboard existence of Hindu-Sikh villagers wearing ordinary traditional clothes in contrast to shirts, jeans and white shoes of the male protagonists and the salwar-kamees of Tabu and Jassi's mother. This is not a contrast meant to portray social stratification of Punjab or post green revolution agrarian Punjab. The people refer to trauma of partition, current exploitation and role of the police. Gulzar could have used a bard here for articulating (in contrast) genuine grievances of the people across a cultural and social spectrum and their idiom of struggle.
The canvas of family normalcy after Operation Blue Star and anti-Sikh riots (the former is not mentioned) and the failed murder of MP Kedarnath becomes the backdrop to the arrival of the police - Khanna and Vohra (Kanwaljit and Zaheer) - in search of Jimmy. The police is embaressed to learn that Jimmy was a dog. Unable to bear the joke, they look for Jassi (who could be regarded as the watch dog of the family) and take him away. The family does not appear to be the archetypical Punjabi family. This has not reference either to the mahalwari system, the changes after independence in the family structure or the impact of the Green Revolution or the authority structure of the contemporary family in Punjab. This could have been useful if the focus was on people and not just the individual in the 1980s. It would however have made the movement of the story more difficult, particularly the transformation of the content of the metaphor of the family, if the father and other members were also presented. Jassi commits suicide, mother dies of shock. The wholesome discursivity of the referential family in terms of normal bonds would have brought in more themes of gender, generations and other chapters of family/group identity. This it does not. We will come back to this again.
In Jassi's absence, Kirpal is shown to develop frustrations because of the apathy and brutality of the polic. Here one finds that the film is closer to Mani Ratnam's Roja where the is not just frustrated by exasperated by the opacity of the security personnel. She does not become a terrorist, Kirpal does. Custodial torture of Jassi and Kirpal's love for him leads Kirpal into the terrorist phenomenon. There is no attempt on his part to galvanise the people. His visit to his house, body touch of the elder man, Kirpal's look at the hunting gun, leaves it, hiding one, discovered by Tabu, Kirpal's bus journey, meetings with Om Puri and Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Chief), the gurudwara precincts where he re-establishes the contact with Om Puri, the hideouts, the new family that he enters, the entry of the missile shooter, trained in enemy country (Tabu), all leald to the warfare of the film - a warfare failed (Gulzar) and flawed (italics ours). The portrayal of the group of terrorists as family is very striking indeed. Terrorist group bonds are very strong and the two family metaphors compete with one another. This bond operates to attack the police offer (Zaheer) and the process shows intra-group rivalry owing to the lies of the leader. Om Puri, who is also shown to blow up a bus with mixed identities points to falsification of history and state managed communal murder of the inmates of a bus.
The metaphor of the family moves very fast and its metamorphoses is very striking even though the referential family keeps coming up as a discussive register - poetic and sensitive. The referential family shows Tabu's feminity - desires linked with awaited betrothal. Gulzar's lyrics and both the male and female rendering of songs adds to her imagined pathos. The song Tum gaye has this line: Eike sahlab tha, sara ghar beh gaya, or jane kis desh gaya, mera dervesh gaya, or from the male chorus
Jahan tere pairon ke kamal gira karte the
hanse to do galon mein bhanwar para karte the
teri kamar ke bal pe nadi muda karti thi
hansi teri sun sun ke fasalein uga karte the
jahan teri aidee se dhup uda karti thi
suna usee chaukhat par, ub sham raha karti hai
There are other loving references to the pillow then and now. So the point is that this family is composed of feminity of Tabu with her desires of love and sex, domesticated image of the other older widow, the boys' longing for each other and the pathos of the unprecedented departure of Jassi and Kirpal and the visit of Tabu to Kirpal's house and her return with the old Sikh from Kirpal's family capture the metaphor of the family. For further proof listen to this:
Jo dil se jatee pag dandiyon pe
Dekho to paon pade hon
Dekho to shayad
Paon pare hon
Tum laut aana.
The frame is composed of domesticated widow mother, vivacious love lorn feminity of Tabu, that is astir with the advent of the begun masculinity of Chandrachur Singh (notice their first embrace), who plays hockey with Jassi in the courtyard and the old woman affectionately protests.
This family undergoes a change. The discursive space is relegated to the background by the frame of another family in which a new aggressive masculinity takes over. The atmosphere among the male members of Chandrachur's new companions is captured by the song Chhod aaye hum vo galiyan, Chappa chappa. This group has a notional shepherd, young boys and the song in which there is no female member and political conversion has already taken place. The new family is the masculine family. The body movement, the coalescing of the body rhythm and musical notes reach a crescendo that gives you the feeling of a new energy of a conspiratorial purpose and the getting together or the growing together of the male family. What is this transformation? It is not the benign masculinity of ordinary life. It is energised masculinity. Revenge is the energiser. Each one has a tale to tel of the earlier phase. Any flight to those tales does not take you back to the ordinary and normal family. Kuldeep who wanted to return is killed by it. He is liberated of his desire as well of his life. The truck scene of Om and Kulbhushan confirm it in their cold ruthlessness. He is shown returning on his cycle in an open field and blasted.
Back home you find Tabu changing perceptibly and leaving behind her feminity. Jassi has been reduced to a pulp. Tabu takes over the chores of daily life. Jassi is startled by the sound of the tractor and discovers it is Veeran (Tabu) who is driving it, taught to drive by Chandrachur. All this is normal, very normal. Yet Tabu throws the hidden rifle in the well: Chandrachur slaps her. The conflict of two emerging perspectives. Is it the arrival of Tabu to equality? We do not know. The force of circumstance pushes her into this more pronounced economic function. This is benign, but only a prelude to Tabu's further metamorphosis. She continues to be in her salwar kameez and acquires a more active than coy feminity. Subsequently the active takes over the coy but in a more traumatic, if not brutal form. It becomes subordinate to the demands of terrorism of course, Gular is par excellence in handling the two registers simultaneously.
In the new family of the males there is an announcement by Kulbhushan Kharbanda that a trained missle shooter is coming from across the border. And then the expert, no ther than Tabu arrives in her slacks and not salwar. Chandrachur cannot believe his eyes. Tabu is equally surprised. Om Puri realizes she is Veeran. The confrontation between the two is picturised thus. She offers him food, subbingly tells about the fate of the rest. This is the end of the coy feminity of the old family. The two are shown near the water backdrop, the cinematic technique uses light and shade in a manner as though there is an impregnable cold mattress to the newn anger and anguish. A new relationship is established between the two: live and die together in their organization, as masculinity which is given by cyanide and the missile. Both Chandrachur and Tabu appear to be invulnerable by togetherness, weapons and the mission. The discursiveness of feminity-masculinity equality is replaced by a new assertive masculinity. The earlier understated femininity transforms into overtly expressed masculinity. Gulzar retains the human touch and still the domesticated is liberated through the weapon under the force of circumstances. Chandrachur's masculinity is coloured by his militarised mission and gets a new energy of revenge. See the way he kills Vohra and runs after Khanna. But does not kill the child on his chase of Khanna.
To put it in other words, the masculine and the feminine of the normal family is turned into a zero. The old family is turned into a zero. Other members dies. Jassi commits suicide in jail (opening scene). The new family is a collective in which the relational, emotional and functional discursivity is reduced to a zero. It is easy for Gulzar to do this since the context is terrorism. He does not take sides between oppositional and state terrors. But that is not enough. The reasons are: the canvas is a few individuals and the focus is on their subjectivist feelings over taken by terrorist revenge. Terrorist groups are like this - small, delinked and unawakened about the outer world. In the context of terrorism this is also Gulzar's limitation. In the presence of a larger referential canvas in which people could have a greater role this reduction to zero need not have taken place. Or, could have come out more starkly.
How does he achieve the transformation of the family metaphor? This is done with resort to the bus scene, subsequent blasting of the car, Chandrachur being near the Gurudwara. The bus is as well a metaphor that for us depicts the process of the transformation through a funnel and not a tunnel ( 6 ). In the bus he sees Om Puri. In the subsequent truck scene he meets Kulbhushan Kharbanda. At the Gurudwara, Tabu is shown, Chandrachur is shown in separate scenes and the Sikhs and Hindus pass by.
The intellectual channel is that Chandrachur, who is already frustrated and angry takes recourse to the arms with the help of the truck driver and the route of aggression is what Om Puri show: blasts. Om Puri calls people as wet sticks of Maachis (match box). Again people are missing. Nowhere the film shows that Chandrachur made any attempt to organise the people and having failed turned to the terrorist course. What we witness is that frustration leads to anger, anger to aggression. We will return to this pet western theory. Before we do this let us examine a few more aspects of the portraya of the Gurudwara.
In the minds of both Hindus and Sikhs and in terms of Punjabiyat, there is the roti-beti tradition, there is the spirit of cohabitation and Om Puri brings it out as a past. Characterisation of the bus assassinations by him is inaccurate though he himself engages in it.
We know that terrorists did not distinguish between Sikhs, Hindus and even dogs. They killed Jagat Narain, many unsympathetic Sikhs and even the mongrels since the latter barked and alerted the people of their impending arrival. To say that the attacks against Hindus in the bus, is the reality of only state managed terrorism is not to bring out the true scope of the terrorist net. It is true that Punjabiyat suffered and the situation got communalised. It is also true that Sikhs were also done to death by Sikhs. So both opposition and state had a role in this. Gulzar refuses to take a position on the causes of terrorism. Vishnu Khare'a review takes this position ( 7 ).
Let us look at the aesthetic dimension of this film. There are at least two axes on which this can be treated, namely experientially and at the level of awakening ( 8 ). One derives pleasure from a work of art if it portrays experience and the onlooker identifies with it. This may or may not lead to catharsis. Here one finds that the family metaphor would have a universal appeal and so Maachis would appeal to the people with a middle class family structure. The entire ambience of the normal family is portrayed by the tractor, jeans, white shoes, immaculately clean salwar-kamees and a handful of sprinkling of dialogues in English. The bilingual mode is also witnessed in the terrorist family as well. Since the ambience will vary in different strata of Punjabi society, the film's bilingual discourse and dress patterns may not appeal to the poor. They also suffered but perhaps differently with different levels of perceptions. The poor of Punjab have had different struggles and different modes of expressions of alienation. For them Maachis may not be their idiom. For Gulzar's is the anguish of the middle-class.
Secondly, with regard to the middle class, its sympathy evoked through the emotive dimensions of the family metaphor has an appeal. But the sympathy generated through the referential family is also transformed for the weaponised masculinity in which the discursive registers of the earlier family are all closed and the viewer moves in sympathy of the terrorist/militant/extremist person where there is militarized masculinity of a Tabu carrying a gun and committing a murder. This is manipulation by the media. We will return to its human fibre when we look at its terrorist dimensions. But at the aesthetic level the viewer's sympathy is for a militarist adventure, albeit a reluctant one. But in reality, this is for an inhuman misadventure. It does not serve the values of the individual, family, gender and group dialogues that are on in India.
This is a serious dimension or weakness of the film. In fact it is its pathos in more than one way. It is pathos because all other discursivity is reduced to militarist masculinity. Two, sympathy is invoked for the personae without going into a possible deconstruction of the terrorist personality. There is no escape from the fact that the assassination of Vohra and Om Puri is conspiratorial, illegal and dehumanizing. What is surprising is that Gulzar has not even shown the human dilemma in a man's mind when he kills for the first time. Both Tabu and Chandrachur do it without any hesitation or reluctance. This is very strange for no human being by nature or nurture is a killer. In this context the pathos may move a shade forward towards melancholy. Since Gulzar is concerned with this aspect of individual protagonists he is the weakest here. Weak on his own wicket: the individual uncomprehended.
Let us look at the second dimension of his aesthetics, i.e. examine it as awakening. This happens if what is being portrayed is ripped apart, i.e. the phenomenon and the real comes out. The phenomenon expressed is terrorism with its accompanying psychological dimension of fear that it creats not among the victims but among the audience. Let us put it the other way round. The terrorist dictum is what a Chinese scholar said "kill one to scare a thousand". One is not sure who is the terrorist that the director is tackling. Is it state terror or oppositional terror? We know that he thinks that terrorists are not crops in the fields, even if one grants that excesses of the state drive individuals to become terrorists. This is not the cause of terrorism. State high-handedness does not make a terrorist. Why some do among a whole host of state exploited, angered individuals? We do not know of any unveiling that Gulzar has done. Kazmi praises him for saying that the protagonist is not a villain but a victim. This hardly is any unravelling. We will ellucidate this further in context of the political terrain. To conclude this part let us say that on the count of both experience and awakening it is pathos. It could have laid bare the problems of dualities of the nation in the making.
Let us look at the political aspect of it. This we do in the context of self-determination and democracy. The film transforms itself from pathos to melancholia in this axis of analysis. The terrorist in Punjab, at least one interpretation of it, demanded Khalistan on the grounds that the Sikhs are an ethnically different nation. Gulzar is silent on it. Let us be charitable: he is an artist of the subjectivist variety and we should not expect him to take a position on it. Of course, those who think that national independence is till the issue will dump him as conveniently silent ( 9 ). Even those who are converned secular on communal definitions find it inadequate.
We are looking at him from self determination and not national self determination point of view. In this domain, moderate Akalis were looking for autonomy and a section was accomodating with the national leadership on it. Once Gulzar is silent. One must say the film as fiction need not talk of political controversy. But it must unravel. This the film does not. Of course, it opposes the state opacity. The state policy against the moderates was accomodation and against the terrorists was uncompromising, in which many innocents were caught. The film is politically innocent: it deals with the fate of innocents. It is a political film. But it is sympathetic to the cause of Tabu and Chandrachur's masculinity.
Let us look at the democratic part of it. Here it must be said that Gulzar's film is at its worst. It is in this context that the title of the film is analyzed. Om Puri says that people are like the wet sticks of the match box and that each needs to be dried to be used. This is a truthful reflection of the terrorist's perception of the people, whom he cannot mobilize, and since he fails to use them, he becomes a terrorist. What we have by the name of democracy is reduced to only elite (read police governance) and no contribution of the people as participants is there. India does not have an elitist democracy and people still contribute in the decision making bodies. Even the institutions are responsive. The last shot of the film shows that the clipping that informs about the Supreme Court's direction for instituting an inquiry against the police. This is not a very big step in terms of Indian democracy. The reason is Gulzar's protagonists do not have any links either with the people or the possibilities of the function of civil society. Once again it is silent here: melancholic silence. At the artistic level, he could have used a bard, on the tradition of the Bahurupiyas, or folk to talk of the travails, turmoil and turbulence among the people.
This brings us to its treatment of the terrorist. Chandrachur Singh and Tabu, or Om Puri are not depraved. But the theory used to explain their terrorism is that of a German psychologist Dollard, American social scientist Ted Gurr and the American Committee on internal security and they all say that frustration leads to aggression. This theory has been rejected. One finds traces of it in the film. Second, a terrorist has sensitivity that leads him to give up his path. Here Gulzar does a better job. Both Kuldeep and Kirpal (Chandrachur) express a desire to quit their path. Both cannot.
The compulsions of the entire intra-group rivalry prevent them from doing this. Here Gulzar is closest to reality since the group life of terrorists shows that they have a short life and a terrorist's life span is only a few years, ranging from three to five or at best six years. This decline of terrorism takes place only because the people are not with them and the organizations suffer from the weaknesses generated by lack of information, suspicion, no control over individuals and personal jealousies. All this is portrayed but the people are absent. So Gulzar is accurate in details but in looking for the trees he misses the wood, i.e. the people. This fits very well with his understanding of democracy in India as only a garrison state. This is a faulty understanding of democracy in a country which has seen a secular, a communalist and a communist Home Minister, all civilians and not experts of violence.
The subjectivist sensibility of Gulzar takes him to the individualist dimension of the liberal society and is funneled into weaponised masculinity. This is political melancholia. here there is no civil society, either.
The cinema is the pre-independence period had a strong western Hollywood influence. The film on the life of Jesus Christ had its echo in Dadasaheb Phalke's Raja Harishchander (1912); the stunt films, the mythologicals and socials were borrowed from the same source. These were supported by the Indian business. The stunt films of Ranjit studios showed how modernization could be equated with westernization. The social films represented rural poverty and conflict and under Soviet realism or Italian neo-realism, films like Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar and Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin were made. In the context of the partition, many Punjabi directors made films on communal harmony where they behoved the people to emulate secular values. These were not very different from the western concern against communism which preached the values of liberal freedoms. Came films on the alienatin experienced in the middle classes. The New Wave films, with all its focus on rural exploitation had middle class protagonists (Manthan, Nishant) and so did the recent Nihalani, Mani Ratnam and Gulzar films. The films on terrorism have middle class protagonists and popular sympathy is solicited for them and not for either the people or the positive aspects of the state whatever its percentage. In this specific sense the Gulzar film is a mainstream Bollywood-Hollywood masala film - a melancholia for those who have a value for the people's role in a democracy or the people's struggle for emancipation.
To conclude, with few reservations one can say that Maachis is an aesthetic, cinematic and political act in mainstream melancholia since it does not awaken, transforms sympathy for weaponised masculinity through the metaphor of the family, the reduction of the different discursive registers of the individual to a zero and a lack of appreciation of state policy and the role of the poor. It is not an awakening rather it is embalming of the middle class consciousness by making it accept higher levels of violence, a highly questionable theory that was sought to be propagated by the political advisors of the government. People are caricatured, and their role in isolating terrorists has no place here. This brings us to the two ordinary distinctions of cinematic culture, viz. "mass" and "popular". This at the political level can be substantiated as predominant idea of nationness and as evolving, marginal identities. Maachis tends to belong to the first with its middle class benumbing appeal and not the latter as awakening for democracy since at the political level it fails to raise and come to grips with the discourses on family, group, nationalism and democracy in their evolution and contexts.
1. Nikhat Kazmi's two reviews of Maachis, The Times of India.
2. Luis Bunuel, 'Poetry and Cinema'; in Pranjali Bandhu, Black and White of Cinema in India, Odyssey, Thiruvananthapura, May 1992, p.88.
3. Sathya Saran's talk with Gulzar, The Times of India.
4. Sangeeta Dutta interviews Govind Nihalani, The Times of India.
5. Family in Bombay cinema is the dominat metaphor, see Raj Kapoor, Filmfare, January 4, 1954.
6. Funnel, not a tunnel, is being used: the larger discursivity is made into a narrow downward flow of singular weaponised masculinity.
7. Vishnu Khare says "Gulzar was never a political film maker.. The film steers clear of the reasons for the beginning of terrorism, does not deal with the first armed insurgents but with their second generation, if one may call it so". In the same review he says the producer and director "lack conceptual and political clarity".
8. It is not possible to stick to the subjectivist interpretation of art even though the directors are making films in that mould. The reasons are they are making films drawn from reality. Reality does not correspond only to their thoughts, notions and convictions. Since it exists independently, so does terrorism here, the only source of art cannot be an individual aesthetic experience alone as a tool to bring order into chaos of emotions and feelings. Experience of the viewer must lead to awakening in the nocturnal journey to reality and not phantasy.
9. Pranjali Bandhu's position is "All our nationalist pretensions notwithstanding, till now the Hindi cinema has not produced even one good film dealing with anti-colonial struggles in India". On the new wave cinema, she says "The off beat film maker has failed to keep in touch with living reality, with the people, study all classes of it, their interrelationships, their individual and social physiognomy", op.cit., pp. 43-44.