The large number of government-friendly films releasing ahead of the upcoming general elections tells a tale of politics and cinema


A few days before the release of Swatantra Veer Savarkar on March 22, actor-director Randeep Hooda courted controversy, stating, “If [activist and politician Vinayak Damodar] Savarkar had his way, our country would have become independent 35 years earlier. It was because of Mahatma Gandhi that we got freedom later.”

The statement didn’t go uncontested. Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi tells the Magazine, “It is a classic case of fictionalisation of history.” Noted historian Aditya Mukherjee chips in, “Savarkar is the fountainhead of Hindutva ideology. A few years ago, they would not have dared to posit him against the Mahatma. A film like Savarkar, and Hooda’s statement, is an attempt to nibble at the stature of the Mahatma. By the way, three decades before Independence, Mahatma Gandhi was not quite on the scene [Champaran Satyagraha was his first mass movement in 1917] and Savarkar was in jail.”

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