Short film Panaah asserts terror has no religion

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2016 13:20 IST
Nattasha and Hemwant in a still from short film Panaah.

Orlando, Dhaka, Nice, Baghdad and Kabul: Hundreds of people have been killed in recent terror attacks claimed by groups that have no qualms in targeting innocent men, women and children.

And after every such attack, two diverse opinions surface - one that blames a particular religion and the inhumane act and another that champions the belief that terrorism has no religion.

Read: How a playful Afghan child became Orlando shooter

Panaah (Refuge) a short film written and directed by Vinod Pande, who made Shiney Ahuja-starrer 2005 film Sins, offers much-required food for thought in a world that has seen so much violence.

A still from Panaah.

With the politically-sensitive Kashmir as the backdrop and the tense equation that the residents and Indian Army share in the region, Panaah highlights the simple, yet a rarely-acknowledged fact that religion has nothing to do with terrorism or any other act of violence.

Read | Mazhab teaches love, those spreading terrorism don’t know religion: Aamir Khan

The film begins with an army officer, who has been shot, looking for help even as he fears the ‘Muslims’. What unfolds after he seeks refuge in a house, underlines the importance of humanity over and above one’s religion.

A dialogue by the doctor, who treats the injured officer, sums up what Pande wants to tell through Panaah.

“My religion doesn’t allow me to kill those who seek refuge,” the doctor, played by Nattasha, says.

Watch Panaah here

Hemwant Kumar Tiwari, who acted in Zindagi Bahut Khoobsurat Hai one of the few Indian short films selected to be screened at Cannes Court Metrage in 2013, plays the role of the army officer. Nattasha, Gaurav Sharma, Brij Gopal, Jitendra Kumar and Rajesh Mishra are the other actors in the almost 22-minute film.

The film articulates without much fanfare that blaming any religion for individual acts of inhumanity is not the solution. Panaah advocates the belief in a subtle, artistic and simple manner.

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