Faruk Kabir, the writer-director- actor of Allah Ke Banday, will be filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against government authorities responsible for all juvenile remand homes in the country. Amongst the possible areas where a PIL can be filed according to the law, one is “for directing the police/jail authorities to take appropriate decisions in regards to jail reforms, such as segregation of convicts, delay in trial and production of under trial before the court on remand dates.”
Kabir whose film deals with juvenile crime, during his research, was appalled by the inhuman conditions in these homes. He now wants to take those concern further.
“Allah Ke Banday will open a Pandora’s box and will raise a lot of uneasy questions to which, we as citizens of a democracy, have a right to demand answers to,” he points out. “I want to make things uncomfortable for those in power.”
And what if they make things uncomfortable for him at the time of the film’s release (on November 12)? “I’ll take that risk but by doing so they would only be drawing attention to themselves,” he retorts.
His co-stars, Naseeruddin Shah and Sharman Joshi, have offered their support too. “When I told Naseer saab I wanted to file a PIL he said, ‘Go for it boy.’ He’s busy with shoots, so I haven’t spoken to him recently,” informs Kabir, who expects to be called for a ‘review’ after the Diwali holidays.
Meanwhile, he’s locked with censors in discussions. They have passed the film with an ‘A’ certificate and five cuts. Kabir doesn’t want to go back into post-production so close to the release.
“It’s a two-hour-five-minute film charting the journey of two boys from the ages of 12 to 24. It’s tightly edited. The censor chief and her team are progressive and open to discussion. I’m trying to understand their points of view and hoping they will hear me out too,” he says.
There’s been plenty of talk about Kabir’s next film, Welcome To The Jungle, that he was initially supposed to make with Hrithik Roshan. Then, it was supposed to introduce Cheeranjeevi’s son. Roshan isn’t doing it and Ram Charan claims he isn’t either.
Says Kabir, “I met a representative of Ram Charan who really liked Allah Ke Banday’s promos. Talks are in early stages. There’s no ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Nothing’s been opened and nothing has ended.”
No councelling is provided to juvenile inmates, resulting in them being as misguided as they were in the outside world. Many a times, they get worse, psychologically.
In inumerable cases, despite a one-year sentence, inmates end up spending four to five years in these homes as they are not aware of their rights or because they are not provided with a counsellor by the state authorities.
There is no programme to make the delinquents self-sufficient through vocational training and they are often forced to return to their life of crime due to lack of options.
No formal education is imparted to these juvenile inmates even though it is their right and the duty of the government agencies to provide them with classrooms, teachers, books and educational programmes.