Vishal Bhardwaj was speaking on the first day of the Deccan Literature Festival during a session on ‘Creative Side of Commercial Cinema’ at Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune.(HT FILE Photo)
Vishal Bhardwaj was speaking on the first day of the Deccan Literature Festival during a session on ‘Creative Side of Commercial Cinema’ at Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune.(HT FILE Photo)

‘Couldn’t have made Haider today’: Vishal Bhardwaj over country-wide protests

Vishal Bhardwaj said that India is a country with strong secular artistic and literary talent which promotes a vibrant democracy and instils constitutional values among the citizens at large
Hindustan Times, Pune | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2020 12:28 PM IST

Award-winning film director Vishal Bhardwaj on Friday gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi’s long struggle for India’s freedom to say people have the democratic right to protest and it cannot be taken away.

He was speaking on the first day of the Deccan Literature Festival during a session on ‘Creative Side of Commercial Cinema’ at Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune.

Bhardwaj made the comment while referring to his film Haider during a conversation with theatre director Salim Arif.

“If you ask whether I would have been able to make Haider today, then I would be lying. All that is happening across the country is sad and pains the countrymen. Who likes protests, gunshots and fights daily?” he asked.

“Protest is a democratic right and it cannot be taken away at any cost. The Father of the Nation protested hard and that too for a very long time for India to get freedom. The movie Haider could not have been made in this kind of environment and a completely different movie would have emerged,” he said.

He also said that India is a country with strong secular artistic and literary talent which promotes a vibrant democracy and instils constitutional values among the citizens at large. He also appealed to vested interest to refrain from levelling baseless criticism on festivals related to literature and art.

Bhardwaj, who has supported protests against the right at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia university and against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register for Citizens, had earlier said that dissenting citizens were within their constitutional rights to step out and protest.

It was unfair on the part of the government to brand them as ‘urban Naxal’ or anti-national, he had said.

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