How I wrote The Little Republic
The Little Republic, the working title of the film Swaraaj, and later its sub-title came from the article of the same name by Dr George Mathew, Director, Institute of Social Sciences, and producer of the film.
It was a fascinating idea, to be able to see each village in India as a dynamic, proud whole, not a part -- an Indian village not in a quiet peaceful, status quo, but in the throngs of a powerful, gut wrenching, change.
The third tier of Indian democracy, or the most democratic part of Indian democracy, wanted its due. And whoever says democracy comes easy. The 73rd amendment was not just an amendment to the Constitution, it was an amendment to the two other great power structures; the Indian family and the Caste system.
The 73rd amendment to the Constitution gave 33 per cent reservation for women and for Dalits. And it made regular elections to the Panchayats, non-negotiable for the state governments.
We read hundreds of stories, of pain, struggle, defeat, triumph, from the files and the library of Institute of Social Sciences. We wrote to several friends in the field to send us their best experiences. We went to meetings where they were called, or meetings were called where we went. So many stories and every one of them was fascinating.