Karan Razdan’s directorial venture Hindutva Chapter One - Main Hindu Hoon has hit screens today. The film stars Aashiesh Sharrma, Sonarika Bhadoria and Ankit Raj. The Free Press Journal caught up with the filmmaker for an exclusive conversation.
When asked about the film, Karan shares, “Hindutva Chapter One - Main Hindu Hoon is about feeling free to say with pride that I’m Hindu without feeling scared of facing any repercussions. Every person of every religion says that. So what’s the big deal about it? Why can’t a Hindu say that? Why is there this guilt that despite being the majority community, you cannot speak your mind. Everybody has the same right in this country. It’s such an ancient religion so they also need to be given that freedom.”
When we point out that India has a bouquet of religions followed with so many festivals and what makes him feel that Hindutva does not enjoy that freedom, he explains, “I feel it has been suppressed in the Mughal reign. Hindus and Muslims were both feeling suppressed during the British reign. But after 1947, we should have been allowed the basic rights of being able to speak our mind. The Muslims /Jews/Christians were given the same rights… Why was the Hindu made to feel terrible? If you say, ‘Main Hindu hoon’, you are not secular? What does that mean? I think my film is a reaction to that.”
Karan has returned to direction after a gap of a few years. “I produced, directed and wrote the TV show Tehkikaat (1994). Then whether it were my films like Girlfriend, Umar or Mr. Bhatti On Chutti, I have always tried to make some issue-based films. So in between, I didn't feel like making a film. I registered the title Hindutva in 20018 or 20019. Thus I have worked almost for four years on this film,” he shares.
The filmmaker feels the dry spell of Bollywood is over. “I spoke to the audiences on National Cinema Day. You will not believe it, every theatre has been jam packed in recent times. We have had a dry spell, but there have been successes like The Kashmir Files, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Brahmastra,” he states.
The tickets of Chup: Revenge of the Artist were sold at Rs 75 rupees on National Cinema Day recently. When asked if this trend should continue, Karan says, “I 100 per cent want the cinema owners, distributors and exhibitors to give it a deep thought and reduce the price of not only the tickets but the samosas and popcorn sold inside theatres. More people will be able to watch movies and that is what we want!”
Lastly, he concludes by talking about his expectations he has about his film’s box office performance. “Every Hindu is going to make it a big hit. I’m so confident. Hindus are going to throng to the theatres and are going to prove it,” he signs off.