Two film screenings to attend: Lest we forget
Remembering/Forgetting, a screening of documentaries on the two tragic events, organised by the Godrej India Culture Lab, aims to do that by starting a dialogue between the audience and filmmakers, who will be present at the screening
It's been 35 years since over 2,000 Muslims were killed in the town of Nellie and its surrounding villages in Assam, and 34 years ago, the country was burning in the flames of anti-Sikh violence. In the semblance of the peaceful times we live in, these tragedies have been relegated to the dusty pages of history. But only when lessons are learnt from the past can there be the hope of history not repeating itself. Remembering/Forgetting, a screening of documentaries on the two tragic events, organised by the Godrej India Culture Lab, aims to do that by starting a dialogue between the audience and filmmakers, who will be present at the screening.
"When I visited the Sikh Widows Colony in West Delhi to speak to its residents, I chose to not meet them during October-November, when politicians visit them. It's only when they were sure that I had no political motive, did they start opening up about how they struggled and coped with the loss," recalls Teenaa Kaur Pasricha, whose documentary, 1984, When the Sun Didn't Rise, won the National Award for Best Investigative Film this year.
She adds that the number of cases that stand in court against the perpetrators of the 1984 violence have drastically come down over the years because people have given up hope for any justice to come their way.
Teenaa Kaur Pasricha
For Subasri Krishnan, making her documentary, What the Fields Remember, was an exercise in piecing together her own faint recollection of the word Nellie, which she had heard as an eight-year-old when she lived briefly in Assam. "In 2006, I came across an article on the Nellie massacre.
A still from What the Fields Remember
Later, when I started my research and came across very little material on it, I wanted to know why there is public amnesia about it," says the filmmaker, for whom the idea of citizenship has been an intellectual pursuit. The concern becomes even more relevant with the ramifications of being excluded from the National Register of Citizens, which forms the subject of her next documentary, Shadow Line.
"The history of minorities, written by the powerful, is always suppressed in the public eye," laments Pasricha — something that is as relevant in the case of the Nellie massacre, where the reality of Bengali-speaking victims in the already-neglected region of the North East only grows more complex.
ON Today, 5 pm
AT Auditorium, Godrej ONE, Vikhroli East
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