Babri Demolition Would’ve Pained Satyajit Ray, Says Aparna Sen

“Ray was not just creative. He was tolerant, secular and very liberal”, Aparna Sen on Satyajit Ray.

2 min read

Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan

Satyajit Ray has influenced the lives of many aspiring filmmakers and film enthusiasts and continues to do so. The Quint celebrates Ray’s birth centenary year with a special series titled ‘My Ray’ – where current generation of filmmakers share their experiences of Ray’s films and how he influenced them.

Actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen talks about her memories of Satyajit Ray, whom she fondly called ‘Manik Kaka’. She shares some of her fond memories of Ray as an actress and as a filmmaker.

Sen talks about her first experience working with Ray on her debut film ‘Teen Kanya’ (1961) and tells us how she was intimidated by his towering personality. She has worked on multiple films with Satyajit Ray as an actress before she became a filmmaker. She talks about Ray’s role as her mentor and how her film ‘36 Chowringhee Lane’ was possible because of him.

Satyajit Ray was known for using humanism in his stories and more importantly, for the influence that had on his audience. Sen tells us about an incident where Ray advises her about registering a message with the audience.

“One of the things he told me was that ‘If you want something to register with the audience. If you want some information to register with the audience, Don’t say it only once. Say it at least twice. Otherwise it will not register.’ This I follow quite rigorously because I find that it is true, that The attention span of the audience is such That they will miss it the first time.”
Aparna Sen, Filmmaker & Actor

Aparna Sen has known Ray not just as a filmmaker, but also as a dear friend. She brings to our notice how Ray was always interested in issue-based politics and how they were part of his city-based films. She suggests one should watch the ‘Apu Trilogy’, Mahanagar (1963), Pratidwandi (1970) and Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne(1969).

Ray died in 1992 before the destruction of the Babri Masjid. Aparna thinks if he had been alive, it would have shattered him.

“The demolition of the Babri masjid would have been something that would have destroyed him emotionally, because, that is the kind of person he was. Very tolerant, very secular, very liberal.”
Aparna Sen, Filmmaker & Actor

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Topics:  Satyajit Ray   Aparna Sen   Pather Panchali 

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