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Anand Patwardhan: ‘What’s Happening in Ayodhya Has Nothing To Do with Religion'

Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan's documentary 'Ram Ke Naam' follows the Ram Janmabhoomi movement of the 90s.

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(There are other video excerpts from the interview below) 

On 22 January 2024, the Ram Mandir inauguration (and the ‘pran pratishta ceremony) took place in Ayodhya. And more than 30 years ago, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan was in the same city, chronicling the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the 90s and the events that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. 

His documentary In the Name of God or Ram Ke Naam won the National Award and secured a U certification from the censor board. Yet, the filmmaker struggled to have his film views as widely as he had hoped. 

Patwardhan told The Quint, “"'Ram Ke Naam' got a U censor certificate which means it can be shown anywhere in the country without a problem. On the basis of the National Award it won, we submitted it to Doordarshan for a telecast; they said no.”

“The Bombay High Court then ruled that the film had to be broadcast on television in the national interest and it was a film that was trying to create communal harmony. The film is actually showing how what is happening in Ayodhya has nothing to do with religion. Whatever is being done there is being done for political reasons.”
Anand Patwardhan, The Quint

In the video below, the filmmaker talks about the story behind the Ram idols ‘appearing’ inside the Babri mosque in 1949, the experience of shooting Ram Ke Naam, how the nation’s attention is being diverted, the relevance of his documentary, and how the very image of Ram is being changed. 

Watch the videos to know more.

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