The censor board in India has chosen to ban Rakesh Sharma’s “Final Solution.” The logic being that it will provoke social unrest. The film is about the violence in Gujarat that took place in 2002 and claimed the lives of almost 2000 people. The filmmaker says:
People who make hate speeches should be banned and not the film-maker who records it
Which is pretty much what the documentary does. It is a very patient record of several people who have a connection with the violence, either as victims, perpetrators or sympathizers of the perpetrators. Every one is allowed to say their piece, including Narendra Modi, the chief minister under whose watch the violence took place. Sharma doesn’t point fingers as much as allows people to present enough of themselves for the audience to draw its own conclusions. It has Narendra Modi on the campaign trail rallying the crowds by calling those who criticized the state government for its role in the violence as anti-Gujarati and anti-Indian. It has chilling footage of the police clearing the way for a mob before it comes into a neighborhood to kill, burn and rape. There are ordinary people like the husband of a woman who was killed on the Godhra train, which was allegedly set on fire by a Muslim mob. This man is trying to continue his life and bring up his kids, and is afraid to delve too deeply into the Godhra incident, makes one wonder about the authorship of the incident. There are children who witnessed their parents getting killed and raped, others who saw bodies being disposed off in the field where they play cricket. If the state is so keen on protecting its citizens from hearing these stories, maybe they should have played a bigger role in preventing the violence in the first place and punishing the perpetrators. Instead we have the obscene situation, where some Gujarat riots court cases are being tried in a neighboring state, because its not certain that justice will be done otherwise.
Also look at Keywords for links on the riots and the film.