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Indu Sarkar.......Who cares!

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There seems to be some kind of intent among some filmmakers to please the present dispensation at the helm in India. So, we have a film here which concocts a story around 1975/1977 Emergency declared in India by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to save her government and her position. This is a women-oriented film, following soon in the line-up of recent failures such as Mom, Mattr and the ilk.

Emergency was a black spot on the world’s largest democracy, India. And, it was a serious issue when the best and bravest of nationalist leaders either went into hiding or were whisked off from their homes at midnight and consigned to jails.

And, when all and mighty of the opposition were helter skelter, running to save their own skin, filmmaker, Madhur Bhandarkar, finds this underdog played by Kirti Kulhari, a stuttering marriage unhappy woman, to take on the might of the authority of the emergency imposing powers. Her inspiration being the character of Anupam Kher, leading an identifiable Hindu right wing group who arouses her conscious and edges her on to lead a move to free the country!! One wonders, why Kher and his group expect a woman to take on the might of emergency while they stay in the background!

There are references and scenes dedicated to the excesses of the emergency era like slums demolitions and forced nasbandi (sterilisation) on young and old alike (Though this was limited to the Hindi belt, mainly to Delhi and UP, and bore no all India effect.) besides strong armed tactics and violence by those ruling. Kirti finds her cause in life when she learns that her husband, played by Tota Roy Chowdhury, being a government servant, is responsible for acts of slum demolitions etc.

Indu Sarkar, the title, has the connotations that Indira (Gandhi), referred to as Indu by those close to her including Moraraji Desai, was the Sarkar, the ultimate authority. But, that hardly adds to the film’s USP.

The Emergency, like many other events such as the Sikh massacre, are a thing of the past and of use only for the sling matches by the opposing political parties. Indians forget and forgive fast.

This is 2017 and this film bears no relevance today and is a futile exercise and waste of resources. Films like Nasbandi (IS Johar) and Kissaa Kursee Kaa (Amrit Nahta), released soon after the Emergency, were disasters.

Producers: Bharat Shah, Madhur Bhandarkar.

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar.

Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Supriya Vinod, Anupam Kher, Tota Roy Chowdhury.

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