New Delhi: National Award-winning filmmaker Ujjwal Chatterjee is set to make a film on the “suspicious deaths” of ‘Hindu nationalist’ leaders.
The film will cover the deaths of Hindu stalwarts Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya and Raghu Vira, former president of Jana Sangh and father of the scholar Lokesh Chandra, which have been deemed as ‘suspicious’. The film will cover the sudden death of former prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri as well.
Chatterjee won the National Award in 1992 for Bengali feature film 'Gondi'.
Calling them ‘political murders’, Chatterjee told News18, “From the year 1948, after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi Jawaharlal Nehru arrested all the Sangh leaders. All those who retaliated to him were removed from the picture. This was done in connivance with the Russian agency KGB.”
KGB stands for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti in Russian, translates as Committee for State Security in English. It was the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954.
The director is planning to release this film within the year and is in talks with A-list mainstream actors, which he expects will shoot up the budget of the film. It will start with Mookerjee’s death, then move on to Shastri, Vira and finally to Upadhyaya’s mysterious death.
The script is being written by Atul Gangwar who is researching on the circumstances and evidence of their deaths to bring to the “the forgotten stories” to a new generation.
“There were conspiracies created to remove people from a particular ideology. There were many people who were part of national movement but today they are not seen in the mainstream. They are not taught so through this film we will bring their story,” Gangwar said.
When asked why Shastri was included considering he was part of the Congress, he said, “Shastri, who came between Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, was a leader who was entrenched in Indian pathos and a firm believer of Indian-ness. That is why he did not fall into the trap laid by the KGB. This is why he was eliminated.”
He added that Upadhyaya was murdered but the official reason given, he was killed by dacoits, was suspicious. “That is suspicious because nothing from him went missing except his bed, which had the blood stains. His money, watch all was intact. Similarly, Vira and Mookerjee’s deaths are suspicious. We need to revisit their death and bring that perspective,” he said.
Upadhyaya died on 11 February 1968 at Mughalsarai in UP while he was travelling in a train. Mookerjee died in custody, which the film makers say is “suspicion across the country and demands for an independent enquiry”. Vira died in an accident in Kanpur. Finally, Shastri died in Tashkent in 1966, a day after signing the Tashkent Agreement between India and Pakistan, formally ending the 1965 war. Official reason given was a heart attack but there have been claims that he was murdered.
The team working on the film believes they were “political murders” and want to bring the Sangh’s version on their deaths in mainstream cinema. Recently, RSS’s Bharatiya Chitra Sadhna organized Chitra Bharati Film Festival, "to show the Indian ness in Indian films”.