Film on Delhi rape slams casual mindset: Ashis Vidyarthi
Kolkata : Actor Ashis Vidyarthi, who is playing the role of a police officer in the first celluloid depiction of the Delhi gangrape and the massive protests that followed, said his character symbolised the ‘chalta hai’ attitude of the administration.
“Most rape cases in the country remained unsolved because of the ‘chalta hai’ attitude,” Vidyarthi told reporters on the sets of ‘Nirbhaya’, the film based on the rape which grabbed international attention.
“Nothing really changes. From people’s representative to the lower level officer to the SP and DIG, people are scared to stir the system,” Vidyarthi said.
“As an important lead in the movie, my job is to turn people’s sympathy toward the celluloid Nirbhaya into anger and outrage,” he said.
He said journalists from the real world were asked by director Milan Bhowmik to put uncomfortable questions to him as DGP, the role he plays in the film. Despite realising the gravity of the situation, all he is concerned about is saving his position even if that amounts to shielding the accused, the actor said.
“The director shows how all hell breaks loose when the media and public wake up to an incident and the administration tries to hide facts,” Vidyarthi said.
“Someone tries to save his job, someone tries to save his relatives. But then not everybody does the same,” he said.
Asked what prompted him to accept the role, Vidyarthi said his motivation came when he read the report of a rape and mutilation of the victim in South Africa shortly after the Nirbhaya incident.
“I will be happy if the audience jeers and gets angry at me. That will show that they are connecting with the girl in the film and every other girl facing a similar predicament,” Vidyarthi said.
He also said that films dealing with rape need not necessarily be the art-house kind.
“Since we are not doing a documentary, if a song and dance sequence adds gloss to the film and can draw people to the theatres, that is a sort of contribution to the building of public opinion against the crime,” he said when asked if such films would not sensationalise the issue. “Art after all imitates life, but cannot dictate life,” he said.
Vidyarthi said he had six films lined up including one in Tamil on a social issue.
He said he did not understand why apart from Sandip Ray, Satyajit Ray’s son, he was not being considered by top Bengali directors like Goutam Ghosh.