He spreads his arms and in a typical style of an upcoming politician, says, “Hum kaise bhool sakte hai ki Shastriji ne hamare desh ke liye kya kuch kiya hai. Kyonki Yeh satya aur ahimsa ka desh hai. Yeh Gandhi aur Nehru ka desh hai”.
Without lifting her head comes her question, “Shastriji ka kyon nahi?”
That’s from one of the scenes from “The Tashkent Files”.
And that pretty much gives you a gist of how “The Tashkent Files”, will be treated by the liberal ecosystem; the so-called intellectuals who call our country, “the country of Gandhi and Nehru”.
Somewhere everybody else like the Lalaji, Tilak, Bose and others just seem irrelevant.
Because they weren’t aligned to the ideology of the Gandhi and the Nehru. Or, more precisely the narrative that Nehru and his family built.
In just that same way, “The Tashkent Files” just doesn’t seem relevant to an ecosystem who has been deliberately trying to erase everything else in history to keep that narrative of “yeh desh Gandhi aur Nehru ka hai”, alive.
But unfortunately for them, the film passed the censor board and was finally ready for release.
There started the attempts to malign the film and its director Vivek Agnihotri, who had already earned the ultimate respect (sarcasm intended) of this ecosystem with his earlier works, “Buddha in a Traffic Jam” and the book “Urban Naxals”.
And the weapon?
The same weapon that they have been using all these years to inject that poison into the veins of a country full of innocent janta to make them another colony of “the masters“, even before they had fully enjoyed the real flavor of “FREEDOM” from colonial rule.
Funnier is the fact that, when they did it they had no shame in arm twisting the same “Freedom of Expression” that they keep crying about when somebody criticizes them for their fakery.
The Tashkent Files – The Film
The Tashkent files is a simple film. A film that attempts to inform the audience about the many things surrounding the mysterious death of one of the most dynamic and strongest prime ministers that the country had ever seen.
That’s right. Vivek Agnihotri didn’t call the death “mysterious” neither did he make it one. Shastriji’s death was always called “mysterious” even before the making of “The Tashkent Files”.
And when the death of India’s 2nd Prime Minister has a mystery surrounding it, should there really be a problem with bringing the mystery around it to an audience who had almost forgot who Shastriji was?
Yes. A lot of the things around the mystery is available in public domain and can even be found of Google. But for a country whose memory has no reference to a personality called Lal Bahadur Shastri anymore, do you really think anybody would search for anything around the “mystery surrounding Shastriji’s death”.
It is here, that the movie becomes extremely relevant.
Relevant because the India of today, needs to know about Shastriji and the mystery around his death. Because Shastriji is not somebody whose memories can (rather) be erased from our minds.
Vivek Agnihotri tried just that with his film, “The Tashkent Files”.
A decent starcast, interesting story-telling, excellent thought flow and an interesting ending, the movie had everything including the thrill that you would expect out of such a movie even for somebody like me who had read a lot of Shastriji and the mystery around his death.
“The Tashkent files”, is a genuinely made movie. The script is nicely written and nicely presented. There is a nice flow from one scene to the other and the continuity never breaks. Consequently your attention never breaks.
But then the reviewers from some of the media houses that professes “Freedom of Expression”, had a different thought.
The So Called Critics and Their Reviewing System
For audience like me and I am sure many others, reviews were a genuine methodology to evaluate the quality of a film.
In fact even today I go by the IMDB rating, to assess the quality of a film. A lot of the movies in the list that I want to watch comes from the top 100 from IMDB.
And since viewer rating is one of the key criteria in the IMDB ratings, and since only a viewer can be an unbiased reviewer of a movie (thanks to the confidence instilled in me by the biased critics in media today), I prefer going by their rating than anything else.
But there could be a huge section of the audience who might be basing their decision of watching a movie or, not, purely based on the critical reviews.
And at that point it is important to ask the question, “To that audience, are these biased reviewers doing any good?”.
At this point let me bring in some of the so-called reviewers from an ecosystem that preaches “Freedom of expression” but never practices it.
This is an extract and a review of “The Tashkent Files” by various reviewers as aggregated in Wikipedia.
A quick glimpse over all the blue links in the above screenshot is enough to get a fair understanding of how they would have rated the movie, considering the movie is a harsh look at the reality of how we were governed, by the ones who we always believed were the most trustworthy custodians of our country.
Writing for NDTV, a channel that acts secular but is one of the best examples of bigotry has one of its reviewers, Saibal Chatterjee rating the movie a half star.
The extent of his hatred is visible in that rating. The same Saibal Chatterjee rates a 2.5 stars for a nothing movie like that of Bombay Velvet but rates URI with a 2 star and a 1/2 star for “The Tashkent Files”. He even goes on to call the movie a “JUNK”.
What is it if it is not bias?
Scroll and India Today rated this movie 1 star and ensured that they categorically call it a “politically motivated” film.
The Hindu, which is another blatantly flaunting left-ideologist newspaper and whose Director, N Ram doesn’t miss an opportunity to flaunt his political alignment also goes onto call the movie a “Propaganda film”.
The reviewer at “The Hindu”, Kennith Rosario, does everything but review the film.
Every one of the reviewers in the list proudly calls the film a “politically motivated” film. A sincere question to each one of them – “Let me say that the movie was politically motivated. But then what were your reviews motivated with, if not political affiliations?”
Even funnier is a review from an unknown arre.co.in. The reviewer who has a long bio to flaunt (mentioning that she is political inclined would have given a little more genuinity to the bio) starts with a bizarre headline – “The Tashkent Files Review: A Life-Threatening Headache Presented by Alt-Historian Vivek Agnihotri”.
Does that headline smell of hatred to an individual?
Why would somebody write a headline like that if she was genuinely reviewing a film and wanted her readers to read the review?
Should a reviewer spew so much of venom in the headline of a review making her choice and opinion that obvious and apparent?
Strangely that is what this ecosystem is all about.
They hold placards and come out crying victim when anybody who has a different political ideology or, inclination from that of theirs, tries to express themselves.
And the very next moment you will find them openly flaunting theirs and thrusting their opinion and ideology onto the world.
If you have any doubt about Paulomi’s political affiliation, the below tweet and a retweet of hers should clarify that –
Paulomi Das’s frustration is understandable. Because “The Tashkent Files” starts with a dedication to the “Honest Journalists”.
And the likes of Paulomi Das, themselves knows that they don’t belong to that “now extinct family”. In fact her review is a truthful acknowledgement of that.
Why does this ecosystem proudly hold their political affiliations and motivations high and denigrate anybody else who has a different political affiliation?
Their bigotry clearly exposes the fact that they just don’t care about the so-called “Freedom of Expression”, that they proudly claim to be the custodians of.
Their propaganda clearly exposes that they too are politically affiliated, except that their belief is that either it is their affiliation or, there is none.
The Tashkent Files – Your Right to Truth
Some of the reviewers call the movie a “Google directed movie” and claims that most of the script is based on what is there in Google.
Even if that were to be true, how many of us Indians knew the fact that “Lal Bahadur Shastri’s body had cuts all over and had turned blue” when it arrived in India?
How many of us knew that one of the doctors who attended to Shastriji, after his death has raised a suspicion of poisoning?
How many of us knew that the then Indian government did not even call for a post-mortem?
Isn’t it the responsibility of a film maker and a film to bring these facts to the knowledge of the common men?
If so, then where was Vivek Agnihotri wrong?
The fact of the matter is that a lot of us Indians don’t even know that 2nd October is also the birthday of Lal Bahadur Shastri, because all this while we were busy celebrating Gandhi Jayanthi.
Or, probably we were made to do so!
After all, this country belongs to the Gandhis and the Nehrus. Everything else is irrelevant. Isn’t it?