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Screening of film 'Godhra Tak : The Terror Trail',

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  • bobby ramakant
    My dear Friends, Please find it convenient to attend the screening & participate actively in the ensuing discussion: Screening of film Godhra Tak : The Terror
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 2, 2003
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      My dear Friends,
      Please find it convenient to attend the screening & participate
      actively in the ensuing discussion:

      Screening of film 'Godhra Tak : The Terror Trail', directed by senior
      Journalist Shubhradeep Chakravorty (more details about the
      documentary film and director are appended below)
      Wednesday December 3, 2003
      Venue : Jaipuria Institute of Mass Communication (tentative)
      Time : Please contact Shri Ratan Mani Lal, Head JMC (tentative
      time : before noon).

      Venue : Gandhiji Swadhyaya Kaksha, Gandhi Bhawan, opposite Shaheed
      Smarak, Lucknow
      Time : 3:30pm onwards

      Resource people for post-screening discussion :
      ~~~ Shubhradeep Chakravorty, senior journalist & documentary film-
      ~~~ Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay awardee & sr activist

      for more details please contact :
      2347365 (Sandeep Pandey)
      94150 22942 (Farid Abbasi)
      98390 73355 (Bobby Ramakant)

      looking forward to welcoming you,
      best wishes,

      Sandeep & Arundhati
      national convenors,
      --------M O R E A B O U T T H E D O C U M E N T A R Y -----
      Elections, early or later, may mean we have to witness the stirring
      up of communal feelings by the powers that be, and people should be
      extremely cautious, especially in Andhra Pradesh where the communal
      forces are already making forays into hitherto secular sections",
      warns the Journalist and independent documentary filmmaker Mr
      Shubhradeep Chakravorty speaking from his experience. Mr Chakravorty
      is in the City today to screen his film Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail
      for the press on the barbaric Godhra incident depicting the burning
      of coach S6 of Sabermati Express on 27 Feb 2002.
      >Though many filmmakers focused on the genocide that followed the
      Godhra tragedy, the fact that there was not much visual documentation
      of the initial tragedy itself led Mr Chakravorty to painstakingly
      cull out the actual factors that precipitated the tragedy. Though
      the film is generally acclaimed as an unbiased and balanced statement
      of facts, Mr Chakravorty was hounded by VHP even for such depiction.
      His press conference was attacked in Ahmedabad recently on October
      20, 2003 by VHP activists in the presence of print as well as
      electronic media journalists. The Government of Gujarat harassed him
      all through. He was told not to screen it further. Mr Chakravorty
      wonders why VHP should be out to suppress his voice and the facts and
      whether they have anything to conceal.

      >Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail is an investigative documentation of
      the barbaric incident on 27 Feb 2002, when coach S6 of Sabermati
      Express was burnt at Godhra in Gujarat, India. Fifty-nine people
      including several Karsevaks died in that fire. The film tries to
      find out what actually happened at Godhra railway station on that day
      and how far the allegation of a conspiracy is true.

      To make this film Mr Chakravorty tracked the route of the first batch
      of Karsevaks from Gujarat to Ayodhya and back and dug out the
      atrocities committed by this batch of Karsevaks. He interviewed
      victims at Rudooli and depicted the problems faced by the passengers
      who booked their tickets in S6. He also narrated the events at Godhra
      railway station with the help of people who were present at the
      platform and the Karsevaks. He investigated the burning of the coach
      S6 with the help of Dr Mukul Sinha, an advocate in Gujarat High court
      who is participating in the Godhra inquiry commission constituted by
      the Gujarat government as an independent observer, and Dr V. N.
      Sehgal, former Director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory and
      member, Interpol, who was professionally engaged by the filmmaker to
      do the on-the-spot- investigation. Mr Chakravorty also interviewed
      a wide range of people in this effort including Pravin Togadia,
      International General Secretary, VHP, Vinay Katiyar,
      President, BJP, Uttar Pradesh, Jaydeep Patel, General Secretary, VHP,
      Gujarat, as well as the Karsevaks who were in S6 on that fateful day,
      and presented their viewpoints.

      Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail places the Godhra tragedy in the context
      of broader political interests manifesting for quite sometime in the
      Ram Janmabhoomi Movement, which attempted to deepen the communal
      divide in this country. It warns that the clear consequence of such
      communal polarization is that tragedies like that of Godhra may be
      maneuvered anytime, anywhere in this country by the communal forces
      with an eye on the electoral gains. The film invites us to observe
      that such `movements' are floated or revived just before elections, a
      further indication of the motives of the communal leaders.

      About the film

      Godhra Tak: The terror trail is an investigative documentary on
      Godhra train burning. It is the first one of its kind because nothing
      exclusive is available on Godhra train incident on video. On 27 Feb
      last year a bogey full of karsevaks were burnt at Godhra railway
      station and later the incident was used to create riots In Gujarat in
      which 3500 Muslim were killed. The documentary maker had followed the
      entire route of the first batch of karsevaks from Gujarat to Ayodhya
      and back and had documented the terror unleashed by the Karsevaks on
      their rout and the incidents at Godhra railway station on 27 Feb
      2002. With the help of a lawyer Mr Mukul Sinha who is appearing in
      the Godhra inquiry commission constituted by the Gujarat government
      and Dr. V. N. Shegal former director Central Forensic Science
      Laboratory and member Interpol. This film tried to find out the
      merits of the conspiracy theory given by the prosecution and VHP
      alike. This one-hour film is a balanced one and gives
      representation to the views of the both sides. It has interviews of
      Praven Bhai Togadia (International General Secretary, VHP), Vinay
      Katiyar (UP BJP president) and Dr. Jaydeep Patel (General Secretary,
      VHP Gujarat) and Karsevaks to give their version of the incident. The
      documentary filmmaker also interviewed passengers who actually booked
      their tickets in S6 and victims of violence by Karsevaks from various
      places. This film is having much exclusive stuff and can be used to
      counter the communal propaganda. Film is important because Godhra
      incident was used to justify the genocide of Muslims in the state and
      the act was similar to the Nazi action after the burning of German
      parliament, as it is history now Nazi butchered communist after that
      by putting the blame on them. Both incidents had taken place on 27
      Feb. Although in the film there is no direct comment on this
      similarity but we can draw lesson from this historic coincidence.

      About the director

      Shubhradeep Chakravorty is a journalist and independent documentary
      filmmaker based in New Delhi, India. He holds a Masters Degree in
      Political Science and International Relations. Mr. Chakravorty
      started his carrier with United News Papers Network, New Delhi in
      January 1998 as Correspondent/Sub-Editor. Then he worked with New Age
      (English Weekly), New Delhi, as Sub-Editor and then with Mainstream
      (English Weekly), New Delhi, in the same capacity. After that he
      moved to Asian News International (ANI), New Delhi, as correspondent.
      His last assignment was with Door Darshan, New Delhi. Currently Mr.
      Chakravorty is running his own production house New Stream Media.
      Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail is the first documentary film produce
      and directed by him under this banner.

      F-92 (B-12), Katwariya Sarai,
      New Delhi-110016
      Phone No-91-11-20530323, 91-11-26602264
      E-mail- shubhradeep@...
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