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Onir: “Assam Is Burning, And Bollywood Is Silent….I’m very Disturbed By What Sourav Ganguly Did



Though  filmmaker Onir  is from West Bengal  he has  any number  of  relatives  and friends  in neighbouring Assam which is  burning.

“I am very very disturbed   by  what is  happening  in Assam. But  more than that I’m troubled by  the eerie silence among my  peers  in Bollywood(although  I don’t know  if  I am considered  Bollywood enough, or whether my peers think of me as one of them because I always see myself as  an outsider). The important  voices, the superstars  so to speak,  must speak up. If not now , then when? If not when the very multi-cultural fabric  of our nation is threatened ?” asks Onir in anguish, stunned that the  big voices of Bollywood remain silent as Assam burns.

“I noticed that even  the big names  in Bollywood who have spoken about Assam and the protests at  the Jamia Millia  university have done so in voices that seem tutored,  pre-rehearsed and  politically correct with  every punctuation measured. This is  not done.Voices that are powerful must be raised.Otherwise what  is the  point of having those voices?” asks Onir.

 He  is very  upsert with cricketer Sourav Ganguly. “Sourav’s daughter posted something  in support  of   the protests. Sourav  quickly put out a rejoinder saying not to pay  attention to his  daughter as she is just a  child. In this way  you are not only showing your own unwillingness  to take  a  stand  but also insulting a yound mind’s intelligence and individuality.”

Onir feels the students  of the country  are the conscience keepers. “You can’t stop students  from protesting. Look at  China and Egypt. The students  brought in a political revolution that changed their country.”

Onir fears  the more the  protests  are smothered the  more they will spread. “Bengal is  already disturbed, thanks to  the  divisive politics.At this rate soon many other states may get affected.Two of mywebseries were  to be shot in Kashmir. I can’t shoot in Kashmir. I can’t even  communicate with anyone in Kashmir because  there is no internet,no cell phones. Assam also is  cut off. I am worried because I’ve Bengali relatives there. No community is  safe in Assam. You say  India is  okay with Hindu migrants  ,not Muslims. But in no part of the  world are Hindus stopped from migrating.”

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