Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Beyond the Unclaimed

Aitrayee Sarkar shares her opinion on a film made on homosexuality by Debalina. Questions often remain unheard and ignorance is there to do the rest.  

Filmmaker Debalina has made …ebang bewarish (…and the unclaimed) in 2013. The film is based on the suicide committed by a lesbian couple Swapna and Sucheta in Nandigram, a remote village in West Bengal, in 2011 and a series of events following it. Debalina’s sensitive cinematography has transformed the narration into reality and beyond. It seems that the civilized society has indulged into a modern witch hunt. There is no place to live or think freely. In connection with the main storyline a number of sub-plots also appear on the screen. The untold story of a guy caught up in the dilemma whether to select his ‘real’ sexual identity overshadowing the love for his family, a woman, who is also a mother, suspected and questioned for her perspective towards her own daughter or a girl sexually victimized by her own brothers in order to make her ‘straight’. Is it the society that we the humans had once struggled to build for? Jungle is a better place to live in if that is the real face of civilization. Isn’t it?
Poster of the movie
The modern India, the global India is ‘proudly’ ornamented with curses like high rate of female foeticide, honour killing, sex trade, human trafficking etc. But the power politics of the country has always looked to put these issues under the carpet rather than coming out open in acceptance and eradication. The rule of natural justice seems a myth here. A myth that has never been recognized or realized properly. Yes, India is changing with young minds like Debalina coming up with new ideas and sharing those with the Neo-Indians without fear or so called prejudice.
The five-page suicide note written by one of the girls—Swapna and Sucheta, is a major reference point of the film. The villagers and kins of the girls do not approve their relation. The hatred is so intense that they do not even claim the dead bodies of the duo. That’s where the story of ‘the other’ starts to take a different turn and makes the director and activists interested in taking it to the global platform. 
 
Debalina has questioned the draconian rules of the urban and rural India. She reveals the reality with a true sensitive heart. There are moments in the film that would cause you to question your own standing on issues which we have so far neglected or ignored out of fear.  
Debalina during the making of ...ebang bewarish
The amount of administrative hindrance the crew of the film faced while shooting for it was enormous. The power politics is always there to play its own tricks. Alarmingly, survival for free thinkers have been getting difficult day by day in the world. Debalina and her team deserve a round of applause for taking up such a project and deliver the goods with so much care and conviction.

A few days ago we were scared to hear that some so called religious elements brutally killed homosexual people in Syria. Now the question is whether we are better human beings than those obnoxious elements. I think the story of those homosexuals is no different than that of Swapna and Sucheta. The only difference is that we belong from a ‘civilized’ society and those people come from a ‘barbaric’ background.
 
Let me give you some food for thought—statistics say, only nine out of total 196 countries of the world have so far approved rights in a respectful proportion to the homosexuals and in 79 countries homosexuality is considered illegal. As Ritwik Ghatak once advised us, think and learn to think. Are we thinking at all?

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The writer is an editor of WebPressClub
Debalina's Picture by Jayita Roy