Zameer Ke Bandi/Prisoners of Conscience (1978)

Anand Patwardhan’s 1978 documentary on the brutalities committed by the regime before and during the emergency and the  social/class struggle that existed almost 4 decades ago rings true even today.

With elections of 2014 round the corner, the usual drumming up of achievements real and imaginary have begun, amidst the din of new promises being made and old being renewed, there is a strange demand for a more authoritative ruler, some are brazen enough to suggest that what India needs is a dictator. All this, while there is an increase in the authoritarian behaviour of the government and police state like situation in certain parts of the country.

Zameer Ke Bandi can help gives us a glimpse of how or what that could be like. The reforms and revolution that the interviewees had hoped and professed would be put in place after the end of the emergency have either been diluted in implementation or have been completely swept under the table.

While it is true, that the limited options before us are in no way ideal, we must try and make the best possible choice. Dear reader please choose wisely.

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