Among the two films selected to shortlist for India’s official entry to Oscars 2022, the film ‘Sardar Udham’ directed by Shoojit Sircar has been rejected by Indian Jury for India’s mentioning that the movie “projects hatred towards the British”.
Starring actor Vicky Kaushal in the lead the movie is on the life of revolutionary freedom fighter Sardar Udham Singh. The movie shows how Sardar Udham Singh assassinated Michael O’Dwyer to take revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. Dwyer was the then Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, who ordered open fire at peaceful protesters in Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab. The firing continued for 10-15 minutes and over 500 people died and around 1900 people were injured, who were gathered to celebrate Baisakhi and peacefully protest against the Rowlatt Act. Sardar Udham Singh was a witness of the incident who later assassinated General Dwyer.
The movie based on the life of Sardar Udham Singh was selected to shortlist for India’s official entry to Oscars 2022 along with Vidya Balan’s ‘Sherni’. But an Indian Jury rejected the film as it “projects hatred towards the British”.
Speaking to TOI, Jury member Indradeep Dasgupta said, ” Sardar Udham is a little lengthy and harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident. It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle. But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British. In this era of globalization, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred.”
Another Jury member, Sumit Basu said, “Many have loved Sardar Udham for its cinematic quality including camerawork, editing, sound design, depiction of the period.”
“I thought the length of the film was an issue. It has a delayed climax. It takes a lot of time for a viewer to feel the real pain for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre,” he added.