Election round the corner, film invokes Gau, Ganga and Gayatri

So, are Muslims the villain in the film? “I do not say that every Muslim is a butcher but why is every butcher a Muslim.”

NH Photo 
NH Photo


It is just a coincidence that the Gujarati film on cow vigilantes is set for release in November, a month or so ahead of the Assembly election, insists Pankaj Goswami, producer of the film ‘Gaurakshak’.

He himself is a ‘Gau Rakshak’ in Vadodara, he admits over a phone conversation. Mob lynching at Una and Alwar, he says, inspired him to make the film though it does not have any bearing on the violence, he hastens to add.

So, are Muslims the villain in the film? “I do not say that every Muslim is a butcher but why is every butcher a Muslim,” he asks in turn, tacitly confirming that this is indeed so. The film, he adds, is to make people aware of the urgency for a total ban on cow slaughter. People engaged in the business should be punished, he adds.

The hero, played by Goswami himself, is a devotee of lord Krishna and besides other things, he saves cows from butchers.

Speaking in Sanskritised Hindi, he tells NH, “I am not against any caste or religion but others should also understand that we worship the cow and we won’t allow anybody to kill our mother.”

NH Photo 
NH Photo 
The poster of the film Gaurakshak 

Claiming to be a direct descendent of the 15 century saint Vallabhacharya (founder of Shuddhaadvaita—non-dualist philosophy), there was no stopping him. “Indian civilisation is based on three pillars – Gau, Ganga and Gayatri. We have neglected all three and that is why we became subservient to foreign powers,” he adds with conviction.

The film, shot entirely in Gujarat, cost `65 lakh and he is hoping that he could have a ‘World Premiere’ and include subtitles in even European languages. The film is wrtten and directed by Manoj Nathhwani.

Not surprisingly, many observers believe that the film is part of the Sangh Parivar’s propaganda. “After failing to the deliver elaborate and extensive promises made to the people of Gujarat, BJP is hoping to counter anti-incumbency by invoking polarising issues such as cow-slaughter through a propaganda film,” quipped a political commentator in Ahmedabad.

On record Goswami denies any link with the BJP though he admits to be a die-hard Modi fan and believes the BJP government in Gujarat has done exemplary work in protecting the cow. In Gujarat, cow slaughter is a non-bailable offence and attracts a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Recalling the work his vigilante group does in Vadodara, he informs, “with the help of police and local administration, we have been running a campaign to protect the cow from the killers. We first attempt to educate those who slaughter cows;, but if they refuse to listen to us, then we adopt other measures.”

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Published: 16 Oct 2017, 6:14 PM