Do we ever question about the gender equality or woman empowerment of the Santhals women? We speak about women empowerment in our society, feminism, equality, gender inequality at work place. What about those who suffer in silence? We don’t raise our voice. But Arindam Sil has! It is a story which may give direction to our lives in this time of social political unrest.
Every journey has a beginning, end and certainly they questions the society about few norms and myths. Arindam Sil’s next venture “Mahananda” is no different and interestingly it all started with a packet. Yes a packet that Gargee Roy Chowdhury handed director Arindam Sil. It was from Asoke Dasgupta who had scribbled a few pointers and stated that a film should be made on the life and times of Mahashweta Devi.
Talking about his new venture, Aindam Sil said, “When I sat and thought about it, I realised that no matter what film I made I talked about life, about humanity. And maybe somewhere in my heart I wanted to do a movie about humanity.” He even added, “Mahashweta Devi is just not an author or a character from the fiction called life because she has seen the rise and fall of it. I think she has been forgotten and swept aside by us Bengalis, yet she should have been in the forefront of our consciousness. We have chosen to forget her because she worked in the back of the beyond among the santhals and never compromised with her work or ran after limelight. Our film is about a movement called Mahashweta Devi.”
When asked why this film need to be done? Arindam Sil smiled and gave an apt answer, he said, “When she had raised her voice that India history of Independence needed to be looked into she was talking about the santhals and their contribution. This is one of the reasons she is so important for us today. Today we need to talk about her political philosophy, her work, and her uncompromising ethics. We need this film today.” The movie revolves around an author Mahananda whose character has similarities with the life and persona of Mahashweta Devi. And another person from a very different background and upbringing becomes interested in Mahananda. She is young vibrant Mahalaya. She slowly evolves in presence and under the influence of Mahananda. But question remains, will this blossoming philosophy will save mankind?