Majoritarianism global threat to democracy, secularism: Prakash Jha

Jha's film, 'Pareeksha', slated for release next year, is being screened at the ongoing 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India

By Author  |  Published: 22nd Nov 2019  7:51 pm

Panaji: Majoritarianism is strongly controlling systems all over the world, along with a global threat to the very perception of democracy and secularism, according to India’s ace political film director Prakash Jha.

The director, however, also told IANS on Friday that there were no restrictions on making films in India and insisted that there had been no change in the country’s political climate since 2014, as far as film making is concerned.

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“These are the changes which are happening. Like how in the entire world, there is a threat to perception of democracy and secularism. All over the world, majoritarianism is strongly controlling the system. It is not just one place, it is a global change. So these are changes which are constantly happening in our society because of various economic, ideological, political ’emergencies’,” Jha said during an interactive session in Panaji.

Jha’s film, ‘Pareeksha’, slated for release next year, is being screened at the ongoing 50th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which got underway earlier this week.
Starring Adil Hussain, ‘Pareeksha’ deals with the challenges of a rickshaw driver, who wants his child admitted to an English medium school and the trials he has to face, subsequently.

When asked if the regime change at the Centre in 2014, had changed the political climate in India vis a vis making films dealing with political subjects, Jha said: “Nothing has changed. It is the same. We are still able to make the films that we want to and I don’t think there is any change that has happened. None.”

Jha also said, that the lack of education in humanities in Indian educational institutions and colleges, which were more geared towards churning out engineers and managers, had resulted in a generation which was devoid of humanities.

“When a society or a country requires just engineers and managers, then obviously the whole education system will bring or churn out engineers and managers. When the study in humanities becomes immaterial, you have a generation who are devoid of humanities. Nobody studies history geography literature mathematics, pure sciences. Nobody is studying those things today,” Jha said.

“And when you do not have humanities in your basic education in society, the society will change. You will have a generation which thinks differently, which acts differently. Which has different values and system. For me it is important to study the changes, try and understand why something is happening the way it is happening,” the filmmaker said.

Jha, whose 2011 film ‘Arakshan’ also dealt with students and politics, said that the wave of popular obsession with engineering and management-oriented education had peaked and that humanities is making a comeback into Indian’s educational canvas.

“The engineering colleges, the management colleges, institutes all over the country are now going empty. That whole peak has changed. There is already a very slow, but soft interest back into studies of humanities,” Jha said.