FILM REVIEW: ‘An Insignificant Man’ who shook the corrupt status quo

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Photo: Supplied.

By Neeraj Nanda

An Insignificant Man: 2016; Directors Khushboo Renka and Vinay Shukla; Running time-96 minutes; Language-Hindi with English subtitles.

Melbourne, 30 May: Directors Khushboo Renka and Vinay Shukla’s ‘An Insignificant Man’ is a documentary which starts with the formation of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and ends with it forming the first government in Delhi with Congress support, lasting 48 days. The anti-corruption party’s and its’s leader Kejriwal’s phenomenal rise and success is traced with footage that takes the viewer through their offices, private and public meetings, election campaign amidst rising people’s support (December 2012 to the Delhi elections in December 2013).

Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan (later expelled from the party) are visible throughout the film. Poet Kumar Viswas announcing Shiela Dixit’s defeat in the New Delhi seat and earlier creeping tensions in candidate selection speak for themselves.

The AAP cracking the years of the two-party system in Delhi never went well with the BJP and the Congress. In one TV interview just before the election, Shiela Dixit said, “Kejriwal is not even on our radar” and Prime Minister Modi said at an election rally that Delhi has always been with the BJP, indicated how much out of touch the two main parties were in Delhi.

The subsequent developments including the expulsion of Rajendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, Kejriwal resigning as CM, one year of no government in Delhi and the AAP back with 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly come as text only as the documentary ends. In fact, much more has happened after the making of this documentary.

What is right or wrong has not been commented upon. Anyone can make their own conclusions. Obviously, those in Indian politics and on the other side of the fence might see it as a projection of Kejriwal and his party. But if you see the documentary this argument might not stand.

One wonders what objection the Indian censor has to the documentary. Reportedly, it wants the producers to get a no objection certificate for the Indian Prime Minister and remove references to the BJP and the Congress.

I suspect, the final word on the AAP and Kajriwal is yet to be said. This documentary is part-1 of the story. Still, no doubt, makes a riveting watch.

The documentary will be shown at the Sydney Film Festival (7-18 June 2017). www.sff.org.au

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