Mumbai: Sardar Udham, the biopic on legendary freedom fighter Udham Singh, was one of the 14 films shortlisted for India’s official entry to Oscars 2022.
Many had expected the Vicky Kaushal-starrer, directed by Shoojit Sircar, to get the nod after it was widely appreciated and critically acclaimed for its cinematic quality and content following its OTT release earlier this month.
But a 15-member jury, which viewed all 14 films, selected Tamil film Koozhangal (Pebbles), directed by Vinothraj PS.
The reason for ignoring Sardar Udham’s claim was because the film portrays hatred towards the British. One of the jury members was quoted as saying that it’s unfair to project hatred against the British during times of globalization.
Such a logic has left the film and cultural fraternity bemused.
“Art and literature are very much influenced by the left ecosystem. They have even portrayed Mughal rulers to be generous. This shows the colonial mindset of people in the jury,” author Ratan Sharda told Times Now.
Director Ashoke Pandit blasted the jury, saying it has no right to question the integrity of a filmmaker. “It is evident that some people are still under the hangover of colonial rule,” Pandit said.
The film portrays the story of Sardar Udham, who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer to avenge the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre Amritsar.