1984 was a watershed year in the history of 'Secular' India. We know a lot about the Anti- Sikh violence- which happened after the killing of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. There is more to history. 1984 also holds another dark memory which has been lost over a period of 20 years.
Something similar happened in Hyderabad, a city known for its cosmopolitanism which went unnoticed and was recently uncovered. To commemorate the anniversary of Delhi massacre, we are screening another story from the same year: What has happened to this city? (Kya Hua Is Shahar Ko?) by Deepa Dhanraj.
About the movie: KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? explores the processes of political maneuvering which led to the Hyderabad communal riots in 1984. The city’s history, the provocative speeches of its politicians and the instrumentalisation of religious processions stands next to the testimonies and the striking visual accounts of the Old City’s working class – those who lose their livelihoods through violent attacks and long periods of imposed curfew. The film is pioneering in recording and analyzing the rhetoric and visual expression of Hindu nationalist and supremacist politics. Initially shot for the local communities in Hyderabad, its courage in capturing the ensuing violence combined with its respectful lyricism and contemplation, enhanced through Navroze Contractor’s camera work endows this political documentary with an acute contemporary relevance.
About the film maker: Deepa Dhanraj founded the Yugantar film collective (1980–83) and continued to make numerous short, and feature length documentaries, often closely connected to Indian feminism.
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