Actor-writer Kuldip Ruhil is ready with his directorial documentary-drama ‘Cheer Haran’ that will depict the complete story of Jat Reservation protests and the less known aftermaths.
Talking about how he decided this project, Ruhil told Opoyi, “I am not at all into documentaries as I have written ‘Mickey Virus’, and ‘Ashram’ in the past so I am more of commercial cinema person than a documentary but for this project I intentionally chose a documentary drama."
He added, “When I came to Haryana and while doing the research, I realized that I can’t create a fictional film about it because the whole idea of telling the other side of the story will get lost. People will think it’s a fictional story and not real. So I thought it should be made in a documentary for the future generation to understand what we know and what role media or social media plays.
“ The fake and myth stories around Haryana and lot of other bad stories like Murthal rape case and all so it should be seen into something which people can go back to and say ‘ okay, it was not true and this is what happened’. I wanted to get the facts out as I got to know what really happened in the riots and I wanted to share it with the wider audience that how we get manipulated every day, every minute by an amazing tool called social media and side by side the media which shouts all the time and states that they are right, they are the first one to break the news so I thought documentary is the best way to make."
The film is set to release on January 29 and is an attempt to peep into the psyche of Haryana in the aftermath of Jaat Reservation Agitation 2016.
It’s an attempt to decipher the two words Jaat and Reservation and understand why the agitation, all of a sudden, turned horribly violent. Whether the brutality that occurred could have been averted?
“Also, the film is apolitical and I deliberately chose a path to tell this story through a human side because while making I also realized that the way we are divided right now because of politics and religion, somehow people will get influenced that ‘okay, what did he say about this Government or that Government so they will be moved away from the real idea behind the making of this film,” said Ruhil.
The director says that there is a reference from every point of view- current government, past government, past to past government.
“Reservation started in 1953 so from then till now I have put the documentary in ten chapters. There are three chapters of the genesis of reservation and how it affected our country and how it’s going to affect in future? why they are happening again and again and how they are instigated and how they are turning into riot so that’s the whole story,” said the maker.
He also says that initially, Censor Board stopped the documentary citing the reason that it will not go down well with the audience.
“Censor Board didn’t give me the certificate. Then, we went to High Court and we fought for two years and finally, the court gave the verdict in our favour and film went to FCAT (The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, a statutory body) - it’s the main body over censor board who later said that it’s the most unbiased film they saw,” said the filmmaker.
Finally talking about the name of the film, he said that it draws inspiration from ‘Mahabharat’
“There were quite a few names for example Shadow Puppets but we thought that the name should be colloquial and people should relate to it at once so ‘Cheer Haran’ happened. The famous Draupadi incident from Mahabharata. I was thinking of Haryana as Draupadi and the section of political parties or society itself or the communities as Kauravas and how they treat her in the way Kauravas treated Draupadi in that sequence. So, like the way the ‘Cheer Haran’ happened in that epic saga in the same way our state is getting treatment,” he sums up.