Atmosphere of fear in India today, says ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ writer

Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) Claiming there was an atmosphere of fear prevalent in India, Ranjit Kapoor, dialogue writer for one of Indian cinema’s iconic masterpieces “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron”, on Thursday said that if the low-budget cult film were to be made today, its makers would be beaten up.

“The situation is such now, that if Kundan was alive and we had decided that we will make another ‘JBDY’, then our legs would have been broken,” Kapoor told reporters at a programme organised to pay homage to the film’s director Kundan Shah, who died in October this year.

“I feel more fear even now. The fear is more underlined that in the time when ‘JBDY’ was made. At that time we used feel that there is freedom of expression. I do not see it now. There are lot of incidents which I am witnessing today, which convinces me that the world we live in is more dangerous, than the one which existed at the time of ‘JBDY’,” said Kapoor, who has also written dialogue for top films like “Bandit Queen”, “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa”, etc.

Produced on a shoe-string budget and released in 1983, “Jane Bhi Do Yaaron” over the years has evolved as a cult classic for its satirical take on corruption in the 1980s and highlighting the plight of the common man, who is tormented by criminal nexus between politicians and business elite.

Kapoor said, that the film was also critical of A. R. Antulay, who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the early 1980s.

“The person against whom the movie was, was a powerful person. He was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He had a famous line for journalists, that all journalists should be thrown in the Bay of Bengal. We had included the line in (the film),” he said.

Kapoor said that if Kundan Shah was alive, he would compel him to make another powerful film, which reflected on the contemporary era.

“I feel that if Kundan was with us, I would compel him to make a deadly film,” he said.

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