I Trust Citizens of My Country and They Will Deliver a Democracy We Deserve: Saeed Akhtar Mirza (Watch)
There are people who are questioning the state of affairs, and we will see the results in the elections, he said.
Filmmaker and author Saeed Akhtar Mirza said that he trusts the citizens of India and that they will deliver a democracy that “we deserve”. He added that many people are questioning the current state of affairs and the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will show the results.
Mirza, speaking to Karwan-e-Mohabbat — a civil society initiative for peace and justice led by of activists, writers and journalists — as part of an interview series, “Tathya”, noted, “Before I went to JNU, I got a call from my sister. She said What are you doing? I heard you are going to JNU? I said yes I am going. She said please don’t say anything wrong there. I said Zareen, I am 75 years old. I have got no skeletons in my closet. What is there to be afraid of?”
He added, “I have fought cancer for God’s sake. What is the problem? But the thought… Don’t say anything wrong.” Further, Mirza emphasised on the fact that students across the country are frightened, he said, “I meet students at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Where I have studied and I have taught. They come to me once in a while. They are frightened. They are a bit reserved now. They don’t talk much because of the trauma that they are going through as students over there. You can sense it, you can feel it. It’s just below the surface. And the anger…”
Mirza also threw light on the language diversity that exists in India and lamented that the current situation is “stifling”. “Mankind and the humankind deserve more and we were aspiring for that through our Constitution. Your next neighbour speaks Malayalam, somebody here is speaking Telugu, over there is Punjabi, a little further is Urdu, somewhere you hear Hindustani and somewhere else Bhojpuri. Now that is my country! To me it’s poetry!” he said, adding, “And look, what has happened to that. It’s a kind of reverse and a kind of going back into a tunnelled vision. Which is so narrow and stifling.”
The filmmaker, however, has not lost hope. “But there is space for poetry I believe. There are people who are questioning the state of affairs and I believe that they will question long enough and hard enough,” Mirza said.
“And we will see the results in the next elections. I believe that. Don’t ask me why. I don’t have data, but I believe. And I believe because I trust the human being. I trust the citizens of my country and they will deliver a democracy that we deserve,” he said.