Newton As India’s Entry To Oscars: What Does That Tell Us About Dissent In India?

  • Either the Modi government is really poor at implementing its supposed intolerance, or the charges of intolerance are hollow

After the announcement about that is India’s entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, a friend of mine who happens to be a big movie buff and I, went to watch Newton, with rather high hopes. My hopes and enthusiasm dampened to resemble bemused thoughtfulness as I walked out of the movie theatre almost two hours later.

Newton indeed is a brilliant film with some very fine acting performances. Much was said and written about this satire on Indian democracy and the ‘real’ issue that it addresses. Since the issue around which the movie revolves is real (non-fictional) it is only fair that we apply the same real lens to see how biased or balanced the movie is as compared to reality.

The movie begins with a politician being killed in a Naxal attack. After that, throughout the movie there is no substantial mention of any Naxal attack, almost making it seem like Naxal attacks are not real or serious enough.

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Avina Kohli was a Research Associate with Vision India Foundation.