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Film Rejected For Oscars As It Shows ‘Hatred Towards The British’

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 27 Oct 2021 11:53
Film Rejected From Oscars Due To 'Hatred Towards The British' - Alamy Alamy

A film was branded as projecting ‘hatred towards the British’ and subsequently ruled out from being entered into the 2022 Oscars. 

Sardar Udham followed the life of Sardar Udham Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter who sought revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar by assassinating Michael O’Dwyer in London.

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The film was set to be India’s official entry for the awards.

However, Indian composer Indraadip Dasgupta said the film, which was directed by Shootjit Sircar, wasn’t selected due to it not being ‘fair’ to project such hatred onto the British.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurred during Michael O’Dwyer’s time as the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in British India, from 1913 to 1919.

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The massacre saw peaceful protesters targeted by British troops, who shot at them until they ran out of ammunition.

Between 379 and 1,500 people are believed to have been killed as a result of the incident.

The film was released on January 15, 2021, however Dasgupta critiqued the film as ‘a little lengthy’ and told the Times of India that it ‘harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident’

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He said:

It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle. But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British. In this era of globalisation, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred.

Dasgupta concluded that despite how the film is ‘loved’ by many for its ‘cinematic quality including camerawork, editing, sound design, and depiction of period,’ that the film was too long for him and has a ‘delayed climax’.

‘It takes a lot of time for a viewer to feel the same pain for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre,’ he said.

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However, fans have been left frustrated by the decision to not enter the film into the Oscars. Dipsita Dhar, joint secretary of the Student’s Federation of India, commented that the film may show ‘hatred for imperialism but not for any particular race’. ‘This film was about freedom and how far our revolutionaries went on, and this is what we give in return?,’ Dhar questioned.

Another said:

Sardar Udham Singh deserves atleast one Oscar nomination if not more. Golden globe, BAFTA, Emmy everything. It deserves all those awards. This movie deserves so much global recognition. Shame on people not allowing that. Brilliant movie, congrats to the team. Well done.

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A third commented, ‘Sardar Udham was rejected for Oscar nomination cause apparently it projects hatred towards British??? Did they even watch the movie?! Did they not hear Udham saying they don’t hate British people, they are against British imperialism?! What man!’

Sashank Shekhar Jha, a supreme court advocate, said the logic behind rejecting the movie was ‘problematic’.

He concluded that those who had prevented it from being put forward ‘must be removed from their posts’ and that freedom fighters like Sardar Udham, who ‘are icons who sacrificed everything for this country’, couldn’t be ‘let down’.

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Topics: Film and TV, British, Film, India, Now, Oscars

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Metro and 1 other
  1. Metro

    Oscars 2022: Indian Jury rejects film for country’s entry as it ‘projects hatred towards the British’

  2. The Independent

    Indian jury rejected Sardar Udham as India’s entry for Oscars: ‘’It projects hatred towards British’