In a career spanning more than four decades director Ketan Mehta has given us many films, documentaries and television serials. The National award winning director last directed the movie ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi who worked for 22 years and carved a path through a mountain. In a conversation with Nation Next, Ketan Mehta spoke about ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ and told us why he will always choose quality cinema over the ₹100 crore mark.
Lessons from Manjhi?
‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ was an inspiring real life story and so there’s a lot one can learn from the movie. Speaking about the movie, Ketan said, The movie is a symbol of never say die spirit. I hope that from the movie, the audience learns that nothing is impossible. Manjhi makes you realize that if you put your heart into something, you can make the impossible possible. Speaking further about Dashrath Manjhi on whose life the film was based, Ketan added, I hope the government honours Dashrath Manjhi. There was a movement, which was started two years back in Bihar where the people wanted Bharat Ratna for Manjhi. I support them because I think hes the biggest icon of post-independence India. Interestingly, Manjhis producer Deepa Sahi had said once that she was afraid working for the movie in Bihar as Bihar is high on crime. Speaking about the location of the film, Ketan said, Everybody had warned us against going to Bihar because there was a naxal-infested area in the remote parts. But when I came across the mountains at the location, I realized that it was the most apt location.”
Quality cinema first
It’s no secret that today the success of most films is measured by the 100 crore mark at the box office. Speaking about the 100 crore tag on films, Ketan said, Aakdo mein kya rakha hai dost? (Whats there in numbers my friend) Hum sab ne apni zindagi bech di hai aakdo ke liye. (We all have sold ourselves for money.) For me, cinema is a medium, which is bigger than the numbers. Today, the moment the audience step out of the theatres, they forget the film. If people remember my film and even one percent of those people get inspired, that’s a big thing for me.
Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…
The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.
As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit. In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.
Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”
“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”
Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw
Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.
Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”
Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”
Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”
Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate
Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…
Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…
Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’
While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”
The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project. While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years.
Fact. @gautam_adani has won the bid to redevelop Dharavi. What is crucial however is that the indomitable spirit of what has been often described as Asia’s biggest slum is retained and nurtured. Dharavi is not actually a slum. It is a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) December 1, 2022
Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health
The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for.
Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”
Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”
Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.
The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”