Podcast #77: Revisiting Rang De Basanti: A Deep Dive Critique: Episode 1

Podcast #77: Revisiting Rang De Basanti: A Deep Dive Critique: Episode 1

First episode of a deep-dive critique of the 2006 Hindi film, "Rang De Basanti" as a medium for disseminating Communist propaganda in India

This is the first of a two-part podcast which presents a comprehensive critique of the 2006 Hindi film, "Rang De Basanti" as a vehicle of Communist propaganda. It follows the familiar communist template of using art, literature, poetry, drama and cinema to propagandise communism among the Indian masses, who are unarguably the world's largest consumer of cinema.

Rang de Basanti was a huge blockbuster when it was released and acquired a semi-cult status especially among the urban Indian youth. However, its commercial success was largely because it drew a historical parallel with five revolutionary Indian fighters: Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaquallah Khan, and Shivram Rajguru and juxtaposed them with five youths of contemporary India. This parallel was achieved by twisting the facts of history and presenting the historical revolutionaries as communist heroes, which they definitely were not. The twisting of history does not stop at this: by drawing this sort of parallel, the film equates the oppressive alien British rule of India with a constitutionally elected government of independent India.

The propaganda in Rang de Basanti thus works at multiple levels all aimed at the same goal: of advocating a violent overthrow of the Indian government.

The first episode of this podcast gives a broad historical background of the origins and methods of communist propaganda in India and provides specific points on how these methods are used in Rang De Basanti. The podcast will conclude in the second episode.

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