Kiswah, Nabeela, Maharshi, Madhu: Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage‘ is a student documentary film, produced in 2012, by the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, India. The film revisits the Kafkaesque policing and bureaucracies in the aftermath of the tragic May 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blasts in Hyderabad, India, and it contains interview material that will never be aired over regional and national television. The bizarre rounding up, and subsequent arrest, abuse and torture of about two dozen Musalman young men under the unmentionable ‘guilty until proven innocent’ ‘course of law’, challenges the most fundamental assumptions of a constitutionally guided, democratic republic. Indeed, there are a million mutinies in India, and India appears to be constantly at war with itself. What this film does is to lay bare the farcical investigative and interrogative apparatus of the state police (look out for the first hand accounts of these), as well as put a red/black flag to the Indian news media circus, which, in a complex interlacing with corporate, governmental and religio-political vested interests, creates the essential enemy, the ‘Other’ – anyone who has a Musalman name and visits a Masjid.

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