Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Udta Bihar - The Film That Was Never Made

By Manuwant Choudhary

Udta Bihar is a film that was never made...about migrant Bihari labourers to the Punjab...who were paid well but given tea laced with afeem so as to make them work harder and longer.

When they returned home to Bihar..they looked prosperous even when there were no cellphones they returned with prized possessions of a wrist watch, a bicycle and a two-in-one tape recorder.

But there was a downside when they left Bihar they would be strong and good workers, when they returned they were weak and sickly, some died within a few years.

I haven't seen Udta Punjab yet with or without the cuts so cannot really talk about that film.

Alia Bhatt is playing the role of a migrant Bihari and already another Bihari actress Neetu Chandra has shot off an open letter to Alia against her role as it typecast the Bihari !

I think Prakash Jha should have made a film `Udta Bihar' much before Udta Punjab.

But our netas (who believe in Prohibition in Bihar) do not have a word to say about the drug problem faced by Biharis in Punjab.

But why target just states..there should be a film called Udta Hindustan.

As a reporter in Bombay I had found some 20 foreigners selling hash right in front of the Bombay High Court.

From my double decker bus I took to work I saw them every morning..tall black africans and some Indians at business.

I wondered why even the judges did not it because justice is blind ?

So I decided to take on this racket.

I  had a column called Nexus in the Afternoon newspaper.

I approached the Azad Maidan police station...and there were three station officers who were not ready to even look at me until I told them I was a reporter.

They then agreed to hear me out only and only if I agreed to file an FIR.

Its only then that a lady police officer took some interest.

She ordered her men to get ready for a raid.

Within seconds her men in khakhis along with me were in a jeep...I was so happy.

But then there was no sign of the jeep driver.

The lady officer nquired and was told that since the police station did not have water the driver had gone off elsewhere.

We got delayed by 25 minutes.

While we waited the lady officer pulled out a newspaper from Gujarat..she showed it me and asked me...showing a photo...."If I arrest the drug peddlars will I also get an award like the news report."

I told her yes she should.

She was so upbeat.

The driver arrived. ...we picked up our photographer Sudharak Olwe from office.

And there we were taking a round of the Oval Maidan (the same place whhere Kate and William played cricket)

The police woman did some strategy.

We got real close...some four policemen got off first but instead of arresting of them used his `danda' to hit an African...

There was a loud thud.

From then on it was all hell broke loose.

The drug pedllars fled in all directions....the over-sized policemen with dandas could barely run.

The lady police woman ran chasing away the drug peddlars...I think thats the photo our photographer Sudahark Olwe captured.

One Indian peddlar was so over-drugged that he could barely walk...I am not even sure if he was a peddlar or an addict.

But the policewoman arested him...and told me that the case has been opened.

She added, "I hope I will get the police medal !"

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