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Padmavati Row: Veteran Director Kamal Swaroop Says 'All Political Parties are Using Mythology as a Tool'

Swaroop is probably one of the few filmmakers who never stopped experimenting even after facing censor board roadblocks

Shrishti Negi | News18.com

Updated:November 24, 2017, 7:08 PM IST
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Padmavati Row: Veteran Director Kamal Swaroop Says 'All Political Parties are Using Mythology as a Tool'
Deepika Padukone in a still from the film Padmavati. (Image: YouTube)
Kamal Swaroop has been in the film business for last 3 decades although he insists a lot of people in the industry still don't know him. "I don't have a very commercial image in the industry," said Swaroop in an interview with News18.com. Known for making the critically acclaimed film Om Dar-B-Dar and documentary Rangbhoomi, which won National award for best non-feature film, Swaroop has always maintained he was never interested in exploring fiction. Perhaps that's what makes him say, "They (people in the industry) have very different ideas of making film."

Swaroop is probably one of the few filmmakers who never stopped experimenting even after facing censor board roadblocks in two of his projects-- Om Dar-B-Dar and Battle of Banaras, a documentary, which is yet to see the light of day. The latter captures India's 2014 general election in extremely large scale, particularly the electoral fight between Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi.

The CBFC had denied certification to the film, claiming it "tried to divide people on caste and communal lines."

"People would tell me why are you into this experimental kind of things? why can't you be practical? They would give me advice, 'Don't go there, things are not familiar.' But I'm following my own path," he says.

Swaroop has had a long-time fascination with mythology and his works are a testament to that. When asked if working on such subjects has become difficult nowadays, Swaroop says, "We are stuck in mythology. All political parties are using it as a tool that Padmavati was like that this was like that. So, I want to break it down, deconstruct it and see what is the source of this imagination."

Citing an example, Swaroop says, "There's a god called Ayyappan in the South. There's a marriage between Shiva and Vishnu and the Ayyappan is born. Now, it's not like that two males copulate. It's the two different groups coming together and giving birth to a third entity. But in language, you'd say that they mated together. So it's also on how we use language. So, I want to deconstruct these images."

Swaroop is currently in Goa to attend the 11th edition of NFDC Film Bazaar. His film Omniyam, based on The Third Policeman by Irish novelist Flann O’Brien, is among the 18 projects that have been selected to participate in the Film Bazaar's Co-production Market of 2017.

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