At an event to pay homage to Kundan Shah during IFFI, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro writer Ranjit Kapoor spoke of a “khatarnak” political and social climate prevailing in India, adding that it “looks difficult to ever repeat a dark satire like the 1983 cult classic”.
Kapoor later said Kundan Shah had a unique trait of telling a story from a leftist point of view without announcing that he had a left ideology. “Ek napunsak (impotent) gussa tha…This was helplessness, a sort of anger against the system. It was my anger, Satish (Kaushik)’s anger, Kundan’s anger. It was our understanding of the world around us, where our anger was against the political, administrative and corrupt setup. It was our understanding that it was very crude then. I think it’s become much more crude now… Iss wakt mujhe zyaada khatra mehsoos ho raha hain, jitna uss zamaane mein nahi hua tha. At least then, even in difficult times, we felt there was freedom of expression, now we do not feel so anymore.” He was accompanied by the film’s co-writer Satish Kaushik, assistant director Sudhir Mishra and actor Neena Gupta.
Speaking about the manner in which dialogues were written, borrowed from life, Kapoor said, “Today the politicians do not have that sense of humour. In fact, if Kundan was to make another Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, they would definitely break his legs.” Mishra interrupted Kapoor to say the cult classic was Kundan Shah’s legacy and should not be repeated.
Kaushik later answered a question on why Kundan Shah’s actors sang together. “Perhaps he believed that to have a voice heard, there always has to be unison. He believed in everyone coming together, a social unity as the only way to stand stronger.”