Jharkhand police will on Thursday screen a feature-length film on Maoism scripted by former DGP Rajeev Kumar. Titled Pratyavartan, the 2.4-hour film is about how there is “no point pursuing the flawed ideology of the Naxals which is totally perverter as it stands,” said Kumar. Having been replaced acrimoniously as the police chief when the Raghubar Das government took charge, Kumar is currently Director General, Home Guards and Fire Services.
Kumar said he began scripting in August 2013 after taking charge in February earlier that year. Shooting was completed in November last year and the film was cleared by the censors in January. Having been produced by the Jharkhand Police Nayi Disha Creative, a Society registered within the force while Kumar was its chief, the venture did not immediately find favour with the new dispensation. The film will be screened at a multiplex in Ranchi on Thursday.
The film has been directed by an individual roped in from West Bengal. “A few of the cast are from Bengal, but everyone else is either a policeman or a local,” said Kumar. There are rumours that the former DGP himself plays a part, but he remained tight-lipped about it. He however revealed that as DGP, he tried to rope in Prakash Jha to direct the venture.
Kumar said the film germinated from a play he had developed in August 2002 while serving as DIG, Palamu. “The then-DGP R.R. Prasad suggested that I work on a play to expose the ideology and show the real face of these people,” he said.
Despite the emphasis on getting a message across – Kumar talks with a certain pride of the “last dialogue between the zonal commander and the hero” – the film has five songs. The theme song was performed by playback singer Shaan. Kumar refused to reveal the budget, claiming accounts are still being tallied, but says that the film will be a major boost to tourism in the state: “It has been shot in the most beautiful locations, in places like Netarhat.” Of course, tourists may not be encouraged because they also happen to be Maoist hotspots. “We managed to shoot in Latehar, the most Maoist-affected district in the state. The settings are almost exactly as it happens in real life,” said Kumar.
The former DGP is widely recognised as an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, to the point that it got him into trouble with the last government. On his way out late last year, Hemant Soren used a cultural event organised by the police to hit back at Kumar, who had by then fallen out with him. The Soren government accused the police of not including enough Jharkhandi performers and preferring Bihari ones and moved to remove Kumar from his position. The DGP, who went on leave in response, was reportedly saved by calls from RJD leader Lalu Prasad.