Director P Sheshadri’s national award-winning Kannada film December 1 has drawn the ire of former chief minister
H D Kumaraswamy, as it is based on the theme of the Grama Vastavya (village stay) programme launched by him when he was CM. The film won awards for best feature film in Kannada and best screenplay.
Kumaraswamy on Sunday threatened to move court against the makers of the movie which, he alleged, has portrayed his well-intentioned village stay programme in a very poor light.
Venting his ire on Sheshadri, Kumaraswamy said, “Some directors make movies only for the purpose of getting awards. I know about such a syndicate of directors. The film depicts the sadistic mentality of the director.”
“The film December 1 is nowhere close to the real intentions with which I launched the village stay programme. My Grama Vastavya has not adversely affected any family. I am ready to take responsibility if the director proves that any family has been adversely affected by my stay in their house,” Kumaraswamy said.
Rejecting Kumaraswamy’s objections, Sheshadri said, “Being in a democratic country, he (HDK) has all the freedom to file an objection. Likewise, even I do have all the freedom in making a film.”
“Firstly, I have a disclaimer at the start of the film stating that it is based on fiction and not related to any incidents. I have not named any character resembling his name nor any picture of him and his party symbol. Personally, I don’t think he should be affected. The concept of staying at villagers’ homes started by him was followed by a few other CMs too. Why should he feel that this is his story?” he questioned.
“Kumaraswamy had a good intention behind the village stay programme. But he didn’t realise the after-effects on the common people. If he is free, let him go and revisit all the 25 houses, he will get the answer,” Sheshadri said defending the movie. “At the same time, he should realise that December 1 is not a documentary, but a feature film,” he said.
Theme of the Movie
The film presents the story of a family in Basapura, a tiny village. Madevappa works in a flour mill and his wife Devakka makes rotis and sells them in nearby towns. The family makes a hand-to-mouth existence, but has learnt to enjoy small pleasures and pursue its dreams.
In the movie, the whole village is gearing up for the CM’s visit on December 1 for an overnight stay in Devakka’s house.
The family naturally is the centre of all attention and looks forward to the event in a festive spirit. The CM’s visit goes on well with a grand welcome, dinner with Madevappa under full media glare, discussions with local leaders and big promises.
Madevappa’s family is overwhelmed by the proceedings, but hardly gets to interact personally with the CM. They face embarrassing moments as they are treated as outsiders in their own home. The media goes gaga highlighting the CM’s exhortations on the need for a humanitarian approach in dealing with people suffering from health problems. Though well intentioned, the programme creates difficulties for Madevappa’s family, driving them to despair.