Telangana HC moved to stop release of Razakar, controversial movie produced by BJP leader

The petitioners said there were “growing concerns regarding the potentially inflammatory and divisive content” of ‘Razakar: The Silent Genocide of Hyderabad’, causing fear of communal disharmony.
Razakar Movie Poster
Razakar Movie Poster
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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Telangana High Court to stop the release of Razakar: The Silent Genocide of Hyderabad by the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR). The PIL is scheduled to come up for hearing on March 11 and APCR’s case will be represented by APCR Telangana vice president, advocate Afsar Jahan. 

APCR said that the decision to file the PIL comes amid “growing concerns regarding the potentially inflammatory and divisive content of the movie, which has raised apprehensions of inciting communal disharmony.” Nadeem Khan, APCR secretary, spearheaded this initiative after a unanimous decision was taken by the organisation's National Executive Committee.

The second trailer of the movie was released last month. The first trailer was released in September last year in the run-up to the Telangana Assembly elections. The BJP is accused of trying to communalise Telangana’s complicated history by often comparing the present-day All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to Nizams and Razakars, and framing the Telangana armed struggle as primarily a communal conflict. 

Read: A movie on Razakars' violent history in BJP's arsenal for Telangana

Also Read: Razakar, movie produced by BJP leader, to release on March 1 

BRS working president KT Rama Rao (KTR) had voiced concerns that the movie would affect law and order and said that the then BRS-led state government (in September 2023) would take up the issue with the censor board. 

The multilingual film produced by BJP leader Gudur Narayana Reddy and directed by Yata Satyanarayana is set to release in five languages including Telugu and Hindi. The director said that through this movie, the makers have tried to tell the new generation what had happened in Hyderabad State for 13 months after India's Independence.

The Razakars were an active paramilitary force in the erstwhile Hyderabad State who worked under the Nizam and attacked villagers and activists of the Telangana peasant struggle led by the Communist Party of India (CPI). However, the visuals, narrative of the movie Razakar clearly divides the group into an us-vs-them narrative, branding anyone belonging to the Muslim community as deeply villainous while the Hindus pass off as honourable and saintly. 

While the BJP has been actively involved in promoting the movie, the Congress, BRS and other parties in Telangana have criticised the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for their involvement in a movie which could potentially stoke communal tensions ahead of the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for May 2024. 

The initial trailer released in September 2023, was also met with severe criticism with several filmgoers dubbing the movie ‘blatantly Islamophobic’ and presenting a no-nuance narrative of the events that took place before Hyderabad was amalgamated into India. The film has also been accused of following in the footsteps of the likes of The Kashmir Files and The Kerala Story, both of which have been widely criticised for basing their accounts on stereotypes that paint Muslims as villains.

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