Anand Patwardhan

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Anand Patwardhan (born 18 February 1950) is an Indian documentary filmmaker.


  • I do not wish to neutralize the horror I feel at the destruction of Buddhist monuments with the thought that my national leaders did the same thing a decade ago. But I do believe that if this act sparks in us the desire to fight intolerance of all kinds, then surely the Buddha will not have lived and taught in vain.
  • It does not need much imagination to see that even in so-called advanced nations like the UK and the US, a great deal of racism and deep-seated religious prejudice fuels the propensity towards righteous war and the belief that one's own nation is always right and that "terrorism" resides only in the other.
  • In India, the early documentary scene was dominated by government propaganda made by the Films Division of India, which produced newsreels and documentaries that were compulsorily shown before every commercial film. People either arrived deliberately late or walked out for a smoke during these films, and the tag of "boring" became inescapably attached to the documentary. It has taken several decades of sustained independent work to break this tag.
  • One problem with our democracy is that a rigid class and caste hierarchy coupled with gross gender inequality has kept large sections of our population traditionally without a voice. But having no voice does not mean having no brain! On the contrary the voiceless have much to say and we can learn so much from their ways of seeing and thinking. Feelings of humanity seem to survive much better amongst the powerless than among the affluent and powerful.
  • My entry into the world of the documentary began as a means of political, social intervention and thirty odd years later this is still a primary motive. If I am not satisfied with the results, it is not because of a failure of the medium, but because of the limits that our system puts on the distribution of such films. All my films are badly under-utilized and hence did not have the impact on the real world that they could have had.
  • The real issues of the information gathering and disseminating systems have more to do with what kinds of programs are made, who makes and airs them and what impact they have. The role of the developed world as consumer and the role of the developing world as the consumed may now be complicated as the latter yields its own voracious elite, but the former continues to determine taste.

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