Bhanwar: an indian tele based on true stories, and Human Rights Activists

I won’t wait any longer.
first let me start, instead of creating the preamble about my first blog, its impact on our society and blah-blah.
i believe it’s close to a year, since i first though to start blogging, but i believe procrastination kept my good motives at bay.
more on all this, later.

i just finished watching an old indian tele series-Bhanwar aired after a long gap on Fox History channel.
the series is based on true incidents, and its protagonists are usually the criminals involved in court cases that have in the past been media highlights.
it tries to capitalise on the emotions attached to their motives as was evident from a story i am going to brief you on.

the story aired today was based on a true incidence occuring on the baleful night of 11th march 1992.
23 people were killed due to excessive burning inside a bus. the protagonists and criminals are mangu ram and jhumru- 2 people from a remote
village in Madhya Pradesh.

Mangu has married a girl of other caste, and as a consequence their family is ousted from society. it has become hard to marry mangu’s younger sister
and the groom’s side has doubled the dowry to marry the bride on this account. mangu is perennially harassed and hassled by his father for being the root cause.
the only solution to end the stigma on his wife and sister is to get a large sum of money.

Jhumru lives alone with his grandmother. his brothers live separately. his grandmother on the other hand has lost much of her eyesight and jhumru is becoming more and more guilty of not earning any money.
to cure his grandma, and to earn some money jhumru decides to rob a bus. he is an educated youth as he is shown reading newspapers regularly. he has collected a large database of reports elaborating cases of petty thefts and robbery in the state. Jhumru follows each news meticulously and chalks out a detailed plan as to rob a bus safely.

due to continuous nagging by his father and a threat to be thrown out of their house, mangu ram finds solace in his buddy jhumru. jhumru meanwhile finds his much needed comrade to carry out the task. they both decide to rob a bus at night by threatening to burn down the bus with petrol if the travellers dint give in to their demands.

to this end they buy a knife, some petrol and a match-box. they enter the bus at night, and after some time take hostage of the bus. they have spilled petrol all over by now, and situation has come to be a commotion. seeing their condition worsening, jhumru burns a match stick. people have started giving their belongings by now and mangu has closed the bus gate from outside. by then, the burning match stick has come to an end, and jhumru’s fingers start burning. as a result he drops the match stick, and the already spilled petrol catches fire that results in the carnage of 23 people burnt to death, as well as 20 people being hospitalised. some people jumped from windows but they couldnt escape before being fully stripped of all their belongings including clothes by mangu. the point is that these crooks were devoid of any humanity at the moment and continued to collect money amid the wailings of people and burning bodies. most of the people killed were ladies and children.

The police inspector who was incharge of investigation was in shock after he saw the bodies in the morning. he followed for these outlaws fiercely and nabbed them.
all the witnesses including the shops from were the knife, match-box and petrol were bought were identified. the case was strong and fool proof, yet it took 2 years to deliver judgement.
points that delayed the judgement were:
1. the felons kept shouting they have been wrongfully nabbed and took the matter to be a caste issue as they were dalits!!
2. after they acknowledged their crime the great indian human rights group came into play. they kept on insisting to free those guys on the above point as well as, their real motive not being to burn people but to just rob money.
In fact to a great surprise, the human rights activist, Rajdeep Vora, after taking the case to high court, supreme court and the president as well, for mercy petition, was successful at last to convert the capital punishment of those two criminals, into a life term imprisonment. as a matter of fact this decision came in the very morning they were to be hanged.

there are a few points i want to share and discuss after watching this episode:

firstly, i really love tele series of this nature, that are based on true incidents. the camerawork, strong performances, and that nostalgic feeling created by those old prints…ohh!!! i just love them so much.
such serials are generally slow paced and details of our day to day life are brilliantly portrayed. a series of similar kind was something called “saturday star kahaniyaan…” or something like that.
does any of you recall this series?? if so pls do tell me..

secondly and most importantly, why do human rights guys pitch in to meddle in execution of such mongrels. when their crime was already established, why defend them on accounts of being poor, dalits, or the motive being a much simplified version. how does it matter at all, whether 23 people were killed in a mistake, or as per their will. will they be able to solace the burning hearts of all the victims families.
if it was a mistake, still those two were the cause of it. in fact as stated in the serial too, if half the poor population of india could live with their poor incomes, why should the economic condition of criminals be cited as a somewhat justified cause. one of the activist is quoted as saying “executing these two wont stop crimes in this country, what india needs is to provide them emplyment” to which the inspector fiercely fighting to get them hanged replies ” so by that account if half the indian population that lives in poverty goes on to rob and murder, will you ask to forgive them all?”
even if it was an accident, india needs to put strong deterrents in position to stop future criminals from even harbouring such thoughts.
i will cite few examples of how this thing is widely used to deter us commoners but never by our government to deter criminals, why?, because human rights guys come in crying foul play.
– everone living in jharkhand is well aware of the one liner-“6 inch chhota kar denge”-the translation of which reads, you will be reduced by 6 inches. 6 inches here is the anatomical distance from neck to head.
the naxalites here in jharkhand, in order to deter any “mukhbeer” or police informers as well as to create terror in commoners simply behead the victim, without any second thoughts.
indian farmers also employ threats of similar kind to keep birds from flocking into their fields. they hang a dead crow in the middle of the field, which deters other birds.

if the indian government needs to stop crimes, it should also pass strong judgements that will become a milestone in the long run.
i have heard that in the islamic world, especially saudi arabia, everyone leaves their shop, work, cars as it is, to attend to namaaz, without even locking their valuables. people say it is because anyone found there to steal anything simply loses both his hands. the saudi police and society wont wink twice to do this, once the crime is established. this fear is so strong that words such as theft is probably unheard of in the arab lands.
i dont know how much truth there is to the above hearsay, but one strong article i read in a hindi daily well emphasizes on the problem created by the meddling of human rights activists.
this point is well related to the bombay attack recently as well.
among the three important factors the writer said why india is an easy target for mercenary attacks, the first was:
“they know after the attack if they survive, the best breeds of indian lawyers and human rights activists will be there to save them”.


8 thoughts on “Bhanwar: an indian tele based on true stories, and Human Rights Activists

  1. Bhawar is i believe by far one of the most sensible and superbly well directed tele series ever telecasted on indian television. it reminds of the simpler times when the television was not bombarded with stupid ekta kapoor saas bahu sagas, at that time television was a medium through which series like these were telecasted which evoked thoughts, discussions and at times even actions from certain people.
    i remember watching it when i was kid, my parents used to encourage me to watch it probably because they wanted to sensitized me to the issues which the series reflected. well those were the days!
    bhanwar was indeed directed in a way which was quite ahead of it’s time, from the actor who plays part of the protagonist to the person playing role of a helper have acted in a commendable manner.
    i wish people start making series like these once again which doesn’t not only educate people but inspire them to give something back to the society and to the country as whole too.

  2. is there anyway i can watch all the episodes again? any link or dvds/cds available ?..
    the other serial u were refering to was ‘Star best sellers’ directed by Tigmanshu dhulia , Anurag Kashyap and few other directors..most of the episodes are available on youtube.

  3. For my collection, I’m looking for a similar TV Serial name. It was based on a true stories.One episode was : A newly wedded lady comes home early and finds her husband having an affair with his niece. Since, they have uncle-niece relation, he gets married to this other lady. I guess, this lady then files a complaint in court.
    Any idea if this episode belongs to ‘Bhanwar’?
    If not, what’s the serial name?

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