California-based Indian filmmaker Ravi Verma is set to make “Viva Democracy,” a documentary focussing on the nine-phased 16th Lok Sabha elections that involve 814 million voters. He says the purpose is to show the “people’s perspective” on the battle of the ballot and draw a contrast between the Indian and U.S. election processes. “We will shoot the documentary from the first week of April till the end of the Lok Sabha polls in May. We will mainly shoot in Bihar as well as other places across India,” Verma, who hails from Katihar, around 350 km from Patna, told IANS on phone from Rocklin, California.
He has received approval from the Ministry of External Affairs to make the film.
He wants to capture the vibrant nature of the polls that he grew up watching. The whole exercise of polling in 543 constituencies at about 930,000 polling stations across the country will be over in 72 days.
Comparatively, elections in the US are sedate. “Shooting and capturing India’s election from people’s perspective is a big challenge for a documentary maker,” Verma said. An alumnus of IIT-Kanpur, Verma, who migrated to the U.S. in the 1990s, has maintained a strong bond with his hometown. He owns a software firm in California and he set up its subsidiary firm in Katihar in 2005.