Special Correspondent

An attempt to alter historical record

Never mentioned name of ANHAD in its notice: trust

NEW DELHI: The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) on Wednesday said it had not once mentioned the name of ANHAD in its legal notice to the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) for removing its name and that of TVI from the credits of the film ‘Jung-e-Azadi.’

Notice served

The notice was served on the Ministry and the NYKS after SAHMAT found that the video-CDs of the film being circulated by the Sangathan through its various centres across the country made no mention of either the Trust or TVI Presentation. “This is an attempt to alter the historical record in the public sphere, and we regard the mutilation as a criminal offence,” SAHMAT said in a statement.

Reacting to ANHAD’s response to the legal notice, SAHMAT in the statement wondered why ANHAD had chosen to reply to it when it was not named in the first place.

Stating that ANHAD’s response had come as a surprise, it sought to clarify that “we have never made any allegations of financial impropriety against any individual.”

According to SAHMAT, “the film had been made by SAHMAT in 1997 during our year-long commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the 1857 rebellion.”

The research for the film and the exhibition put up along with it in 1997 had been done by historians Irfan Habib and Narayani Gupta, the Aligarh Historians Society, and the former Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Ravinder Kumar.

“The video ‘Jung-e-Azadi’ was subsequently filmed in the BITV studios as a recreation of the May 11, 1997 performance at the Red Fort.

“This film was broadcast by BITV then and has continued to be widely screened and circulated for the last ten years.”

Trust clarifies

The Trust issued this clarification in the wake of ANHAD’s response to its legal notice to the Ministry and the NYKS.

In its response, ANHAD last Friday said SAHMAT’s claim of copyright ownership in the film “is without any basis, refutable and denied” as the idea of making the film and much of the research was done by Gauhar Raza.