Scholar and freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s firm belief in Hindu-Muslim unity and his opposition to partition in the pre-Independence days will be the highlight of a new feature film that is set to hit the theatres on January 18.
Rajendra Sanjay, who penned the story and co-directed the film ‘Woh Jo Tha Ek Massiah-Maulana Azad’, said that the younger generation should get to know what the freedom fighter stood for, in this very time of crisis.
The film talks about Azad’s principles, his belief in communal harmony and secularist views which was not coloured by any religion and faith in humanity, Sanjay, who visited the city along with the lead actor Linesh Fanse and co-director Sanjay Singh Negi, said at a press meet on Saturday.
The film will show the events that shaped Azad’s life, turning him into a “true mass leader. As someone who believed in united India and Hindu- Muslim unity, he had fervently hoped that the partition can be avoided. But that wasn’t the case, the director-script writer, he said.
‘Woh Jo Tha Ek Massiah-Maulana Azad’ will also dwell on the phase Azad came into contact with Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s in Delhi, his arrest from his house for the publication of two magazines which propagated nationalist ideas in Kolkata and the other defining moments. The film will also have references to the post- Independence period, following Gandhiji’s assassination, he added.
Very few people remember that Azad as an education minister had introduced science and technology as subjects in our education system. The censor board has passed the two-hour-long Hindi film, mostly shot in Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi, without a single cut, Co-director Negi said.
Sharing his experience, Fanse, who plays the titular role, said that he had auditioned for Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s role but the directors insisted him to play Azad. The directors suggested that I would be suitable for the role of Azad. I had to learn Hindu and Urdu for the role.