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A DISSENTER SUBSUMED BY
Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay ⤡
Rupa Sanyal ⤡
Akhar Bandyopadhyay ⤡
This paper-letter aims to sarcastically subvert the Hindutva
perception of irreligiosity in the context of Satyajit Rays creative
works. Though Hindutvavadins use the name of Ray for a film
award, but they do not even know the apathy of Mr. Ray with regard
to religious matters. Thanks to the ignorance of the Hindu religious
extremists, propagators of so-called Hindu Rashtra!
The Honourable President,
Republic of India,
New Delhi- 110004
Sub: Satyajit Ray, an atheist, a non-Hindu, should not be associated with
a prestigious film award
It is surprising and shocking for us, the ardent supporters of
ideology, to find that a prestigious film award was declared on
the name of Sri Satyajit Ray.
I think that it goes against the ethos of our Parivar’s ideology for the
1. Ray was born in a Brahmo family. This monotheistic cult was
propounded by Raja Rammohan Roy, who was deadly against the
polytheist heathens and Hindu rituals, thus his ideological standpoint goes
against the idol worship in the Rama temple or elsewhere (e.g., Godse’s
temple). He opposed burning of suttees at pyres of their deceased
husbands, thus he was against the mores (burning of suttees is the
greatest sacred ritual of the Hindus) of the
imperatives of the holy Hind scriptures. Raja was also well-versed in
Islamic and Christian philosophies, which are not to be allowed in
Interview with Pierre-André Boutang (1989) VIEW HERE⤡
2. Despite being a Brahmo, Ray did not attend prayers at the
Brahmo Samaj’s prayers at their
, thus he is not even a
brahma-worshipper, instead he made films that go against the distinctive
features of the Hindu Religion.
In an interview, he termed himself as an agnostic and not a religious
person. When he was asked about his metaphysical position, he said,
“One lives and learns. I was born into the Brahmo community but I
dislike such labels…Well, I guess I’m an agnostic”.
These types of skeptics are to be condemned in the sacred domain of
3. Here are some examples of Anti-Hindu representations in his
a. Devi (The Goddess, 1960): He profaned Mother Kali’s supernatural
power by showing religion as perversion. Freudian interpretations of this
film are also available, thus it is a severe insult to the Hindu religion.
b. Sadgati (Salvation/Deliverance, 1981 Hindi television film): It is a
severe insult to celebrated Hindu caste system as it shows the Brahminical
exploitation of the poor
, who ultimately breathed his last due to
pundit’s alleged discriminatory behaviour. This type of presentation of
Hindu system of casteism is totally against the liberal outlooks of the
Hindus as Bhagavan Shri Krishna himself said,
c. Ganashatru ( ‘Enemy of the People’,1990): Dr. Ashoke Gupta, a
physician, diagnoses the alarming spread of hepatitis in his town.
According to the pathological report, the holy water (
) of the
Tripureshwar temple (Dr. Gupta, though a Hindu by birth, never went
to the temple for offering puja to the divine deity), is found to be
contaminated due to leakage of the underground water distribution system.
The protagonist, Dr. Gupta, tries to inform the fact of contamination of
the holy water to the people by proposing temporary closure of the
temple for water purification. However, the temple-trust, who are portrayed
as villains in the film, is not ready to accept empirical pathological findings
and instead says
can never be contaminated because it is
holy. Yes, we are emphasizing the fact that
can never be
contaminated because it is holy and it is purified by the divine grace of
the Lord Siva.
d. Agantuk (‘The Stranger’, 1991): The protagonist of the film
condemns organized religion and said interrogatively, by citing Rabindranath
Thakur’s song that there is no supernatural power to provide us with
light and vital impetus (Élan vital).
e. Ghare Baire (The Home and the World, 1984): The film is based
on Rabindranath Thakur’s novel, which was analyzed by Asish Nandy in
his 1994 book,
The Illegitimacy of Nationalism: Rabindranath Tagore and
the Politics of Self.
The title of the book speaks itself against nationalism
in line with Rabindranath’s lectures on
Rabindranath Thakur himself condemns the concept of nationalism in
general. Even in his book,
(lectures delivered in America,
1917), Thakur declared himself as the inhabitant of “No-Nation”. The
protagonist of the novel, Nikhilesh clearly declared the chanting of
is an “
(?!) without any rationality
and was murdered for resisting manufactured
antagonistic communities. Ray’s rendition of such a novel, thus, goes
against the spirit of Hindu nationalism. All their anti-national enunciations
go against the agenda of NPR-NRC-CAA-DPB, as proposed by our
benevolent nationalist government with huge military power( In the
, Ray criticized this state violence through the protagonist of
Thus, Rabindranath Thakur and Ray, both of them are “anti-National”,
“Anti-Hindu” and they should be banned from the public sphere
f. Kolkata trilogy: Pratidwandi ((The Adversary, 1970), Seemabaddha
(Company Limited, 1971), and Jana Aranya (The Middleman, 1975): All these
three films are against the ideological state apparatuses’ deviations from
the supposed norm and corporate corruptions. The protagonist of
Pratidwandi, Siddhartha, an unemployed youth, is supporting his brother
(a Naxalite) by gifting him a copy of Che Guevara’s Bolivian Diaries.
In the Pratidwandi and Jana Aranya non-conformist heroes are the victims
of the corporate complexities.
where the hero, a corporate
manager, was himself involved in simulating and manufacturing workers’
movement. Thus Ray was a negative critic of the existing order of things.
g. Mahapurush (The Holy Man, 1965): The plot of the film is based on
a story by Parashuram (Rajsekhar Basu, an ardent nastika). This is
for your kind information, Parashuram’s other two brothers, Sashisekhar
Basu and Dr. Girindrasekhar Basu (father of Indian Psychoanalysis and
a close associate of another atheist, Sigmund Freud) were also atheists
and had made mockery with the narratives of Hindu puranas. All of them
had truncated our sacred mythology.
Selecting Parashuram’s story by Ray had a covert agenda: showing saints
as corrupt persons. Even today so-called Bengali intellectuals
with Ramdev baba, Sadguru et al. Ray, through
this movie, provoked and instigated Bengali intellectuals to hate pious
h. Joi Baba Felunath (The Elephant God, 1979): Feluda alias Pradosh C
Mitter, is a private investigator. When he went to Benaras and got
involved in an investigation, he did not ever pay a visit to the holy
Kashi Visvanath Temple (just like Dr. Gupta in “Ganashatru”, as
mentioned earlier). Even Feluda preferred a muscle-man’s “temple”-like
body, a “
”, instead of the
mandir. On the other hand,
the background wall of the villain’s room in the story is filled with the
photos of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. There is also the character of a
Hindu saint, Machlibaba, who was later on revealed as a fraudster, an
associate of the main culprit.
Even after getting his professional fee, the Ganesa idol, Feluda did not
offer pranama to the idol; instead, he treated it as an antique and work
Ray intentionally started working on this film just after the release of the
Jai Baba Taraknath
one of the greatest devotional
ever made in Bangla. Here he supplemented divine Taraknath with
human Felunath, i.e., Feluda. This is a severe attack on the Hindu
— VIEW HERE ⤡
4. All these show Ray’s atheism or otherwise agnostic as well as
his sceptic attitude towards religion. The following statement of Ray entails
his inclination towards filthy, nasty communism:
“Well, go to Benaras, go to ghats, and you will see the communism is
millions miles away. May be in the Moon.”
(Ray in an interview,
It is clear from his statement He was giving relative importance to
communism rather than that of sacred Varanasi’s ghats.
This type of person should not be associated with prestigious national
award. It is observed that some intellectuals, urban naxals of Kolkata,
are demanding posthumous Dadasaheb Phalke or Satyajit Ray Award for
Ritwik Ghatak, another Urban Naxal.
Ray once said that we, the general audience, who love to see mainstream
Hindi movies, are “
backward and unsophisticated
” in an interview with
Pierre-André Boutang (1989) ⤡.
We wish to remain the same, but we must condemn Ray for his anti-
Hindu, anti-national stances as they are evident from the above instances.
Down with Urban Naxals!
Down with Bengali Intellectuals!
Dr. Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Mrs. Rupa Bandyopadhyay
Mr. Akhar Bandyopadhyay
1. The Honourable Prime Minister, Government of India
2. The Honourable Minister of Home Affairs, Government of India
3. The Honourable Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate
Change, Government of India
1. " " " "---
In the film “Jai Baba Felunath” (The Elephant God, though Feluda, the
detective, captures one of the criminals at Thateri bazaar, Benaras, but
interrogates him at the Jantar Mantar Observatory at Manmandir Ghat,
which is 950 metres away (a walking distance of 20-25 minutes) from
that said market place. In reality, it is not practicable or cogent to walk
down such a long distance by pointing the pistol at the vigilante across
such a crowded place. Ray deliberately took this filmic license by choosing
these two distant places by juxtaposing them for establishing the privileged
position or relative importance of empirical science. It must be noted that
Feluda never cared to visit the Vishwanath Mandir and even thought that
the muscle-man Gunamay Bagchi’s corporeal is the real temple instead
of the anthropomorphic sacred places.
Irreligious Rays Preference VIEW HERE⤡
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It is to be noticed that Ray, both in the novel and the movie “Jai
Baba Felunath”, had shown the villain’s residential ambience as
being crowded with the crude pictographic representations of Hindu
deities. Ray typically wants to show the relationship between the
sinner and the imagined Gods and Goddesses to entail the fact
that sinners are veiling their ill deeds with the aid of organized