First documentary on Kandhamal martyrs released in Kerala

July 15, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kerala, July 13, 2016: In a few days the first documentary film on the violence against the Christian martyrs of Kandhamal (Orissa State) will be screened in three cinema’s in Kerala. Father Ajaya Kumar Singh, a noted social activist working among the survivors of the 2008 violence, told Matters India that the film “not only captures the agony of the people, but also tells their journey and the fight for justice” .

The film, titled “Voice from the ruins – Kandhamal in search of justice,” is directed by K P Sasi. The feature film lasts about 90 minutes and will be screened on three consecutive evenings, July 17 to 19, in different cities of Kerala:Thrissur, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital.

Fr. Singh explained the importance of the documentary, which traces the origins and reasons for the violence against Christians in Orissa. The Kandhamal district, where the most heinous pogroms against India’s Christian community took place in August 2008, is mainly inhabited by tribals and Dalits. The hatred against the minority is not new, said the activist, but goes back at least to the sixties, and has manifested itself in successive waves of persecution in the 1980,’s 1990’s, and 2000.

The most severe episodes, however, occurred in 2008, following the killing of the swami Laxamananda Saraswati. The Hindu radicals of the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) blamed  the Christians in spite of the Maoist guerrillas claiming responsibility. The massacre of Christians who refused to convert to Hinduism persisted for several months. The exact data on the violence has now been confirmed: nearly 100 people killed; 350 churches and places of worship destroyed; 56 thousand people displaced, forced to flee their homes and take refuge in the forest, where they suffered hunger and poverty; more than 6,500 houses razed; more than 40 women raped, including a nun.

The victims were almost all poor Dalits and tribals, who are still waiting for justice. While the criminals are on the loose, only seven Christians have been imprisoned, detained on false charges. Recently, a group of lawyers, activists, intellectuals and writers have created a website to give their support and prevent the cause of the victims being forgotten.

The director said that the film tries to “show the problems of the survivors, through their voices and scenes dedicated to the analysis of the historical origins of violence. The film shows the impact of violence on the various layers of the community and the struggle of the survivors seeking justice “.

– asianews

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One Response to “First documentary on Kandhamal martyrs released in Kerala”
  1. sunny thomas says:

    can i see the documentary online? or get a copy of it to show it in our church?

    thanks for your reply.

    sunny thomas

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