In Search of Gandhi
Producer: Don Edkins, 2007
Director: Lalit Vachani
Editor: Menno Boerema
In the early decades of the twentieth century Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of non-violent revolution or Satyagraha inspired a mass movement of millions of Indians to rise up against the British colonial state and successfully agitate for the establishment of a democratic and free India. In 2007, the country is preparing to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its existence as an independent nation. But what kind of a democracy does India have today? What does it actually mean to live in the world’s largest democracy? In road-movie style the film crew travels down the famous trail of Gandhi’s salt march, the remarkable mass campaign that galvanized ordinary Indians to join the non-violent struggle for democracy and freedom almost a century ago. Stopping at the same villages and cities, where Gandhi and his followers had raised their call for independence, the film documents the stories of ordinary citizens in India today. Although inspired by a historical event In Search of Gandhi is not a journey back in time. Instead it is a search for the present and future of democracy in India.
LALIT VACHANI is director of the New Delhi based Wide Eye Film. He studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, USA. His previous documentary films have been on the star-system and the social worlds within the Bollywood film industry (The Academy, 1995; The Starmaker, 1997) and on the indoctrination, ideology and the politics of Hindutva propagated by the Hindu fundamentalist organization, the RSS (The Boy in the Branch, 1993; The Men in the Tree, 2002). His most recent work is The Play Goes On (2005), a documentary about JANAM, a socialist street theatre group in India.
Copyright: Lalit Vachani / GandhiServe