Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat during the period Feb/March 2002 - July 2003, the film graphically documents the changing face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002 genocide of Moslems in Gujarat. It specifically examines political tendencies reminiscient of the Nazi Germany of early/mid-1930s. Final Solution is anti-hate/ violence as “those who forget history are condemned to relive it”.
Post-911, we live in a world where politics of hate and intolerance has gained mainstream acceptance, even grabbed centrestage. The right-wing seems to be tightening its stranglehold across Europe and USA, a nationalism being fuelled by the anti-immigrant/anti-Moslem rhetoric. The ‘War on Terror’ dominated the electoral discourse in the US presidential elections, with both candidates promising to hunt ‘em and kill ‘em better than the other. In a world where it has become legitimate to use fictitious intelligence to justify the bombing of innocents in Iraq, where it has become acceptable to launch precision bombs and rockets against non-“embedded” journalists, where shameless politicians divide up oil wells and farm out reconstruction contracts for their $ 36 million bonuses, where babies are killed and mutilated as acceptable “collateral damage”, where suicide bombers and terror attacks claim hundreds of innocent lives, we face a challenge greater than ever before.
We have earlier lived through many dark periods in history, often justifying our barbarism by using similar rhetoric. Hate, despair, destruction and tragedy can not possibly help create harmonious societies and a democratic world.
During the making of this film, I noticed shocking parallels between India 2002-2004 and Germany of the 1930s - State-supported genocidal violence against Moslems in Gujarat and its continuing impact – segregation in schools, ghettoisation in cities and villages, formal calls for economic boycott of Moslems and attacks on intelligentsia by right-wing Hindutva cadres.
Unchecked and unchallenged, the rapid rise of politics of hate and intolerance could very well be the forerunner of a 21st century Endlosung – the Final Solution.
More about the Film
Part 1: Pride and Genocide deals with the carnage and its immediate aftermath. It examines the patterns of pre-planned genocidal violence (by right-wing Hindutva cadres), which many claim was state-supported, if not state-sponsored. The film reconstructs through eyewitness accounts the attack on Gulbarg and Patiya (Ahmedabad) and acts of barbaric violence against Moslem women at Eral and Delol/Kalol (Panchmahals) even as Chief Minister Modi traverses the state on his Gaurav Yatra.
Part 2 : The Hate Mandate documents the poll campaign during the Assembly elections in Gujarat in late 2002. It records in detail the exploitation of the Godhra incident by the right-wing propaganda machinery for electoral gains. The film studies and documents the situation months after the elections to find shocking faultlines – voluntary ghettoisation, segregation in schools, formal calls for economic boycott of Moslems and continuing acts of violence.