OPINION: Attack on Rajiv Gandhi in ‘Sacred Games’ uncalled for

We all like good entertainment as it makes us forget our daily problems. A good entertainment relaxes our mind and for a brief period of time takes us to a different level.

But any form of entertainment (it may be movie, TV series or web series) loses its main purpose to entertain the masses when it mixes itself up with politics. Or it is used to attack a political leader or a party.

Recently, I watched Netflix’s “Sacred Games” and this is exactly what seems to have happened in the web series directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.

In the Season One, Episode Two apparent attack is being made on former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi.

“In 1985, the mother died and her son became the prime minister. He got involved in the Bofors scam. I thought if the prime minister was dishonest how could I walk down the straight path?” read the subtitles. (Audio is even harsher)

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What was Bofors scam?

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Bofors scandal occurred between India and Sweden. It was, reportedly,  initiated by the Congress party politicians, involving the former PM Rajiv Gandhi and several other members of the Indian and Swedish governments. They were accused of receiving kickbacks for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer.

On 5 February 2004, the Delhi High Court quashed the charges of bribery against Rajiv Gandhi. The Court, on 31 May 2005, dropped the allegations against the British business brothers, Gopichand, Srichand and Prakash Hinduja.

The CBI in February this year filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging a 2005 order of the Delhi High Court quashing all charges against accused persons in the politically sensitive Bofors case.

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Now let’s come back to the main topic:

Why this (and some other) politically sensitive topic is added in an “entertainment” web series? Well…I don’t know. It may be because the directors of the series purposely wanted to make it controversial so that more and more people watch it or there may be some other reason(s).

But as a viewer, I felt bad when I watched it. This kind of stuff could have been avoided given the fact that the Delhi HC has already quashed the charges against the former PM and till date, there is nothing concrete which proves that “he got involved in the Bofors scam.”

Reportedly, in May 2015, even the then Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said the scandal was a “media trial” as “no Indian court has as yet established it as a scandal.”

Reacting to the web series Congress president and son of Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right. My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character on a fictional web series can never change that.”

And with this one tweet, Gandhi not only said a thousand words but also showed his greatness.

As a viewer, I hope in the future, I will not see such kind of derogatory form of entertainment.

I expect that “Sacred Games” will live up to its name “Sacred” “Games”.

About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at@AnuragSason

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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of India TV.

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