Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Part II of the making of 498a-The Wedding Gift

This Sunday 15th July 2012, I was returning from the  Protect Indian Family Foundation weekly meeting. Fresh with stories of marital abuse on hapless men and few inspiring news about someone making gains in their fight. In the train, I was thinking I havent called up Suhaib bhai, but then I thought its a Sunday, lets not disturb him and made a mental note to call up next day for sure, without missing it. That's when the phone rang, it was Suhaib bhai. He said, we are editing the credit rolls for the movie and also will need the statistics. Come over to the studio in Andheri.

After about 2 hours, I found myself in the studio. Suhaib bhai was as usual in his '498a - The Wedding Gift' film white Tshirt and was seated with the Editor. He introduced me to Mr. Ray & Mr. Kush of the RaynBrotherhood duo. I was excited at once, to meet the music Directors of the film. Ray was present in his  tilted checkered flat cap. He mentioned of having been at the Bangalore Press conference and I later on remembered having seen him there. Kush smiled behind his connoisseur moustache and interrupted his work to greet me. Within a moment I was made to feel comfortable, something that has always been the hallmark of being with Suhaib bhai. I once more felt privileged to be in his company. He asked me to give details of all the groups that have been promoting the film. One by one I listed out the names, decided to name the Pan-India level groups first. First name obviously was 'Save Indian Family Foundation'. The group that is synonymous with relief, life, energy, support for many a harassed men in India and the umbrella organisation of other groups. I felt proud that am part of an activity that will feature SIFFs name prominently and lend its deserved space for posterity. Suhaib had listed out a few names already. After calling a few people from some chapters, we clarified the names of their groups and did spellchecks. There we were, the list was ready. Suhaib bhai then decided to add the names of cities. After a thorough check it was cleared.

The editor had put lesser time earlier on the acknowledgement frame, but when the names were listed, Suhaib bhai asked him to increase the timing. Then came the next page. It was about the films dedication to Syed Makhdoom. We needed a hard-hitting statistic which would take the message across. 'We need some figures of no. of arrests', suggested Suhaib bhai. No other name came to my mind, except our datamine, Niladri. Over the phone, he was quick with his data. He shared the 2011 statistics from NCRB for 498a and bang, we had a hammering statement ready on the frame. 'Every 3 minutes, 1 person is arrested. 91% cases found false.' These figures would rattle even an ignorant, for sure.

Then for the first time I was shown the film running. Suhaib bhai asked it to be put on the bigger screen. The acknowledgements showed up. The groups name were displayed, then the title music played out and one by one the names were unraveled. It was his well-known humility that made him ask my opinion at the end of the run. If it were any other person, it wouldnt have been as comfortable to tell the truth. But with him around, I gave my frank opinion. The Editor made changes as suggested by Suhaib bhai. Then he asked me to shut my laptop and concentrate on the music now. The Editor played the song sung by Sonu Nigam. 'Tu....' filled my heart. There was no doubt we had a winner. I conveyed the same to Ray and congratulated him. It was then that the Editor asked, 'May I suggest? Why dont we use this song as the title...?' Everyone jumped on the suggestion. It was a fantastic master stroke. When the titles were played again with the new song, it gave me goosebumps as the complete look and feel for the introduction of the movie got changed.

The film went on, the Editor with his sharp intellect was quick to snap in and cut wherever required to make the film crispy. A filler of the signal, removed. A synchronisation was required, adjusted. We saw 3 reels of the movie. I got the chance to watch 4 songs - Tu... by Sonu Nigam, Maana Vides.. by Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan saab, Hey Baby.. by Sunidhi Chauhan and then the last song by Shaan. The Editor again came up with fine ideas and made a few changes in the last song by Shaan. The final credit rolls had rolled in and I was still engaged in the movie. Suhaib bhai asked me 'What do you think?' and I had to make an effort to come out of the frame of mind that was engulfed in the movie. I gave him a thumbs up, it is a clear winner, I felt. 'It is entertaining' was all I could manage. 'That is what I would like to hear', said Suhaib bhai.

The Editor asked 'When are you releasing the audio?', 'Around 15th August, this would make waves with the patriotic song', he opined. I stepped-in and added the 'Tu..' song by Sonu Nigam would be taken well if already released around Friendship Day. Suhaib bhai hoped it would be out by then. Ray seconded that. Prayers were on all our lips hoping for the best. It was 1:30 AM already. We decided to call it a day. The final day of editing was over!

Later, we went to the hotel where Suhaib bhai was staying and on the way collected dinner. I have always known Suhaib bhai to be a very humble intelligent friendly man, his celeb status never comes across in any of his dealings, taking any hesitation out of the situation. Also, the down-to-earth attitude of Ray and Kush completely floored me. At the dinner table we were already like friends and shared stories. After that we left the hotel and started on our way. It was great of Kush to ensure that I get an auto and only then he left.

I was still thanking my stars for having given me the privilege of being part of this process. My heart was filled with gratitude for the team when I left. For them it was a movie. For some of them it was their debut - in music, in direction, etc; But the sheer magnanimity of the situation for me was that finally a message was going to be sent across about victims of draconian unconstitutional laws and this team is carrying it out.

Wishing them all the Success!
                                              - by Amit Deshpande

Part I of the making of 498a The Wedding Gift

Until now we have had a successful run with the promo efforts.
Our Press conferences at Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Delhi all have contributed in bringing film in the limelight. Lucknow and Indore have had a pre-promo kind of events where the film is discussed along with other issues and got coverage. We have been successful in generating a buzz for the film. 

There will be a music release of the film songs once we have a tie-up with a music company. The contract is expected to be inked very soon, which will follow a music release function hopefully with the likes of Ghulam Ali Khan and other industry stalwarts attending it. While the film unit is giving its final touches to the print, they are in the process of finishing the shoot of the last song of the film, which is certainly going to be a head-turner.

I had the privilege to watch one more scene when I met Suhaib bhai in first week of May in Mumbai. There is a laloo-accented character with his features as a neta. I found the cameo hilarious and it only seems a precursor to what the whole film will be like. Also, I have already requested for a film screening whenever possible.

We are at the historic juncture where the long cherished dream of having a film on the subject is about to be realised.

- Amit Deshpande

Monday, 3 October 2011

False Dowry Harassment Case

Only few years after his marriage, Syed Makhdoom came to know that he was the fourth husband of his wife, Muskaan Sehr.  One day, she took all the jewelry and other confidential documents and also filed a false Dowry harassment case against her husband; the Indian-turned-Canadian national, Syed Makhdoom. Furthermore, his visitation rights to his beloved son were also reserved. He felt isolated and on April 5, 2009, he committed suicide and put an end to all his sufferings, mental trauma and the deep agony he was going through.

He was betrayed and was trapped because of the so called draconian law of the Indian Constitution; section 498 A

Veteran actors Farida Jalal & Sushma Seth on the sets of "498 A-Wedding Gift"

“498 A- Wedding Gift” is a Hindi commercial feature film which presents a similar story, informing about the misuse of the Dowry Act of the Indian Constitution. Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code, allows the Police to arrest anyone in the husband’s family and his relatives, without any investigation. The wife just needs to lodge a complaint in the nearby Police station.

Many people calls section 498 A to be more dangerous than POTA even. They want it to be eliminated or amended. The time has come, when the cry of the people must be addressed. And the amendments in the draconian Dowry law should certainly be considered.

Suhaib Ilyasi, who is the producer-director of the commercial feature film “498 A- Wedding Gift”, aims at informing the Indian masses, about the misuse of the Dowry Act. The film is about the agony and the sufferings, which an NRI family goes through. They come back to India to look for a beautiful bride for their only son. But shortly after the marriage, the family falls into a trap because of the biased Dowry law of the Indian Constitution ….and the story begins.   

Friday, 30 September 2011

Dowry Law: Biased or Fair?

The Dowry system prevalent in the society has always been said to be a curse. The meaning of growth, development, modernization and education gets dims when it stills lives freely in our traditions and cultures. But the situation worsens when the law meant to protect the bride leads to the brutal consequences for the husband and his relatives.

The section 498A, have enough of the evidences showing its significant misuse by the women for their own interest. The commercial feature film “498 A- Wedding Gift” produced and directed by Suhaib Ilyasi, is the infotainment showing the lacunas of the Dowry Law.

The Veteran actors like Alok Nath, Reema Lagoo, Sushma Seth and many more are up to their best performance in the movie “498 A- Wedding Gift”. Understanding the importance of this social cause, the maestro Ghulam Ali Khan sahib has given his voice for a patriotic song in the film. The widely known singers like Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam has sung the different songs in the movie. The film also introduces a new singer Veena Parashar. Ray & Brotherhood has placed in harmony the amazing lyrics of the songs with the music.

Suhaib Ilyasi, who is debuting as a Director with the film “498 A- Wedding Gift”, needs no introduction. People still remember the hero of ‘India’s Most Wanted”. This time Suhaib again puts a vital question in front of the bare face of the society that is section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code fair? He wants to inform the society through his film so that the utmost urgency to bring the amendments can be felt.

People call this law to be a draconian law and the commercial feature film “498 A- Wedding Gift” enables you to make your own stand.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Filming the Lacuna's of Dowry Law

In the Rig Vedic period, when the marriage ceremony was performed, the bride’s father used to gift cows etc. to the grooms family. In the later period, this tradition of gifts was given the name of Dowry which proved to be a curse for the society. The newly wedded brides were ill-treated in their husband’s house. Moreover, there are innumerable stories where the girl was brutally and mysteriously murdered. The aftermaths are proved by the heinous crimes like feticide.

The Hindi feature film “498A- The Wedding Gift” is an initiative to bring to the notice the lacunas of the section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. This law of the Indian Constitution is called the Dowry Law and is meant to protect the woman’s from the unlawful behavior of the husband and his relatives. But with the changing trends, the law meant to safeguard the women was made to be a loop for the men. Slowly and gradually, this law has become a serious threat for the Indian society.

The debut Director Suhaib Ilyasi has tried to raise this social cause in his film “498A- The Wedding Gift”. The maestro Ghulam Ali supports this subject by giving his voice to the patriotic lyrics of a song in the movie. The film consists of the widely known actors like Alok Nath, Farida Jalal, Reema Lagu and many more.  

Long before, it was said, "the cinema is the shadow of the society". The cinema “498A- The Wedding Gift” tells about the misuse of this significant law of the Indian Constitution. The film is being made under the banner of ‘Aaliya Productions Pvt. Ltd. and is truly the shadow of the society. The amendments are the cry of the hour and it should certainly be considered.    

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Misuse of Dowry Law-498A

The judiciary has proved to be an important pillar of the Indian Constitution since it came into being. But unfortunately, the sections of the Indian Penal Code like 498A, puts the people in doldrums and their democratic rights at peril. The woman’s are said to misuse and manipulate the law which was primarily meant for their protection-the Dowry Law.

"498A- The Wedding Gift" is a feature film bringing to notice the lacunas and the brutal consequences of this section of the Indian Penal Code. Starring the senior actors like Alok Nath and Reema Lagu, this film is a perfect infotainment for the people. The veteran singer like Ghulam Ali saab has given his voice for the heart rendering lyrics of the songs in the movie. The director Mr. Suhaib Ilyasi, is widely known to have brought in limelight many of the criminal stories through the convergent media perpetually.  

In this age of globalization, the society truly stands up to the expectations of the ‘Theory of Individualization’. The urbanization and the modern trend of the nuclear family leave the people with new grievances to be resolved on the grounds of the Indian Constitution. But unfortunately, it is quite often accused of not meeting the modern demands of the people. There are differences in usage and the acceptance of the law. Therefore, the time has come to take in consideration this serious threat to the world’s largest democracy.  

On just a mere complain of a woman, section 498A of the Indian Penal Code allows the Police to arrest anyone in the family of her husband. There are several instances for the fallacious arrests and aftermaths. Suhaib Ilyasi, the hero of the ‘India’s Most Wanted, is debuting as a director with this film. He once again brings for the discussion, one of the very common and serious problems of the society.