BANGALORE, INDIA: A day after the hanging of LeT terrorist Ajmal Kasab, acclaimed Indian film-maker Ram Gopal Varma, whose pets subjects happen to be the underworld and terrorism, has come out in the open on how and why he chose to film a movie on 26/11.
"I am launching the first look of my film 'The attacks of 26/11' at Nehru auditorium tomorrow the 23rd at 6 pm ...apart from the media we are also inviting the policemen who were involved with those attacks and also survivors of the victims," (sic) he stated through his Twitter handle @RGVzoomin.
In a one-page statement, titled Terror Tour, Varma has also clarifiedy on certain criticism that has come his way, over his visit to the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, soon after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
He tweeted, "My explanation on Why I never intended to make a film on 26/11 at the time I went on my so caled terror tour to Taj." (sic)
"In this context and inspite of it not being relevant to the film by itself, I just wanted to clarify my position on the controversy surrounding the highly criticized visit of mine to the Taj after the attacks of 26/11... the allegation of my seeming insensitivity towards the incident came out of a speculation that the late Vilasraoji facilitated my visit to the Taj, for me to have access to unseen views, in view of me casting Riteish in a film that I was planning to do on those attacks."
Elaborating further on the controversy, he has listed out three reasons on his defence.
1. What could I have possibly seen at that place what the media had not already been showing ever since the attacks began?
2. If I am accused of wanting to cast Riteish, then my question is "Would I have cast him as a terrorist or a cop or what? And this too, at a time when no one including the police knew what or who was behind the attacks".
3. I was a member of a group of nearly 30 people that were only allowed into restricted areas...
Why else would the investigative agencies allow any of us to walk into areas where the crime scenes are being investigated?
It was just out of curiosity that he wanted to visit the scene of crime and he just happened to accompany Riteish Deshmukh, Bollywood actor and son of then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Varma has added.
"Riteish himself did not know that anybody would read meanings into this act and his father Vilasraoji did not even know that I was in the group." (sic)
The director has also said that he never had any intentions of making a movie on the incidents, when he visited the Taj, while he also acknowledges that his move could have been misinterpreted for being callous and selfish, as emotions were running high back then.
As to why, how and when he decided ultimately to recreate the tragic episode on screen, Varma has stated, "Now after all these years, after the whole truth has been uncovered by the investigators and by the virtue of an extensive knowledge I have gathered from various sources about the actual truths behind those attacks from both authorized and eye witness accounts, I developed a desire to film the actual story of those attacks." (sic)