Of archaic values

Diksha is the Hindi adaptation of Girish Kasarvalli’s Kannada movie Ghatashraddha. A classic of this nature needs a classic treatment. The story of ancient archaic values of brahminical Hindu ritualistic communities, coming in the way of two innocent lovers, broke new ground.

Based in the 1930’s, the film is about a priest and his widowed daughter and the lowly-born Koga whose long-time wish is to master the secrets of the scriptures. In the absence of the father, the daughter falls in love and gets physically involved with her lover who shuns his responsibility. She is forced to abort the child amidst the chaos in the village when the father returns and is supposed to give his final judgment. In an extreme act of insensitive judgment, the father pronounces his daughter dead and conducts her funeral rites. This archaic act of pronouncing her dead, performing her last rites and excommunicating her, thereby depriving her of all worldly relations, reflects the kind of rituals practiced during that time. An impressive performance by Nana Patekar as Koga, some soul-stirring music by Mohinderjit Singh and brilliant direction by Arun Kaul, this DVD is a must-have.

Directed by Arun Kaul for NFDC
Rs 100

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