Saturday, January 29, 2022

Insaaf: Where social justice is overruled

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, Feb 8: Man has transformed from four legged creatures, or, apes to present day higher animals with advancement in every sphere markedly progressive. But progress entails a change in thought process and subsequent quest. One such quest is lust which is marked by pursuit for material necessity but more dangerously, for physical urges, one of them being the lust for sex by any means. Rape is still considered a sin and thankfully so. Similar laws have been enacted. But with time, rape has assumed diabolic proportions where even days or month old girl children are not spared; not even women old enough to be grandmothers fall prey to social debauches. News abound and shamefully grow.

Despairing parents of victims who have been stigmatized by society have reportedly killed their girls, many of whom were minors, to save their faces or whatever was left of them.

Script, dialogue, screenplay writer and director SN Singh has delved into this topic that is a poignant social reckoner. His seven-minute short film, ‘Insaaf’ reflect sthe predicament of a lower middleclass patriarch. His minor daughter is gang raped by ruffians and the family is threatened into silence on ‘or else’ terms. The girl becomes pregnant. The doctor is sympathetic but reprimands the father thinking that the minor girl had been married off at that tender age and had become pregnant. He prescribes medicines for the girl. However, the doctor feels sorry for the social backwardness.

Later, he receives a call from the local police station and learns that the man whose daughter he had been treating has been accused of murder and was behind bars. The doctor is allowed to meet the man who tells him that he had throttled his daughter to death unable to bear the humiliation meted out to the family because of his daughter’s pregnancy. He felt that the girl’s marriage prospects too had gone for a toss. The doctor scans his face thoughtfully. Though he does not say it, questions like ‘Who is to blame; the girl? Society? The lusty tyrants? Lack of social awareness and education? Poverty? Lack of legal awareness?’haunt the viewers.

‘Insaaf’ ends there with a message that does not ask but leaves a moral poser.

The performance by the lead pair of the confounded and helpless father (Rajesh Kumar) and the sympathetic doctor (Somnath Chakraborty) as also a brief cameo by the police station in -charge (Mayank Lohra) add tremendous value to the reality of the social poser. Amit Kumar‘s cinematography and editing is smart, effective and impressive. However, the background score at two places seem superfluous but that is a minor flaw that could be rectified or overlooked in this otherwise gripping narrative due to slick editing. SN Singh‘s screenplay and direction are superb. An encounter with ‘Insaaf’ may enable one to come face-to-face with the other face of moral-mental reality.

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