What is the essence of Bharat, our country? What is the meaning underlying this idea? How did it come into existence? What is its culture, traditions and geography? Bharat, Prakriti Ka Balak, a Hindi documentary film directed jointly by Dr. Deepika Kothari and Shri Ramji Om, led cine lovers into an exploration of these fundamental questions concerning the identity of the world’s largest democracy. The film has been screened in the Indian Panorama Non Feature Film section of the 52nd International Film Festival of India, being held in Goa in a hybrid format, during November 20 – 28, 2021.
The film is the third episode of the ten-episode-long documentary series on Indian civilization. Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the festival, Dr. Deepika Kothari, the brain behind the documentary, said that the film addresses the essence of Bharat, our country. “Bharat is not just a piece of land that we have gained upon independence in 1947. We have tried to show all our cultural traditions, philosophical beliefs and ancient knowledge in our documentary series.”
The documentary relies on evidence from geography, history, ancient texts and notes from scholars, says Dr. Kothari. “There is a lot of this evidence, which is not usually incorporated in scholastic textbooks, people are unaware of this.”
Produced by Desh Apanayen Sahyog Foundation, Dr. Kothari informed that the documentary has covered everything, ranging from the festivals of our country to the culture of tribes belonging to various parts of India. “The film is woven into this cinematic piece of art with music, dance and of course, with knowledge. It’s very educative and scholarly no doubt, but it will also tell the world the rich values that we have inherited.”
Fellow director Ramji Om shared with the audience the spring of inspiration which led the duo to make the film. “Through our documentary, we have tried to fill the vacuums left by our education system. We thought of making this documentary in 2005, because education is the most vital factor in the making of a nation. The treasure-trove of India’s cultural heritage is showcased in this documentary.”
Om spoke of the need to empower children with a firm grounding in the roots of the history of our nation, from a very early age. “The word Bharat appears in the very first Article of the Constitution of India. However, we Indians are very accommodating by nature, so we have accepted names as India or Hindustan, given by foreign rulers. At the same time, having kept the name Bharat, we should teach our children from an early age how and why our country was named Bharat.”