This is the era of nationalistic films and in the past 6 months, we have seen a hoard of them. Starting from Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, Uri: The Surgical Strike and most recently, the Accidental Prime Minister, the Indian citizens have been enlightened to a great extent. Carrying on with this modern tradition is the making of another movie, featuring on the mysterious death of the second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent. The movie titled, ‘The Tashkent Files’, is directed by Vivek Agnihotri, who along with a film director is a right-wing activist and author. Veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty are in central roles in the movie.
Although not many details have been revealed about the project, Agnihotri has been providing insights on which issues the movie is exploring and so far, a lot of information pertains to the link of Nehru-Gandhi family with the death of Shastri.
Shipping magnate Jayant Dharma Teja, a friend of Nehru, took Rs 22 crore loan to form Jayanti Shipping Company. In 1960, it was found he actually siphoned money to his account, after which Teja fled the country.
Was he connected to Shastri’s mysterious death?
— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) March 12, 2019
Vivek Agnihotri said he took up the ‘Tashkent files’ project after many people including top political leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George Fernandes expressed the need for dealing with the mystery behind Shastri’s death.
He said, “On January 10, 1966, Shastri had signed the Tashkent Agreement and hours later he died. A death mystery unsolved till date. Was it a heart attack or poison? The truth of the biggest cover-up has been denied to his family and us. Immediately after his death, the family members of Shastri officially requested a post-mortem to the then acting Prime Minister Gulzarilal Nanda, but to no avail. The family also had requested former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, but was not heeded to once again.”
Agnihotri also felt it to be strange that India, the largest democracy in the world, has no information and document to uncover the mystery behind a former prime minister’s death.
He added, “This issue has been raised in Parliament for the last 50 years and yet, we are trying to find out the truth. I picked up the gauntlet and tried finding the truth, and hence I filed RTIs, but I was shattered. The RTI said there is no information. Our beloved second prime minister dies and the biggest democracy in the world does not have any information and documents”.
With Tashkent files, Vivek Agnihotri hopes to get answers and change the narrative about Indian politics. So far, a release date has not been finalized. The esteemed director has hinted that it will be released before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in April. Not only will this movie provide an insight to the public, but will also be a major source of embarrassment for Congress party in the run-up to the polls.