Swadeshi Sentiments

Each year, the Naupada Hindu Bhagini Mandal, a Thane based women’s association, organizes a week-long event called Varsha Vyakhyanmala, a series of discourses covering various spheres of life. People from all walks of life are invited to share their experiences with the audience.

This year, one of the guests was Madhusudhan Tamhane, the production manager of the historical film "Veer Savarkar". Tamhane also played the role of Superintendent of Police in the film. Being so closely associated with the film, he shared some fascinating anecdotes related to the making of the film.

The cast and crew of the film were in Pune, shooting the "Go Swadeshi" sequence. In the sequence, Shailendra Gaur, who played the lead in the film, was urging people to discard foreign clothes as a gesture of self reliance. People were throwing foreign-made clothes into a pyre specially kindled for the sole purpose of abandoning British clothes. When the filming began, one of the bystanders, who was watching the proceedings for some time, got so aroused by the speech of Veer Savarkar that he stepped ahead and threw his foreign-made jacket into the pyre! It hardly mattered to him that it was just a film being shot – his patriotic instinct caught up with him and he declared in public that he would never wear foreign clothes again.

Ironically, another incident related by Tamhane illustrates quite a contrasting set of values. During the filming of another sequence, about fifteen local men had been hired to represent a gathering. The scene was about Veer Savarkar protesting with the British against the death sentence announced for Madanlal Dingra, another freedom fighter. Once the filming was over, the crowd dispersed and the fifteen men who had been hired also disappeared – and along with them they took the jackets too, which were provided to them for the scene!

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