Award-winning Marathi novel feeds Hindi film on Vidarbha

Around the time Vidarbha's farm crisis had caught the attention of the national media, a Marathi writer had penned a novel on the subject that eventually won the Sahitya Academy award. The 2004 novel, Baromas, has now been made into a 110-minute feature film in Hindi by Dheeraj Meshram, a young director hailing from the region.

The film, called Baromas like the novel, is being premiered in Nagpur on Thursday.

An associate professor of Film Production at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Meshram belongs to Amravati, where many of Vidarbha's suicide farms are located. "Being from there, I was aware of the ground realities of farming, not only of Vidarbha, but generally everywhere in the country. That had set me thinking about making a film on the subject. Baromas presented the ideal content to base the project on," Meshram tells The Indian Express.

The film features actors such as Benjamin Gilani, Seema Biswas, Devika Daftardar, Jatin Goswami and Subrat Dutta and has been shot entirely in Vidarbha.

"Some films have already been made on the subject, such as Gabhricha Paus, Bali Rajyache Rajya Yeu De and Goshta Chhoti Dongaraevadhi in Marathi and Pipli Live in Hindi. But no serious film has been made in Hindi, Pipli Live being more of a a satire. So, I thought of making a serious film on the subject," Meshram says.

"Baromas is the story of two farmer brothers, who take up the issue in contrasting ways. While it is the story of a farmer and his family entwined with conflicts, confusions and compassion, it looks at a much larger picture," he says.

He explains the larger picture: "Farming as a trade has become so uncertain that the new generation seldom embraces this. A farmer's son does not want to be a farmer, given a chance. Farmers want their towns to embrace industrialisation, giving way for the land to be converted. Has the so-called green revolution failed, in these modern days of rapid growth? What will happen to our food security?"

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