Movie Rejected for Oscars for Showing 'Hatred Towards British'

A movie has been rejected by an Indian jury as the country's official entry for the 2022 Oscars because it shows "hatred towards the British."

Sardar Udham, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a biopic about Punjabi Sikh revolutionary Udham Singh, who assassinated Michael O'Dwyer in 1940 as revenge for the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.

O'Dwyer was the lieutenant governor of Punjab, and in April 1919 approved orders that led British soldiers to open fire on peaceful protesters at Jallianwala Bagh. Between 379 and 1500 people are believed to have died.

Indian composer Indraadip Dasgupta said the film wasn't selected because it "harps on" about the massacre.

"Sardar Udham is a little lengthy and harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident," Dasgupta told the Times of India.

Sardar Udham
Vicky Kaushal plays freedom fighter Udham Singh in the film. IMDB

"It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle. But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British. In this era of globalization, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred," he added.

Sumit Basu, an Indian production designer and jury member, said: "Many have loved Sardar Udham for its cinematic quality including camerawork, editing, sound design and depiction of the period.

"I thought the length of the film was an issue. It has a delayed climax. It takes a lot of time for a viewer to feel the real pain for the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre."

The film has a run time of 2hrs 44mins.

The decision not to enter the film for the Academy Awards is being criticized on social media, with commentators saying the movie is a critique of imperialism and colonialism—not British people in general.

"#SardarUdham was rejected for Oscar nomination by an 'Indian' stating it has 'too much hatred for British.' This film had hatred for imperialism but not for any particular race," tweeted Dipsita Dhar, joint secretary of the Students' Federation of India.

"This film was about FREEDOM and how far our revolutionaries went on, and this is what we give in return?"

#SardarUdham was rejected for Oscar nomination by an "Indian" stating it has "too much hatred for British".This film had hatred for imperialism but not for any particular race.This film was about FREEDOM and how far our revolutionaries went on,and this is what we give in return? pic.twitter.com/dLaDKftTlu

— Dipsita (@DharDipsita) October 25, 2021

Another Twitter user, Anmol Jamwal, posted: "So Indian kids lathered in poop, begging and fending for themselves in Slumdog Millionaire is more palatable as a representation of Indians. But a realistic depiction of the horrifying acts of British imperialism on our country is problematic? #SardarUdham."

So Indian kids lathered in poop, begging and fending for themselves in Slumdog Millionaire is more palatable as a representation of Indians. But a realistic depiction of the horrifying acts of British imperialism on our country is problematic? #SardarUdham pic.twitter.com/tQwpYFZ79o

— ANMOL JAMWAL (@jammypants4) October 25, 2021

Shashank Shekhar Jha, an advocate at the Supreme Court of India, wrote: "I haven't watched #SardarUdham yet however logic behind rejecting the movie for Oscar Nomination is problematic. These people must be removed from their posts. Freedom fighters like Sardar Udham are our icons who sacrificed everything for this country. We can't let them down."

I haven't watched #SardarUdham yet however logic behind rejecting the movie for Oscar Nomination is problematic.

These people must be removed from their posts.

Freedom fighters like Sardar Udham are our icons who sacrificed everything for this country. We can't let them down. pic.twitter.com/r9g8391poh

— Shashank Shekhar Jha (@shashank_ssj) October 25, 2021