Bharat Sevashram Sangha gets into film production to spread message against violence

Ravik Bhattacharya, Kolkata: Bharat Sevashram Sangha, one of the leading Hindu organisations of the country, is producing a film with a budget

of over Rs 1 crore to spread its message against violence and fundamentalism. The film will hit the cinema halls on September 16. The move comes at a time when Hindus are at the receiving end in Bangladesh and Bengal is being used as a fertile ground for terror outfits such as IS and Jamaat-ul-Mujaheedin Bangladesh.
Established in 1917, Bharat Sevashram Sangha’s film is a biopic on its founder, Pranavananda Maharaj. The star cast includes veteran actors like Ranjit Mallick, Soumitra Chatterjee and Biblab Chatterjee. Arjun Chakaborty is playing the lead role. The film is directed by Raja Sen.
“These are not good times. There is violence everywhere and the rise of fundamentalism is causing the death of so many innocent people. Therefore, we thought of a novel way of reaching the hearts and minds of the people. That is through cinema,” said Saraswata Nanda Maharaj on behalf of Bharat Sevashram Sangha.“There is so much hatred and violence now. Pranavananda Maharaj was in Bangladesh and during the Noakhali riots he went from village to village unifying Hindu youths. The film will be inspiring for all of us,” added Saraswata Nanda.
The Sangha, a major Hindu charitable organisation, has hundreds of ashrams in India and other countries, including UK, US, Canada, Bangladesh and Guyana. It has initiated several missions to African countries, Malaysia and Indonesia. Monks from the Sangha have accompanied United Nations delegations to Syria and Lebanon.Born on January 29, 1896, Pranavananda Maharaj is remembered for his pioneering efforts in ushering the modern Hindu society into a new age without compromising the essential values and ancient traditions of Hindu spirituality. He founded Bharat Sevashram Sangha and urged his followers to shun all idleness, procrastination, slumbering habits and lust.
According to the Sangha, the production of this film has been professionally handled. Only Ranjit Mullick worked for free. The budget is a little over one crore which has been provided entirely by Sangha.The premiere will be held at Priya theatre in Kolkata. The film will simultaneously be released in 15 other theatres across Bengal. “The proceeds from the film will be used in our social work, in various projects to help out people in India. We have a number of projects, shelters, ashrams running in the country,” said Saraswata Nanda.
The Sangha is usually the first to extend help during natural calamities and disasters in India. It has undertaken rescue and relief operations in natural calamities in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, the Bengal famine in 1943, the Bhopal gas leak, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, Tsunami in 2004 among others.
During Partition, the Sangha was in the forefront, setting up camps for refugees from Bangladesh and providing them relief.