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WATCH: Neerja director Ram Madhavani’s short shows how nationalism divided India

Neerja director Ram Madhvani screened his short film This Bloody Line, based on the India-Pakistan partition, at India Today Conclave 2017 on Saturday.

Ram Madhvani was one of three directors – the other two being Nandita Das and Sudhir Mishra – who presented their short films as part of the ‘India Tomorrow’ series, brought to you by India Today.

This Bloody Line showed how Cyril John Radcliffe (Martin Bishop), the chairman of the Indian Independence Act – the man who drew the line of partition between India and Pakistan – reacted when poet WH Auden’s famous poem Partition was read out to him.

Radcliffe, old and suffering from cataract, is shown listening to his wife read out the poem to him. At the end of the reading, the old man sighs and says, “This is what I will be remembered for.”

Radcliffe is shown filled with remorse over the violence that happened due to the partition, something that was a result of his decision. However, it was the British government that urged him to draw the line of partition – also called The Radcliffe Line – as an act of patriotism for his country.

“He said, ‘Do it in the service of your country.’ Well, I couldn’t say no to my country, could I?,” Radcliffe thinks out loud in This Bloody Line.

The last scene of This Bloody Line shows Radcliffe’s wife walking up from one side of the room to the other, where Cyril is sitting, to console her husband.

At the screening on Saturday, when director Ram Madhvani was asked what could have happened if Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah were on the same side, the director said, “I am not a political person or a historian. I only know how to make an emotional statement and express the sadness or anger that we feel.”

Watch This Bloody Line directed by Ram Madhvani:

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