Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan will once again team up with filmmaker Prakash Jha to take on corruption in Indian politics, says a media report.
Their next collaboration Satyagraha scheduled to go on the floors in January will address the ethos of a peaceful mass protest against corruption, an issue currently occupying much of the Indian middle class mind space thanks to Anna Hazare.
Cautious about revealing details on what sources close to Jha describe as his most hard-hitting film on politics and corruption in India, the filmmaker says, "I am at the moment working on the script of Satyagraha. It is about peaceful protest, though not on a pan India level. The cast is yet to be finalised, but Bachchan saab will be in the film."
Apparently, Big B will play a Hazare-styled crusader who will take on the establishment in his fight against corruption.
The script, we hear, has gone into revision keeping in mind the charged socio-political mood of the Indian population. However, there will be a big fundamental difference.
Explains Jha, "The upsurge of mass protest against corruption that Anna Hazare has generated is indeed unprecedented and remarkable.
"However, what bothers me is that only one opinion is prevailing in this movement towards eradicating corruption, and that could damage the whole noble purpose of the protest. It is the Lok Pal bill the way Anna Hazare saab wills it to be, or not at all. There has to be a less hardline approach to a matter as deep-rooted as corruption.
"Also, the fight against corruption should be more focused and specific in its motivation. For instance, why not start by simply campaigning against anyone giving or taking a bribe?"
Bachchan's character in Satyagraha will have plenty of elements of Hazare, but the film will make a marked departure from the ideology of an autonomous movement.
The protagonist takes on corruption at the state, not national level.
"Isn't that the way my films and protagonists always are? I think it's important for any movement to be rooted to a specific population. It's the only way it can be effective," says Jha.