Waves of Revolution
Directed by Anand Patwardhan • Documentary • 1974 • 30 minutes
Waves of Revolution made during the repressive days of the Emergency in India documents the 1974-75 uprising of the people of Bihar in Eastern India. By 1974 India with its few rich and many poor had become a seething mass of discontent. The Bihar Movement was initiated by students and led by the veteran Gandhian Socialist Jayaprakash Narain (JP). By 1974 it had attracted a mass following amongst all sections of the population. Non-violent and reformist in character, the movement helped focus attention on the grievances of the people. During the Emergency it became, along with its leader JP, the symbol of resistance to dictatorship, culminating in the electoral defeat of the Congress Party in March 1977. Waves of Revolution was completed in secret in 1975 using outdated film stock and makeshift equipment. A part of it was shot in Super 8 which was then projected on to a screen and re-filmed with a 16 mm camera. Processing took place in various laboratories for fear of discovery. The sound was almost entirely recorded on a consumer cassette recorder. Clandestine screenings of the film took place in India during the Emergency. In September 1975 a print was cut into segments, smuggled abroad, reassembled and circulated by non-resident Indian organizations and individuals concerned with exposing the growing repression in India. Today the film serves as a reminder of the spirit of a people who fought for the right to democracy.