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Ujaan Ganguly on Lokkhi Chele: Social media is an eco chamber of disparate intentions while art forms are the means of protest

The actor opens up on how an artiste can express their opinions through their art

Ujaan Ganguly on Lokkhi Chele: Social media is an eco chamber of disparate intentions while art forms are the means of protest
Ujaan Ganguly
  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 08.20 AM, Aug 28, 2022

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Ujaan Ganguly’s Lokkhi Chele takes on the existing superstitions, caste system and blind faith in India. The actor plays a character of a junior doctor who takes extraordinary steps to cure a child suffering from a medical condition. The film shows the conflict between science and blind faith, rationality and superstition. Directed by Kaushik Ganguly, Lokkhi Chele also features Purab Seal Acharya, Ritwika Pal, Churni Ganguly, Indrasis Roy and others. 

In an interview with OTTplay, Ujaan talked about how rationalists are often throttled in India. He feels instead of social media, art forms are better means of protest for artistes. “Social media is an eco chamber of disparate opinions. It is a strange package of intentions. I believe the arts can bring changes effectively,” the actor said. 

Talking about how ideas are gagged in India, Ujaan remembers how his mother Churni Ganguly dealt with death threats during her film Nirbasito. “I know how ideas can be throttled. My mother directed Nirbasito and she came across death threats and whatnot! We have seen what happened to Salman Rushdie and what happened to several translators who translated The Satanic Verses. We are aware of the difficulties,” he said, pointing out that Lokkhi Chele is more about portraying realities. 

Talking about the film, Ujaan said, “The opposite of rationality is being illogical. Superstition perpetuates from a lack of logic. Lokkhi Chele reaches out to that larger group of people who are not comforted by conventional rationality. There is no hard and fast rule that if a person is superstitious they will be intolerant. Similarly, if a person is devoid of superstition, there is no guarantee that they will be tolerant. Lokkhi Chele addresses many such contradictions.” 

Ujaan also pointed out that often urban people look at superstitions from a limited worldview. He said that many people enjoy a sheltered life and hence their understanding of superstition and blind faith is ‘myopic’. “I was reading somewhere that a certain level of rationality is conditioned by the society we grew up in, the people we interact with and so on. For some people, rationality fails when superstition and blind faith comes in,” he said. The actor also added that the Lokkhi Chele does not talk about right or wrong but it talks about the vulnerability of people. “While casteism is a reality in rural Bengal, there is a power structure beyond that. There are other hierarchical structures where the people at the lower rung are exploited. We tried to explore that structure,” Ujaan said.

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