Ek Inquilab Aur Aaya Uma Chakravarti India. 2017. 66 min
“Ek Inquilab Aur Aaya” is a documentary which explores the frustrations, ambitions and struggles of women who lived in an orthodox Islamic household in Lucknow in the first half of the 20th century. The lives of two women, Sughra Fatema and her niece Khadija Ansari, residents of the Farangi Mahal are traced. The family which resided there was at the centre of learning in Lucknow from 1695 onwards.
Despite being at the centre of scholarship in Lucknow, the family refused to break the shackles of patriarchy which existed in the corridors of the Firangi Mahal. The women had to live their lives within the strict confinement of the purdah, the practice of confining women within the household, away from the eyes of men.
Director Uma Chakravarti tells us why the story needed to be told: “Because Muslim women are being flattened into a mass with no variations in their multiple histories which was rich and distinctive as the histories of women in other communities, classes and castes; today the only way to portray a Muslim woman is to put her into a hijab and hide, literally hide, everything else about her. All we now hear is triple talaq and the need to rescue them from their miseries as if Hindu women have got emancipation! We know nothing of their political participation in movements in the past and in the present; their participation in the left movement is particularly unknown. So for me as a historian turned filmmaker this was a story that was waiting to be told.”