Focussing on the conflict between an ant colony and two boys, a group of students from Delhi University have told the story of the Rohingya refugees in a poignant short film (above). Titled Upavahana, which in the Pali language means “washing away”, the film is described by the creators as an “attempt to make the viewers think about our response as a nation to the plight of the Rohingya community”.
Directed by Anson A Athikalam, a a third-year economics student of St Stephens College, the film shows the life of a colony of black ants being disrupted by the arrival of a column of red ants. They are displaced and unable to find a new home for themselves. This simple story is used as an analogy for what the Rohingya Muslim community is going through.
“When we first started shooting, many of our contemporaries seemed clueless about the crisisTalking about the project,” Athikalam told the Hindu. “Through the short film we hope to induce mass appeal which, in turn, will help in making a difference.”
The film is shot partly in Kerala and partly in Kanchan Kunj area of New Delhi where many Rohingya refugees have settled. Even as hundreds of them were fleeing violence at home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to mention the Rohingya in his press statements when he visited Myanmar early in September. India is one of only nine countries that And now, in a United Nations resolution condemning the human rights violations in Myanmar particularly against Rohingya Muslims, India is one of the 9 countries that have abstained from voting.