Amidst the light drizzle, Capital witnesses the power-packed screening of the documentary The Crusader based on the life and career struggles of the popular Dalit leader Dr. Udit Raj, who is also the Hon’ble Member of Parliament and National Chairman of The All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations.
The veteran leader and former President of BJP, Mr. L. K. Advani was the Chief Guest at the event that was thronged by a large number of eminent personalities like Mr. Manoj Tiwari (Member of Parliament and Bollywood Actor), Mr. Madhur Bhandarkar (Filmmaker) and Mr. Sandeep Marwah (Founder of Marwah Studio).
The screening was attended by around 1500 people, including political leaders, top-notch bureaucrats, and many big personalities from the Art & Culture industry. Directed and produced by the renowned filmmaker Ajay Chitnis, ‘The Crusader’ was bestowed upon with the Hon’ble Jury Mention Award in the 7th Bangalore Short Film Festival-2018.
Despite being from a family that struggled at every front and lived between meager subsistence and sufferings, challenges couldn’t stop Dr. Udit Raj from achieving his missions and tasting success on all fronts; be it the professional excellence or working for the welfare of people and the nation as a whole.
His journey begins from a small village to Ram Nagar and then to Allahabad. Then, his aspirations culminated at JNU amidst `intrigue, anguish, and fascination. Later, it was followed by becoming an IRS officer, working as an Income Tax Commissioner and finally stepping into the social arena to get justice for the neglected communities and Dalits.
On the screening of ‘The Crusader’, Dr. Udit Raj says, “With this biopic, I feel people will get a much-needed insight into the lives of downtrodden Dalits.
They will better be able to see how deep-rooted the culture of caste discrimination in our minds and society is, thanks to Ajay Chitnis. I hope, the people of the nation would empathize with the real-life story of mine and many other people living in the periphery of the society and be propelled to stand against the social injustice”.
Directed by Mr. Chitnis who has been at the forefront of filmmaking with more than 70 documentaries on various subjects and considers Dr. Udit’s life struggles as the perfect example for the society to understand what all is going wrong with the suppressed and neglected strata of the society.
Through ‘The Crusader’ he wants to highlight the myths that are breeding discrimination in the name of caste and creed and why it needs to be stopped at the earliest. He also commented that Dr. Raj is a great inspiration for the socially oppressed sections of the society, as, in spite of severe trials and tribulations in his life, Dr. Udit Raj always stood true to his ambitions and morals which finally made him successful.
Mrs. Seema Raj, wife of Mr. Udit Raj and a true companion of him in all walks of life, also, she is a Principal Income Tax commissioner (2). On the screening of The Crusader, she said, “Our constitution has long back brought the noble idea of ‘Right to Equality’ into being.
But unfortunately, on several occasions, this right is being violated, and certain sections of the society like the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, migrants and even the women of the nation are exploited and denied even from a normal way of life.
No doubt, the nation has come a long way on its development path and is also leading fairly ahead, but the real impact can only be made once all sections are strengthened and unified on the growth route.
I hope ‘The Crusader’ will evoke the noble idea of abolishing discrimination amongst the masses as ideated by many noble leaders, including Dr. Udit Raj and Mr. Ajay Chitnis.”
Several great political leaders like Mr. Manmohan Singh (Ex-Prime Minister), Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt. of India), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Union Minister of Minority Affairs), Murli Manohar Joshi (Member of the Bharatiya Janata Party), General V.K. Singh (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha), Sheela Dikshit (Member of the Indian National Congress), Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia (Member of Parliament, representing the Guna constituency, Madhya Pradesh) and many others have congratulated Mr. Raj on the screening of ‘The Crusader’.