Even the Crows: A Divided Gujarat is a transnational documentary film that probes into the murky past of India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the rise of Hindu nationalism in India and among its diaspora in the UK and the US.
The film is framed around the intimate stories of two protagonists: American-Gujarati Nishrin, whose father, the prominent Muslim MP Ahsan Jafri, was killed during the 2002 riots, and British-Gujarati Imran, who was the sole survivor of an attack on him and his two uncles while on holiday in the state. Over a decade after the violence, they refuse to forget and continue their campaign for justice.
Over a decade after the riots, the filmmakers travel to Gujarat, where the effects of the violence are still visible: Thousands of Muslims are still confined to the ghettos, and those responsible for the violence have not been tried. Meanwhile, Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the then-Chief Minister of Gujarat, who is accused of encouraging the riots, prepares for national elections to become India’s next Prime Minister. Although he was previously banned from entering the UK and the US, recent invitations for him to speak have sparked severe fierce controversy between his supporters and his critics within the diaspora.
The film looks at the role of the diaspora behind the contemporary support for Modi and Hindu nationalism. It features a UK businessman eager to jump onto the bandwagon of Modi’s ‘development’ agenda, members of shakhas and Hindu nationalist groups operating out of the USA and UK, as well as dissident academics, lawyers and community members resisting Hindu nationalism.
As Nishrin and Imran continue to grieve their loved ones, we learn of the extent of Modi’s and his state’s complicity in the violence and the obstruction of justice after the event.