Wide Eye Film

Umar Khalid Haazir Hai (Umar Khalid is Present)

(60 min; India/Germany; Forthcoming)
In Hindi and English, with English subtitles


On September 13, 2020 Umar Khalid a charismatic student leader and a recent PhD from India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was arrested under the draconian UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) – a law that defines prisoners as terrorists and allows the Indian state to imprison people without due process.

His crime: as an Indian Muslim, he had dared to dissent against the new citizenship law that the Indian state was trying to impose on its people.

Using found footage of his past speeches along with a forensic analysis of how he was framed by the right-wing, Hindu nationalist media, Umar Khalid’s close friends Banojyotsna Lahiri and Shuddhabrata Sengupta reconstruct the chronology of events that led to his tragic imprisonment. The film is a frightening reminder of the precarity of Muslim lives in Hindu nationalist India…


With the participation of Banojyotsna Lahiri and Shuddhabrata Sengupta
Camera: Amit Mahanti
Location Sound and Post-production audio: Lohit Bhalla
Editing: Rikhav Desai
Additional camera and editing: Lalit Vachani
Archival Research: Alishan Jafri, Atul Anand, Niyati Sharma
Produced by Srirupa Roy and Lalit Vachani
Directed by Lalit Vachani
A Wide Eye Film
A CeMIS and ICAS:MP co-production


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