September Issue

“Seto Bagh” A Movie with a Message

Dr Raju Adhikari, NRN ICC SKI

Seto bagh is a rare tiger and only few hundreds are found globally and mostly found in India. In order for a white Bengal tiger to be born, both parents must carry the unusual gene for white colouring, which, according to the website, “Animal Corner,” this genetic trait only happens naturally about once in 10,000 births, corroborates well with Nepal’s peace and constitution.

There was a movie premier show of Seto Bagh in Australia in November, 2014. The movie was a true story of former prime-minister Jang Bahadur Rana’s last 30 days prior to his demise and was based on the book Seto Bagh written by a very famous writer and politician Shri Diamond Shamsher Rana. Nir Shah ji a well-known literary figure and the director of this movie said that it was a life time challenge and he feels great that the movie could finally be completed after several years of hard work.
Nir Shah ji who had also played a key role in a historical movie called Prem-Pind has proved once again why he is regarded so high in the Nepali cinema. When Seto bagh movie premier show was held in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to meet him and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting and listening to him.
I found the movie very complex so for those who had not read the book or listen Shah to Nir introductory remarks prior to movie primer show, would have found it difficult to grasp the story and the message of the movie. All characters of the movie lived to their expectation especially the character of Jang bahadur Rana played by BS Rana deserved nomination for an Oscar award for his outstanding performance. The movie was shown in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Canberra in full house capacity and crowed from young to old generations NRNs had enjoyed watching this great movie.
The message in the movie was that Nepal’s history has many dark chapters and its root cause is the lust for power grabbed through coup and assassination in the palace by rulers. Jung Bahadur Rana who had played a key role in shaping those dark chapters in his early days as a loyal general and later as prime-minister could never come out of this syndrome despite his vision for a modern unified Nepal. In one of his hunting mission, when he saw a Seto Bagh he symbolized it a ray of hope in the dark chapters of Nepal. However, following his death, the lust of power continued and Nepal’s future turned into darkness again
Seto bagh is a rare tiger and only few hundreds are found globally and mostly found in India. In order for a white Bengal tiger to be born, both parents must carry the unusual gene for white colouring, which, according to the website, “Animal Corner,” this genetic trait only happens naturally about once in 10,000 births, corroborates well with Nepal’s peace and constitution.
The movie truly depicts the complex nature of Nepal’s political upheavals and even after 100 of years, there seems no much change and Set Bagh, a symbol of hope still remain elusive in modern Nepal with no constitution after so many years of end of Maoist struggle.
These days most commercial Nepali movies premier are organised overseas to earn more revenue but brining a classic historical movie to Australia against financial odds, the sponsor Namaste Nepal deserve special appreciation for taking such a risk.

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