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Delhi HC Women Lawyers Forum choose Rahat Kazmi’s Lihaaf in Virtual Canteen

Law in Reel Life: Delhi HC Women Lawyers choose Rahat Kazm’s Lihaaf in Virtual Canteen

When the internationally-acclaimed Director Rahat Kazmi was making Lihaaf, he knew that he’s touching a strong theme of an author, who was considered much ahead of her time, but little did he know that he will garner so much love worldwide!

As you all know, Lihaaf is the most popular work of Ismat Chughtai, and to make it into a beautiful film, Director Rahat Kazmi took the copyright from the author’s family. The film has already won 11 international awards even before its release!

However, today’s big news is that the Women Forum of Delhi High Court Lawyers discussed this movie in their ‘Virtual Canteen’ held on May 14, 2021. The Forum invited the protagonist of Lihaaf, actress Sonal Sehgal along with Advocate Malavika Rajkotia and Dr Megha Anwer (Clinical Asst. Professor of Purdue University) as the speakers of the session!

Lihaaf actress Sonal Sehgal, who attended the event said, “The ‘Virtual Canteen’ which was held by Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum was to discuss ‘Law in Reel Life’. We discussed the depiction of the judiciary in cinema, citing examples from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird, ‘Court’ and ‘Lihaaf’.

The screenplay of Lihaaf intertwines the story and the obscenity that Ismat Chughtai fought in court. Sonal Sehgal added, “Discussing censorship in art & cinema, the lawyers pointed out that how even after 70 years of Independence, we are still fighting for the freedom of speech like the recent arrests of stand-up comedians & artists. Similarly, at that time, Ismat Chughtai was also penalized for writing about homosexuality which was a criminal offense under British rule.”

Other topics covered in the session include how cinema affects social behavior and stereotypes of women characters. The panel also discussed a question that often comes into mind, ‘Are women characters of ‘Lihaaf’ so well rounded & alive just because Ismat Chughtai wrote them, or do we need more women writers for more vivid characters in stories?

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It’s a proud moment for the team of ‘Lihaaf’ to be chosen among a bunch of films as a part of the ‘Virtual Canteen’. On this, Director Rahat Kazmi said, “Cinema, nevertheless, impacts the society to a great extent and it’s a matter of pride when such an honorable and unbiased forum include your film in their discussion.”

Directed by Rahat Kazmi, the film has been co-written by Rahat Kazmi & Sonal Sehgal. Producers of the film include Rahat Kazmi, Tariq Khan, Zeba Sajid, Namita Lal, Umesh Shukla, and Ashish Wagh while it has been co-produced by Oscar-winner Marc Baschet and Cedomir Kolar.

The star cast of the film, which is all set to hit an OTT  platform soon includes Tannishtha Chatterjee as Ismat Chughtai, Anushka Sen as younger Ismat, Sonal Sehgal Begum Jaana, and Namita Lal as Rabbo. Other prominent actors of the film are Mir Sarwar in the role of Nawab (male protagonist), Shoib Nikash Shah as Manto, and veteran actor Virendra Saxena as famous Urdu writer M. Aslam.

Writer: Avalokita Pandey 


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