Naman Saraiya Makes Docu-Series on Godman Nithyananda
BY AKSHAY ACHARYA
MUMBAI, (IANS)- Making a documentary is an art that requires passion, but, when one sets out to make a docu-series on one of the most controversial Godmen and portray their crimes, it automatically becomes a daunting task that requires dedication, commitment, and sheer will.
Filmmaker-journalist Naman Saraiya, who has created the recently released docu-series ‘My Daughter Joined a Cult’ based on self-proclaimed godman Nithyananda can corroborate the above fact.
The director talked about treading the tricky road with his creation, how being a journalist influences the filmmaker in him, and his views on the tussle between faith and rationale.
Naman was naturally drawn to Nithyananda, who is accused of sexual crimes and laying the foundation of theocratic ‘nation’ of Kailasa.
“The story came naturally, especially given the world we are living in, and the online persona Nithyananda had created for himself. So much material, especially from his recent past, was accessible online. Also, finding survivors and ex-devotees looking to voice their stories, and trust us with it made it much easier. I was happy to be brought on board by the team at VICE Studios, India and discovery+ who had been in conversation for a little bit, on a concept level. The reports of Janardhan Sharma and family’s plight was all over the news towards the end of 2019, and helped dive deeper into the long, arduous trail of the alleged crimes of Nithyananda. It became an easy entry point,” he says.
He shared his opinion on the debate of faith vs rationale. “Through our journey of making this docu-series, we came across the most rational people who did not question certain aspects of Nithyananda’s actions during their time in the cult. Obviously, we are not here to judge or question anyone’s faith but throw light on the wrongdoings laid bare for everyone to see,” the filmmaker concludes.
‘My Daughter Joined a Cult’ is available to stream on OTT platform discovery+.