New Delhi Times

New Delhi Times

New Delhi Times is 1986 Hindi film directed by Ramesh Sharma and written by Gulzar. The editor of the newspaper New Delhi Times, Vikas Pande (Shashi Kapoor) has to confront the politician Ajay Singh (Om Puri) who is associated with a powerful lobby of illegal liquor manufacturers.  Meanwhile, there is a power struggle going on between the existing chief minister Chaturvedi (Ram Gopal Bajaj) and the ambitious MLA Ajay Singh for the post of chief minister. On the other hand Vikas’s wife Nisha (Sharmila Tagore), who is a lawyer, is approached by an old man whose daughter is missing from her in-laws place.  Shashi Kapoor’s Pande is a man of the world, who nevertheless has not developed a cynical attitude despite the surrounding environment. Shashi has played the role with dignity and poise. Sharmila Tagore plays Pande’s supportive wife and though she does not get to do much in the film, her practical attitude comes across as a breath of fresh air after Pande’s burning idealism. The film also stars Om Puri, who is impeccable as ever,who becomes the focus of Vikas Pande’s investigations. Mk Raina, Kulbushan Kharbanda , Manohar Singh were convincing in their roles as well.

It is also one of the few movies made in India that looks at the difficulty and paradox inherent in a crime-journalist’s profession. New Delhi Times takes an in-depth look at the politically corrupt system that pervades the lives of ordinary people, who in many ways are unable to deal with it. But the film ran into all kinds of trouble. There was a lawsuit filed against it by someone who took offence to a dialogue where Vikas tells Nisha that all lawyers are liars; someone else tried to get the film banned for depicting a politician instigating communal riots. When New Delhi Times was scheduled to play on Doordarshan, it was pulled out at the last minute because of the legal battles that confronted it.  Over the years, New Delhi Times has gone on to receive largely positive reviews.

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