6 Yards to Democracy (2006) 55 min

6 Yards to Democracy revisits a gruesome incident that took place during an election rally in north India. Thousands of women from poor localities of Lucknow city, lured by the promise of free saris, had been waiting for hours in the harsh sun for the cheap six-yard cloths. A stampede occurred: 22 died and hundreds were injured.
This seemingly stray happening uncovers the sordid side of Indian democracy, and connects in significant ways with the daily humiliations forced upon these women and their families. As boomtown dynamics keep pushing them further into the margins, we observe the women's struggles to keep their homes, hopes and dignity intact while petitioning an apathetic state for their dues.


Script & Direction: Nishtha Jain & Smriti Nevatia
Cinematography: Deepti Gupta
Editing: Vipin Sharma
Sound: Anita Kushwaha
Sound Design: Niraj Gera

Music: Mangesh Dhakde
Original Language: Hindi
Subtitles: English


Supported by
Jan Vrijman Fund, the Netherlands
YLE TV2 Documentaries, Finland

"This is a nicely filmed, unpreaching doc, which, actually and cleverly, is distrubing in its simpleness. Lucknow is a huge bustling city but sometimes we only hear the wind...an excellent sound track. The DP, Deepti Gupta has a great 'eye' both in composing great backdrops and additionally catching 'mood'."
-Simon Cameron, shootingpeople.org

"Jain's vision is permeated by a lyrical humanity that is often missing in documentaries of this nature, whose agenda tends to become clinical and impersonal.The women she speaks with are not merely witnesses in favor of her argument but characters she gives space and time to."
-Pragya Tiwari, Mumbai Mirror

"The film raises important issues and provides a mirror to modern-day Uttar Pradesh. Mumbaikars who complain about the 'deluge of migrants' into the city from that state would to well to watch the film and see the reality for themselves."
-Nandini Ramnath, Time Out

Best Documentary, Birds Eye View Film Festival, London, 2007

International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA), 2006
IAWRT, New Delhi, 2006
Birds Eye View Film Festival, London, 2007
Wales One World Festival, Cardiff, 2007
Tekfestival, Rome, 2007
Dokfest, Munich, 2007
Film South Asia, Kathmandu, 2007
International South Asian Film Festival (ISAFF), Seattle, 2007
3rd i South Asian Film Festival, New York, 2007

•3rd i South Asian Film Festival, San Francisco, 2007
Ismailia International Film Festival, Cairo, 2007