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In June 2013, the state of Uttarakhrand in India experienced the worst disaster in the history of the Himalayan state. High intensity rainfall caused a flash flood which wiped out infrastructure, roads, buildings, villages and killed thousands. How and why it happened has been the subject of much soul searching in India. Was the catastrophe man made or an act of God? Satyagraha - Truth Force explores this very question. Just two years earlier, a unknown swami died in hospital of complications related to starvation, or so the autopsy report said. His guru had a different story, he believed that Swami Nigmanand had been murdered. Swami Nigmanand had been on a Satyagraha, a hunger strike, against illegal mining of the Ganges River in Uttarakrand, after 68 days without food, he was admitted to hospital, he died 43 days later. Satyagraha - Truth Force begins only four months after his death. When his guru, Swami Shivanand finds out that the state had begun mining again on the river, he undertakes Satyagraha in place of his disciple. The film documents the painful price of standing up for a cause that one is willing to die for, he takes on the Uttarakhrand government and covert mafia style organizations to stop the destruction of their sacred river. What his Satyagraha uncovers is a corrupt and greedy system whose policies and cronyism, could have greatly contributed to the loss of life and property in the disaster. Swami Shivanand is probably the worlds most unlikely environmental activist, he is a compelling character who is fighting not just for the sanctity of the river, but for the preservation of a way of life that is rapidly disappearing in India.
About the Saints
Gurudev Swami Shivananda Ji, the spiritual leader of the Matri Sadan ashram and his disciples form a small group of activists who have taken vows in the Vedic Indian tradition and live their lives devoted to protecting the Ganges river from environmental devastation. The saints have engaged in hunger strikes advocating for the Ganga over the last 20 years and since that time have seen two of their brethren lose their lives while on Satyagraha. In both cases, the saints suspect foul play and have campaigned tireless for investigations into the death of Swami Nigmanand who died in 2011 while fasting to protest illegal mining n a protected portion of the Ganges