The Final Solution is a 2003 documentary directed by Rakesh Sharma about the 2002 communal Gujarat Riots that arose as a response to the Godhra Train Burning incident on February 27, 2002, where 58 Hindus were burnt alive on a train carriage. An official estimate states that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed during the riots, with 223 more missing. The documentary consists mostly of interviews, with both Muslims and Hindus, of multiple generations, and both sexes, with different views regarding the causes, justifications, and the actual events of the violence that occurred, as well as their prospects for the future. The government of Gujurat at the time, led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was highly criticised throughout the documentary and was accused of inciting much of the rioting and not doing enough to halt it.
A Pirate-and-Circulate campaign was conducted in protest against the ban (Get-a-free-copy-only-if-you-promise-to-pirate-and-make-5-copies). Over 10,000 free Video CDs of the film were distributed in India during this campaign, which ended in Dec. 2004. Final Solution was offered free to Anhad for their campaigns; it was included in their anthology titled "In defence of our dreams". Subscribers of several journals/mags also got a copy of the film free of cost. These included Communalism Combat (Ed : Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand), Samayik Varta (Ed : Yogendra Yadav), Janmat and several smaller journals.
Final Solution was rejected by the government-run Mumbai International Film Festival, but was screened at 'Vikalp: Films for Freedom', organised by the Campaign Against Censorship. Rakesh Sharma has been an active member of the Campaign since its inception.
A pilot movement to copy-and-redistribute the movie was held, briefly to protest the censoring of the movie screenings. The film has been screened on BBC, NHK, DR2, YLE and several other channels. It is yet to be shown on Indian television.
Post Godhra violence
Tension gripped parts of Gujarat state while examinations all over the state were cancelled. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad had called for a statewide bandh to protest the Godhra train burning. Fearing communal clashes the administration imposed a curfew in several areas. Rapid Action Force were deployed in Godhra's sensitive area and around Godhra station. On 1 March the Indian government dispatched around 1,000 paramilitary personnel to Gujarat and asked the army to be on standby to maintain law and order in the state. The Army began flag marches in the worst-affected areas and shoot-at-sight orders were issued in 34 curfew-bound cities and towns in Gujarat.
151 towns and 993 villages in fifteen to sixteen of the state's 25 districts were affected by the post-Godhra violence, which was particularly severe in about five or six districts. The violence raged largely between 28 February and 3 March, and after a drop, restarted on 15 March, continuing till mid June. Northern and central Gujarat, as well as the north-eastern tribal belt which are closer to Godhra City, were the worst affected while Saurashtra and Kutch remained largely peaceful.