Netlix’s Vadh: Is the Indian Movie Inspired by a True Story?

‘Vadh’ is an Indian Hindi-language movie that revolves around a married couple, Manju (Neena Gupta) and Shambhunath Mishra (Sanjay Mishra). The two are indebted after paying for their son’s higher education and are constantly harassed by a loan shark. One day, Shambhunath kills him after being pushed to his limits. However, no one believes the man is capable of such an act even after a confession.

The crime drama is helmed by Jaspal Singh Sandhu and Rajeev Barnwal, who received critical acclaim and appreciation from the audience for creating a refreshing film. If you found the brilliant storyline to be enthralling and can’t help but wonder if any of it was true, then we’ve listed all the details that you must know about it.

Vadh is Based on the Brutal Truths of Our Society

No, ‘Vadh’ is not based on a true story. However, the crime thriller undoubtedly showcases some brutal realities of our society through a captivating storyline penned by Jaspal Singh Sandhu and Rajeev Barnwal. For example, Shambhunath and his wife are abandoned by their son to persevere for themselves. Even though he’s indebted due to bearing the responsibility of his son’s education and future, he only receives nasty remarks and no appreciation for fulfilling his role as a father. Instead, the son feels entitled to insult his parents and not provide for them in times of need.

India has a traditional family culture where children look after their parents by living together or providing for them when they become senior citizens. However, in some cases, there arises a disconnect between the two generations, wherein the aged parents find themselves at the unpleasant receiving end of the contemporary age, and it sometimes leads to the children abandoning their parents.

In 2017, 3000 senior citizens were reportedly abandoned in just the city of Guntur itself. In the HelpAge India report of 2022, 36.1% of elders were subjected to verbal abuse, while 30% were victims of violence, per the organization’s interactions. According to the Longitudinal Ageing Survey of India 2020, around 18 million old people are homeless. These horrifying numbers should be a wake-up call for today’s generation. Hopefully, including this theme in ‘Vadh’ will strike more such narratives around this issue.

Another prominent issue in the movie is the exploitation of power, especially by the ones who lend money to people from impoverished backgrounds. The film portrayed how Shambhunath was inhumanely abused by a loan shark. Unfortunately, such cases aren’t rare in India, and as per reports, 20 people died by suicide in Kochi during the second wave of COVID-19 because they were unable to repay their loans. They were not indebted to banks but to goons and blade mafias who would harass the loanees and cause mental torment.

The mistreatment prevailed long before the pandemic and is common in rural areas where loan sharks create a debt trap for innocent farmers. In ‘Vadh,’ the filmmakers showcase a counterintuitive possibility of the borrower murdering a lender. Such cases are infrequent, but they still exist. For example, In Nov 2022, Wasimuddin Shaikh was allegedly murdered by four men who repeatedly stabbed him. Samir, one of the four accused, owed Wasimuddin Rs 5,000. When he asked Samir to repay the amount, the borrower allegedly allied with people and brutally killed him.

However, this connection is not made to justify the act of murder but to simply shed light on similar real-life events that inspire fiction. Lastly, the direct translation of the Hindi word “vadh” is to kill or execute. But it is a culturally significant word in Hindu mythology because whenever the gods and noblemen slay a villainous being, “vadh” is the word that describes the act.

The term has a rather positive connotation due to the tales of Ramayana, Narasimha, and lord Krishna. Thus, we can conclude that ‘Vadh’ is a fictional movie about a common man who goes through hardships that are grounded in reality. The filmmakers have displayed widespread circumstances in India, with a subtle layer of mythological reference and inspiration.

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