Excited about watching Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade, organised by the Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, JNU.
Jai Bhim Comrade (2012, 198 mins)
India’s Dalit (oppressed) castes were abhorred as “untouchables”. The film, shot over 14 years follows the music of protest of Maharashtra’s Dalits. In an age of increasing bigotry and superstition, it is both a record of recent history as well as eloquent testimony to a rationalist tradition that has survived amongst the subaltern for thousands of years.
Patwardhan is known (as per Wikipedia) for his activism through social action documentaries on topics such as corruption, slum dwellers, nuclear arms race, citizen activism and communalism. And he’s had a tough time fighting for his own cause to bring these stories into the public view, with government censors clamping down and DDTV (India’s government sponsored TV channel) refusing to broadcast them.
At the end of the movie, there’s going to be a Q&A with him too and I’m looking forward to hear him speak about his perspective on “shining India”.
Yeah, India is conservative when it comes to obscenity, and I’m not for fighting public sensitivities against sex and profane language, but I am for fighting any censorship to block access to information which may “upset the public”, especially if it concerns wrongdoings that have been neglected or condoned in the name of the aam aadmi.