Thursday, March 1, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Film on dalit atrocities kicks up hot debate on Modi

Film on dalit atrocities kicks up hot debate on Modi

Source: DNA | Last Updated 04:52(02/03/12)

Ahmedabad: A discussion launched on Chief Minister Narendra Modi
during the question and answer section after the screening of the film
'Jay Bhim Comrad,' saw vitriolic attack about the portion of the film
which showed Modi's visit to Mumbai for election campaigns. The film
is mainly focused on the cultural movement by dalit youths called
'Kabir Kala Manch' and deals about atrocities on dalits and their
struggle to sustain cultural revolution in Maharashtra.

However, the acrimonious attack on Modi soon ebbed to allow discussion
on the dalit atrocities. The film, made by award winning documentary
filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, was screened at The Ravi Matthai
Auditorium at IIMA on Thursday under the programme 'Insaf Ki Dagar
Par' to mark the decade of Gujarat Carnage-2002.

The film is focused on the songs, poems, ghazals written and performed
on Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar in Maharashtra and his increasing acceptance
among the dalits. The film is focused on three main aspects of dalit
politics - the case of suicide of Vilas Ghogre, a dalit poet; delayed
justice to the Kherlanji mob lynching case of Maharashtra; and the
police pressure on a cultural group run by dalit youths, Kabir Kala
Manch (KKM).

Disturbed with illegal police firing on dalits at the Ramabai Colony
in Mumbai, Ghogre committed suicide. The poet felt: 'The country is
not worth fighting for anymore' as had been witnessed by his friend,
singer Sambhaji Bhagat.

"When I learnt that the members of KKM were under police scanner and
are threatened to be declared as Naxalites, I decided to complete the
film as soon as possible and screen it across the country," Patwardhan
said while answered a question. "Raising a voice, does not mean
Naxalism, the members of KKM are forced to remain underground," he
lamented. KKM members, mainly educated dalits and professionals, were
working to raise awareness among people on various social issues
through their forceful street plays, songs and sahiris. "They are
harassed by the police for doing nothing, the group members have not
seen their houses since many months," Patwardhan said.

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