Jeremy Northam, an actor once said, “All the great novels, all the great films and all the great dramas are fictions that actually tell us the truth about human nature or about human situations.” It is quite obvious that, we don’t witness any of these facts in movies these days. Of late, movies are only about entertainment for three hours, to find out if the girl really falls for the hero in the end or to complete the most impossible missions and save the world.
However, movies that speak about social issues, crimes, discrimination and corruption are no where to be heard off. What we read in our history books, may not be the entire truth. When Anand Patwardhan showed us how history really took place, in his latest work, one would be disgusted to see, what the educated lot did to the lower community and still how they continue to be inhumane towards them.
When the directors and screenwriters, where on the look out for the next impossible plot, Anand Patwardhan, a renowned documentary filmmaker from Mumbai, was at the crime scene that disturbed the nation years ago. He was there on a quest to find out the truth behind his friend’s suicide.
After over 14 years of filming and collecting facts, Anand screened his latest documentary titled Jai Bhim Comrade, for the first time in the city at Mount Carmel College on Tuesday. The three-and-a-half hour documentary spoke about, the life and situation of the Dalit community in Mumbai. The documentary started off, by screening the news of the suicide of Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, who hung himself to protect his community. Connecting the dots, the documentary showed us that, the Dalits were never treated with respect and are still considered as untouchables in certain parts of India, and especially in Mumbai. The crowd learnt that, the revolt between Dalits and upper caste Hindu society was provoked in 2007, when a garland of footwear, was seen on the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar in the Dalit colony. The documentary stressed on this issue and also shed some light on the relationship between the two communities.
Disrespecting the statue, led to unforgettable results in the Indian history. Even before the Dalits, could react to the situation, the police opened fire in the colony and killed over ten Dalits. To every one’s surprise, it was later learnt that, political leaders influenced the higher authorities to respond that way. This resulted to a state, where the Dalits were not only fighting hunger and poverty, but also the government and higher communities. Despite, many communities being against the Dalits, they still believed in non-violence and followed the teachings of Dr Ambedkar. Their protests were mainly peaceful marches or singing motivational and patriotic songs in front of a large gathering of their community.
Anand has brought out the naked truth about the difficulties that the community faces and how girls are treated as sex slaves to the higher class community.
This is one of those documentaries that every Indian should watch. The ideology of staying in the 21st century will definitely fade away when you see the politicians in the name of caste and religion seeking votes to rule over people. The documentary is well scripted. His efforts will make surely make everyone think, what kind of development do we need? 30 per cent of the entire population are Dalits, who are being raped and murdered almost everyday by other communities all over India. Anand said, “We are looking forward to dub this, in all regional languages and reach out to as many people as possible. This is the first documentary that the government gave permission to screen without any difficulties. Usually all my works are banned by the government and only after spending some time in the court, I was granted permission to screen the documentary in public places.”