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Reception of Movies Based on Dalit Issues

Ms Alisha Chandra

PhD Scholar, Benaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India


Caste and its nature in India is an ulcer that is weakening the country fro m within. In recent t imes, especially in the age of mult imedia advancements, the monster of caste system is taking an even uglier shape. As recent cases of caste based discrimination are also being reported from countries where Indians are seeking jobs or have been working for some t ime now. I t is important that one understands the intricacies of c aste system and crit iques and abandons the Brahmanical discourse that not only recommendsbut also advocates the subjugation and exploitation of Dalits.

India is home to Bollywoo d which produces approximately 1000 movies a year, and these movies earn up to 400 Cr. INR. It is clear from these numbers that Indians are greatly fascinated by mainstream Bollywood movies and hence it can be predicted that their viewpoints, their feelings and t he ir overall experiences of life are influenced and modified by what they wa tch on the big screen. Henceforth, I shall use movies and their representation of Dalits as a medium to study the plight of Dalits and their t reatment by the Savarna society.

In recent t imes Indian cinema has started boasting about movies that are based on real life events and talk about the real issues that the society faces. There are movies like the ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan’ franchise that talks about the issues of homosexuals and male sexual issues. Also, movies like ‘Pink’ and ‘Thappad’ talk about the r ights of women as entrusted to them by the Indian Constitution. This clearly implies that Bollywood can talk about almost any topic in recent t imes and if it is relevant enough the audience is ready to not only watch such movies but also make positive changes in their outlook towards various social issues.

This research intends to discuss the representation of Dalit in mainstream Indian cinema and how the viewers have reacted to these feature films and what does their reaction represent . My research shall analyze the movies Aakrosh ( 2010 ) and Article 15 ( 2019) to discuss how the two movies successfully represent the condition of the Scheduled Castes in modern India as both the movies are based on real life incidents. This I shall accomplishby analyzing the box office collection of these movies and also by closely studying the reviews of these movies both from the experts and from the documented reviews by t he audiencesas posted on various social media platforms.

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