It is not just Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, which is facing the ire of the right-wing groups, their fresh target is a National Award winning movie set to be released on November 17. Directed by Sandeep Bhalachandra Patil, Dashakriya, won 64th National Award (Silver lotus)/ Rajat Kamal) for Best feature film in regional languages in 2017.
Based on a popular Marathi novel by the same name and written by Baba Bhand, Dashakriya portrays how the Kirvants (Brahmin community) commercialize and emotionally exploit the bereaved families during funeral rites. The movie focuses on how even the Kirvant and kids get involved in the business due to extreme poverty.
According to a report in The Wire, the right-wing organisations in Pune — Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasangh and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti — have demanded a ban on the release of the movie, claiming that it portrays Brahmins and Hindus in a bad light. They came to this conclusion after watching the trailer of the movie that released on November 9.
InUth spoke to the director of the movie and asked him about the protest against his directorial debut on the big screen. Sandeep told us, “Our film is cleared by National Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) which is the only body in India authorised to decide whether a film is to be screened or not. We refuse to accept the authority of any other parallal or self-proclaimed censor board which is trying to create social discord under the pretext of traditions and religion. This attempt by certain groups to oppose Dashakriya under religious pretext might as well be an effort to gain limelight and make the headlines.”
He added, “It has won three national awards, two state awards and two awards at Pune International Film Festival(PIFF). It comments on the inequalities and in our society. The movie is now a matter of national pride and protesting against it shows their utter disrespect towards the nation. There are several Brahmin actors who have acted and they did not find anything wrong with it because it only comments on the social inequalities. We respect all social groups alike and do not wish to hurt anyone’s religious or communal sentiments.”
“How can these groups decide anything by watching a two-minute trailer? They should watch the movie first and then decide if the movie shows Brahmins in an inappropriate manner. We want people to come in large numbers to watch the film and prove to the anti-social and para-state elements that the audience can distinguish right from wrong,” he further added.