Posts Tagged ‘low caste’

Ideological racism, linguistic fascism and negationism among the Indian politicians – Baahubali becomes touching stone overcoming caste interpretation also!

April 21, 2017

Ideological racism, linguistic fascism and negationism among the Indian politicians  – Baahubali becomes touching stone overcoming caste interpretation also!

Kannada activists against Sathyaraj

Business motive attributed to the controversy: Praveen Shetty, the president of the KRV, was quoted in The News Minute[1] as saying “Why are directors [sic] pleading with the film chamber and senior actors in Karnataka? He had called us dogs during the Cauvery issue. We want a public apology from Sathyaraj, only then will the film be allowed to release in Karnataka.”[2] A few months ago, Baahubali 2 became the hottest film in the Karnataka trade, and many tried to procure it. But the producers of the film could not get the price that they were asking[3]. This led to a lot of jealousy and rivalry in the local trade, which may have led to raking up a 10-year old issue, which nobody imagined. Whether, the opposition has linguistic chauvinism, financial intricacies and business rivalry or otherwise, the hidden truth cannot be brushed aside. Now the film is going to be directly marketed in Karnataka by Arka Media, the producers, via NM Entertainment Sudhir. Meanwhile hectic parleys are going on to sort out the issue over the ban, which has snowballed into a political row[4].

Kattappa kiiled Baahubali

The actor Sathyaraj and his political role: There has been a lot of furore over the release of “Baahubali: The Conclusion” in Karnataka (scheduled for April 28, 2017), based on certain statements made by Tamil actor Sathyaraj during the Cauvery water crisis[5]. Sathyaraj plays Kattappa, a pivotal character, in the two-part film[6]. Producer Prasad Devineni from Arka Media Works tells us, “We plan on coming to Bengaluru soon to interact with fans and thank them for the support. We also want to appeal to the protesting organizations to support us when we are in the city.” The involvement of actors in the social and political issues has turned into a new twist in this way, affecting the release of a film. Perhaps, the cine-world has to learn that their members should restrict their polemics within the studios and sets and they cannot go beyond such limits enter into other areas to give discourses. There have been actors, who want to become politicians have been playing sage diplomatically avoiding controversies, but, Sathyaraj has been of different kind. Baahubali might have made him national or even international actor known to many, but, once his background is known, the business partners may not be comfortable with his extreme views and ideology.

Satyuaraj speech - Kannadigas opposed

Sathyaraj, Nagaraj and Baaahubali: Director S S Rajamouli sought to distance himself and his Baahubali 2 team from comments allegedly made by actor Sathyaraj that have led to a protest against the film’s release in Karnataka[7]. Rajamouli said the filmmakers were in no way related to the remarks made by Sathyaraj. “The producer and I want to clarify on the issue… The comments must have pained some of you but we don’t have any relation to it. Those were (his) personal comments and were made some nine years ago,” the director said in a video message on his official Twitter page. The controversy broke out after a video in which Sathyaraj allegedly made “derogatory” comments against Kannada activists went viral[8]. What Sathyaraj spoke might be nine years ago, but, Nagaraj has made it current by responding point by point. However, his speech has no takers, as every one, who knows about Sathyaraja, knows very well, he has been a staunch Periyarist, atheist, pro-Tamil separatist and anti-Hindu ideologist. In fact, in his movies, he has always exhibited such ideologies from Vedam puthithu to others. In ine movie, he shoots an astrologer dead asking a question, “Tell me how long you will you live”, when replies that he would live more, he finishes him off, i.e, just to prove that astrology is bogus. He has even donned the role of EVR in “Periyar”. Very often, he used to speak in atheist forums against Hindus, Hindu religion and belief system. As for as Nagaraj is concerned, Tamil people knew nothing, but, only through Sathyaraj, as he himself talked about Katal Nagaraj.

Kattappa brings controversy - Baahubali

Rajamouli’s appeal to the opposing groups: In a statement, filmmaker SS Rajamouli had expressed his gratitude to the Kannada audience and said[9], “It’s known that actor Sathyaraj is playing a significant role in the film. It has come to my attention that a few of his earlier comments had hurt a large section of you. I feel it’s my responsibility to clarify the issue. Baahubali has no connection to Sathyaraj’s remarks. He has only acted in a role in the film. He took his remuneration for it. Sathyaraj’s comments are his personal opinion. Our view is that his personal opinion shouldn’t trouble the film that he acted in. Yet, as responsible people, we have spoken about the situation with Sathyaraj over the phone. We don’t have more power than this. Sathyaraj had made those remarks nine years ago. After that, several films of his have released. The films he acted and produced have been released in Karnataka. Baahubali: The Beginning had also released. We request you to receive Baahubali: The Conclusion as well as the earlier films. If Baahubali: The Conclusion is stopped, Sathyaraj won’t suffer any loss. The problem is for the technicians and producers who have worked hard for five years on the film and for Kannada distributors and movie audiences. I urge you to not show anger against Sathyaraj on Baahubali.”

Dr Sathyaraj - donning EVR atheist

The peculiar Tamilnadu politics with codified and well-scripted agenda: As for as Tamilnadu is concerned, the people connected with cine-field have been successful in becoming politicians, powerful politicians, chief ministers and Central ministers also. In turn, such political ascendancy has also helped their business prospective and hence, cinema and politics have become inseparable for the Dravidian ideologists. The strategy has to be inclusive Dravidian ideology, Tamil separatism, anti-north, anti-Hindi, anti-Sanskrit, anti-Brahmin principles incorporated wherever possible, even if not possible, they have to be included without fail. EVR, Anna, Karunanidhi, MGR, Jayalalita and others have risen to top only because of their political and cinema connections. Of course, the Karunanidhi family and now AIADMK feuds expose the lack of strong leadership and dilution of “dravidian ideology”. This has made others tempting join politics, but, Sivaji Ganesan, SSR, T. Rajendran have suffered a lot. Rajnikanth has been cautious without taking any final decision. Kamal Hassan has now showing his political intention, but, only exhibited through twitter postings. However, individual powerful leaders of whatever nature, their exclusiveness has proved the dangerous decline after their death.

Sc groups wanted to ban Baahubali in 2015

Caste interpretation appearing in 2017: The casteist interpretation has been given to Baahubali by some columnists[10]. The Quint has interpreted in a characteristic way, “SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster ‘Bahubali: The Beginning’ has won the national award for best flm. Congratulations to the team….Here’s a quick peep into our archives – an argument that the movie actually shows how to keep dalits, adivasis and women suppressed…… Remember Agent Orange and Napalm in the Vietnam war? Well, Baahubali has its own version of burning people alive, as long as they are dark adivasis… obviously named KALAkeyas. Katappa, a great soldier and leader even eats separately from his ‘masters’. Why? Because hum choti jaat ke hain.” Thus goes the comments[11]. Thus, in one stroke, it accused “Baahubali” for depicting all war crimes, social exploitation and nuclear to chemical weapon usage against the tribals and others for the survival of higher castes. Perhaps, none noticed such allegory, euphemism or joke!

Pagadaikku piranthavan - opposed by SCs in Tamilnadu 2015

Baahubali faced casteist wrath, but, susidised in JUly 2015 in Tamilnadu[12]: In July 2017, a movie theatre in Madurai playing the hugely popular South Indian hit Baahubali was attacked with petrol bombs by a Dalit group for featuring a line (Pagadaikku Pirandhavan) considered derogatory against a sub-caste of the Dalit community. Subsequently, writer Madan Karky apologised for any hurt caused. Baahubali may be in the news for featuring an anti-Dalit line in the climax, but Dalit activists, filmmakers and scholars point out caste-based slurs have always been a part of Tamil Cinema. “Caste-based slurs such as Chandala, which denotes a sub-caste of a Scheduled Caste community in Tamil Nadu, have been so casually used in comedy-sequences by Tamil comedians like Vadivelu and Vivek. In Ameer’s Paruthiveeran, a super hit song Yele Yelelo, the hero actually calls his girl friend Sandali – which means that she is a daughter of a prostitute. We live in a society where such songs are celebrated,” says Punitha Pandian, editor of Dalit Murasu, a magazine that writes critically about social issues. Pandian remarked that often ignorance is given as an excuse and urged the civil society – intellectuals, activists and media – to do more to sensitise the masses. “This is not a problem of Dalits alone. We have been constantly talking and writing about these things but we have reached a stage where only a petrol bomb can force the society to talk about it. Filmmakers must be sensitised about social issues,” he says. What does the film industry make of the accusation that caste-based slurs have always been a part of Tamil films? Film-maker S.P. Jhananathan says that most young and budding writers are seldom aware of social issues, and suggests that the writers’ union must be actively involved in raising consciousness. “Most film-makers and writers are not aware of social issues. Film-makers and writers are also cut from the same fabric of society; how can they be any different,” he asks. Asked if there is a tendency to smuggle in the idea of caste pride into the narrative to appeal to politically dominant communities, Jhananathan says it is very much possible. “If the film directly deals with the issue of caste rivalry between dominant castes and Dalits, one need not shy away from talking about caste. But I would urge film-makers to be open about it. The problem is when caste pride is inserted in a film which has nothing to do with it,” he says.  The interpretation continued[13].

© Vedaprakash

21-04-2017

Why Kattappa kiiled Baahubali

[1] Thenewsminite, ‘No Baahubali release without Sathyaraj apology’: Kannada groups refuse to budge, Wednesday, Aprul 19, 2017. 12:58.

[2] http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/no-baahubali-release-without-sathyaraj-apology-kannada-groups-refuse-budge-60602

[3] Firstpost, Baahubali 2’s Karnataka release in jeopardy; did trade disagreement snowball into political row?, Sreedhar Pillai, Apr, 20 2017 13:49:17 IST

[4] http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/baahubali-2s-karnataka-release-in-jeopardy-did-trade-disagreement-snowball-into-political-row-3394296.html

[5] The Times of India, Don’t show anger against Sathyaraj on Baahubali, Sunayana Suresh| TNN | Apr 21, 2017, 12.00 AM IST.

[6] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/kannada/movies/news/dont-show-anger-against-sathyaraj-on-baahubali-ss-rajamouli/articleshow/58277733.cms

[7] Hidusthan Times, Sathyaraj’s comments not related to Baahubali: SSRajamouli, Updated: Apr 20, 2017 17:20 IST

[8] http://www.hindustantimes.com/regional-movies/sathyaraj-s-comments-not-related-to-baahubali-ss-rajamouli/story-CFXA2to86YiOIssO3j2gFK.html

[9]

[10] TheQuint.com, National Awards-Winner ‘Baahubali’ an Upper-Caste Male Conspiracy?

The Quint, March 28, 2016, 12:23 pm

[11] https://www.thequint.com/videos/2015/12/29/baahubali-the-beginning-caste-class-gender-satire-cinemcism

[12] The Hindu, Caste references polarise Tamil film fans, CHENNAI: JULY 27, 2015 01:56 IST UPDATED: JULY 27, 2015 01:56 IST.

[13] Subagunarajan, Editor of the Tamil film journal Kaatchi Pizhai, says the fundamental problem lies in the way such casteist slurs have been embedded in the Tamil language. “Words such as chandala and kepmari, both of which denote the name of a caste, have been used as swear words. This is why Periyar called Tamil a barbaric language,” he says. However, Subagunarajan fears that society may be heading to a stage where film-makers and writers cannot discuss caste issues at all. “The courts must be proactive and not admit such cases unless it is very pressing. If the film uses a casteist slur to underscore oppression, then it is not an issue. It becomes an issue when it is used to elicit laughs,” he says hoping that the film industry will take measures to correct itself. D. Ravi Kumar, general secretary of Viduthalai Ciruthaigal Katchi, says that while the issue needs to be debated in society, he disagrees with the form of protest. “The swear words have a connection to the specific social history of oppressed people. In a democratic society, we cannot continue to use it and we need to debate it. However, the form of protest is unacceptable. Democratic issues cannot be communicated in an undemocratic way,” he says.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/baahubali-in-caste-issues/article7467345.ece

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