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Asuran's win at the National Awards proves that the Film Industry needs to acknowledge 'caste'

As we all may already know, the Film Industry, probably due to conflicts with the Censor Board, neglects the existence and magnitude of caste and caste conflicts in the country. However, due to many examples, we can conclude that regional films have been quite bold in that sense, and have always been rewarded accordingly.

Dhanush’s portrayal of Sivasami, a lower caste farmland owner and ex-alcohol brewer, was extremely intense and supremely necessary. It was high quality acting for sure. But it was the deeper connection that the movie brought which won recognition. There is an ending line in the movie, ‘If we own farmlands, they will seize it. If we have money, they will snatch it. But if we have education, they can never take it away from us.’ [Translation by Amazon Prime Video]

This line negated class conflicts being equated to caste conflicts by addressing that lower caste people are treated like ‘lowlives’ (term used in the movie) regardless of the money in their banks or their social status. And I believe it is one of the most important lines in Film History.

As Sairat was remade into Dhadak, the issue of caste conflicts in the movie seems to have faded completely and taken the form of a class conflict which isn’t in any way the same thing.

When movies like Sairat and Asuran win at the National Awards, it speaks volumes of how movies need to adhere to certain realities and represent people from all spheres extensively. Dear Bollywood, if you’re reading this, please sense a pattern in the movies getting National Awards and try making a good film such as this once in a while instead of mindlessly seeking Box Office Numbers.


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