The whole world is advocating for #BlackLivesMatter and fighting for the injustice shown to the African American community. The solidarity, we Indians have shown is remarkable. While many of us are speaking up about oppression of the black community in America, we are still unaware of the overwhelming discrimination of the lower castes in our own country.
India has been plagued with the Caste System for centuries, and yet it has never gained such traction and support the way Black Lives Matter has. It’s time we educate ourselves on the injustice shown in our own country and fight for it.
Here are 7 films that depict the Evils of the caste system in India:
1. Manjhi – The Mountain Man
Based on a true story, Ketan Mehta’s Manjhi – The Mountain Man is about a Dalit man (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who decides to break down a whole mountain after his wife (Radhika Apte) dies while trying to cross it. It highlights the hardships Dalits have to face and their low status in society. This is an emotionally powerful movie, that everyone must see.
Watch it on- JioCinema
Ajay Sinha’s Khap is based on a village run by a Khap Panchayat that carries out honour killings in inter-caste marriages. It’s a very underrated movie and portrays the stigma and prejudice that surrounds inter-caste relationships. It’s soul stirring and will have a deep impact on you. It gives you a very realistic glimpse into the casteism that still exists in rural India. We highly recommend you see Khap.
Watch it on- Youtube
3. Article 15
Article 15 is a brilliant film that calls out the hypocrisy of the justice system when it comes to dealing with crimes committed on the lower castes. This Anubhav Sinha movie revolves around the rape and murder of 2 Harijan girls, and the injsutice towards their case. The presiding police officer (Ayushmann Khurrana) investigates deeper into the case, only to discover the grave discrimination, inhuman conditions and sheer hatred the lower castes face. Article 15 is extremely gripping and will leave you thinking about it for days.
Watch it on- Netflix
Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s Marathi film, Sairat is based on inter-caste marriages and honour killing. A lower caste Prashant (Akash Thoshar) and upper caste Archana (Rinku Rajguru) fall in love and elope, however the casteism prevalent in their society causes a lot of hurdles for them. Sairat is simple, poignat and well made. It was also made into a Bollywood adaptation, Dhadak, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar.
5. Ankur- The Seedling
Shyam Benegal’s Ankur is a movie that deals with multiple issues that plague our society such as patriarchy, alcoholism, adultery and most importantly, the caste system. It’s an extremely well written and impactful movie that highlights the double standards in society. Debuting Shabana Azmi and Anant Nag, Ankur will leave you speechless.
Watch it on- Hotstar
6. Bandit Queen
Bandit Queen is based on the life of Phoolan Devi, who was sold, married as a child and exposed to rape, violence and injustice. She endured a life of hardship, until she decided to avenge it and become, the Bandit Queen aka a bad-ass feminist vigilante. This movie was so good that it became India’s official selection for The Academy Awards aka the Oscars in 1994. Bandit Queen is a story of a women’s bravery and outlines patriarchy, sexual violence, child marriage, rape and most importantly, the caste system in India. It is a movie that everyone must see.
Watch it on- Youtube
Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan is about a privately funded college that faces the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the OBC quota in educational institutions. It powerfully highlights the corruption and discrimination of this reservation and brings to light the real motives behind it. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpayee, Aarakshan is a movie that should be on your watch list.
Watch it on- Netflix, Shemaroo Me, AirtelXStream
Societal discrimination is a worldwide problem, especially in our own country. We hope these movies help you understand it better and voice your support in eradicating them.
Did we miss out on a movie that hihglights the Indian Caste System? Let us know!
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