Ayushmann Opens up About ‘White Saviour Complex’ in Article 15

We have a Dalit hero in the film too, Ayushmann said. 

2 min read
Hindi Female

Since the trailer of Article 15 dropped, there has been a series of controversies and doubts around the film and the subject it deals with. While some fans lauded Ayushmann Khurrana for picking up the film with such a sensitive subject, some have also questioned the need for him to be portrayed as a ‘Brahmin’ making it seem like ‘white savior complex’. It also got flak from a Brahmin community for showing them in bad light.

The actor finally opened up about the questions surrounding the film, in an interview to Anupama Chopra. He said, “India is a pluralistic society. We have to strike a balance. In Mulk, there was a Hindu girl who was fighting for Muslims. It has to be like that. That Hindu girl has to be aspirational for all the extremists.”

“In Article 15, there has to be a Brahmin or a so-called upper caste who is fighting for the Dalits or the reserved category. He is the one who is leading by example. It is obvious that the downtrodden will fight for themselves, but in our country you need to have that ‘hero’ who can fight for them.”
Ayushmann Khurrana

On being asked about the need for his character to be a Brahmin and not a dalit, Ayushmann clarified that the film has a Dalit hero too. “There is a Dalit hero also in our film. We have taken inspiration from Chandrashekhar, Rohith Vemula and different characters,” he said.

Chandrashekhar Azad is a Dalit leader and the founder of Bhim Army, a Dalit organisation. He was arrested in relation to the Saharanpur violence in 2017. Rohith Vemula was a student, from the reserved category, in University of Hyderabad, who committed suicide after being expelled from the University as a result of a tiff with ABVP members. Both of them created a stir in the country in relation with Dalit rights and casteism issues.


Article 15 is based on the 2014 Badaun rape and murder case in Uttar Pradesh. After much speculation and investigation, it was found that few upper-caste men in the village had raped the Dalit girls and hanged them from a tree. Ayushmann Khurrana plays the role of the investigating officer in them film.

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Topics:  Ayushmann Khurrana   Article 15 

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