Richa Responds to Criticism of 'Madam Chief Minister' Poster

The first poster of the film was criticised for adding to the stereotypical representation of Dalits.

2 min read
A poster of Madam Chief Minister had been criticised.

Richa Chadha is all set to star in Madam Chief Minister. However, after the first poster of the film was released, a number of people took to social media to express their disappointment. They called out the makers for adding to the stereotypical representation of Dalits.

Now, Richa Chadha has issued a statement addressing the criticism. She began by writing that her 'privileged eyes' only saw the broom as a 'prop'.

"This film was a learning experience for me, for us all. The promotions were no different. The first poster that was released faced severe criticism, rightly so. What to me (and my privileged eyes) was a mere prop used by my character in a scene , came across as a stereotypical portrayal of Dalits for many of our people".
Richa Chadha, Actor

The actor added that it was an 'unintentional oversight' and apologised if the poster hurt sentiments. "As an actor, I receive the communication for posting, complete with the copy, handles and hashtags. Needless to say, I have no role in the designing of promotional materials. By saying this, I am not throwing the makers under the bus. They realised this inadvertent error and took this criticism in their stride. They responded immediately by retracting the objectionable poster and by releasing a new poster the very next day. It was a regrettable and a completely unintentional oversight, not a deliberate insinuation. We are sorry. Our heart is in the right place. Hopefully you will see that for yourself when you watch the film".

Richa Chadha also wrote about what her character Tara means to her. "We have made this film for love, as though we were on a mission to tell this story. Tara, one feisty oddball of a woman, fights patriarchy, caste oppression, brutal violence along with the usual betrayals of politics, to rise to the top and affect change. And she does so with incredible dignity and courage. I could relate to her righteous rage. She spoke to me. As the film nears release, I am becoming aware that I have to say goodbye to Tara. I am also aware that she will never entirely leave my side".

The poster in question was criticised for multiple reasons. Many expressed outrage over a 'Savarna', 'upper-class' woman playing the role of an 'untouchable.' Others added that the broom, which is a known symbol of Dalit oppression, is being used as a prop and contributing to further stereotyping. Some also felt that the use of the word 'untouchables' in the given context was inappropriate.

Madam Chief Minister releases in theatres on 22 January.

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