Exclusive | Dashakriya Not Unfair to Brahmins: Maker Defends Film

Right-wing groups allege the movie shows Brahmins in a bad light and propagates casteism.

Indian Cinema
3 min read
Hindi Female

Right-wing groups in Pune have demanded a ban on an upcoming award-winning Marathi film Dashakriya for allegedly showing Brahmins in a bad light. According to the Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasabha, the movie portrays Kirvants, the brahmins performing the last rites after a death, as money-mongering god-men. The film has already been cleared by the censor board with a ‘U’ certificate.

Sandip Patil, director of the film, spoke exclusively to The Quint expressing his disappointment.

Patil said that such protests against the film are a commercialised exploitation and the film is a very balanced one that does not hurt the sentiments of any caste or community. He said that such right-wing groups target films like Dashakriya, Padmavati and Nude, give it a casteist colour, and fulfill their ulterior motives.

If I had to have a separate screening for right-wing groups like these, then why do we even have a censor board? If such parallel censor boards come up in every other street, then it will be a very dangerous situation for the Maharashtra film industry and the entire film industry.
Sandip Patil, Director of Dashakriya, to The Quint

Calling the protests a political stunt, Patil said that speculations are being drawn based on a two-minute trailer of the film. He even offered the Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasabha to come to the premier of the film and discuss any grievances against the film after watching it, but they refused.

Anand Dave, President of the Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasabha told The Wire that they have asked the police commissioner of Pune to ensure that the film is not released and also told theatre owners to stall the screenings.

The ritual of performing last rites of forefathers is followed by every religion and community. It is a part of worship. But only Hindu beliefs are wrongfully targeted. We will not tolerate this.
Anand Dave, President of Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasabha, to Maharashtra Times

Patil says that if the government has honored the film with multiple awards, it is also its duty to protect the film against such groups.

We will demand the concerned authorities to provide protection to us. If they have honored us with awards, it is now their duty to protect us. It was supposed to release in 160 screens, but after these threats, it is releasing in only 96 screens
Sandip Patil

Dashakriya’s screenplay is based on a 1994 national award-winning Marathi novel of the same name written by Baba Bhand

When questioned about the controversy, Bhand said, “The novel that I wrote 22 years ago talks on social discrimination and inequality. It does not talk against Brahmins or Hindus. The book has been translated into many languages, and many universities use it as part of their syllabus. I request them to watch the film and then decided their opinion.”

Directed by Sandip Patil, Dashakriya stars notable Marathi actors Dilip Prabhavalkar and Manoj Joshi in lead roles. Slated to release on 17 November, the film won the 64th National Award for ‘Best Feature Film in a Regional Language’ and the best screenplay.

(With inputs from The Wire, The Asian Age and Maharashtra Times)


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