National Awards-Winner ‘Baahubali’ an Upper-Caste Male Conspiracy?

National Awards-Winner ‘Baahubali’ an Upper-Caste Male Conspiracy?

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SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster ‘Bahubali: The Beginning’ has won the national award for best flm. Congratulations to the team.

Here’s a quick peep into our archives – an argument that the movie actually shows how to keep dalits, adivasis and women suppressed.

Baahubali: The Beginning is one of the most successful Indian films ever made. And why not? It has everything – family drama, romance and some truly kick-ass visuals.

But Baahubali isn’t just a mythological film which looks amazing.

It’s actually an upper-caste male conspiracy that shows you how to keep dalits, adivasis and women suppressed.

Baahubali: The Beginning also gives feudal monarchs a guidebook on how to maintain power. Move over Machiavelli, and Queen Elizabeth, and Rahul gandhi... take notes.

The first half of the film revolves around Shiva (actually Baahubali jr) and Avantika, a girl he starts fantasising about, after finding a mask of her face. It turns out she is not the sexual, objectified stuff of his dreams, but an independent, political-minded revolutionary.

Does Shiva accept this woman as a real person, who had a life and career before he came along? Of course not! He proceeds to assault her, and forces her to wear make-up! Of course, once he ‘makes her a woman’ she falls into his… ahem… arms.

As the Queen mother and mass murderer Sivagami says while assassinating her courtiers in cold blood: Mera vachan hi hai shashan. In Baahubali land, if you disagree with the your ruler’s decision, you die.

Remember Agent Orange and Napalm in the Vietnam war? Well, Baahubali has its own version of burning people alive, as long as they are dark adivasis… obviously named KALAkeyas. They speak in a garbled language, which has clicks, whistles and vowel-heavy words. At one point, they are basically saying ‘ooga booga’.

After saying that the Kalakeyas do not follow the rules of war, Amarendra Baahubali has no problems using the most brutal tactics he can – the ancient equivalent of chemical weapons. But then, how could great rulers see ‘others’ like adivasis as human?

It’s not like all lower castes are bad. If they accept their place, and internalise caste hierarchy, they become good guys.

Katappa, a great soldier and leader even eats separately from his ‘masters’. Why? Because hum choti jaat ke hain.

Editor: Nitin Sharma
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
Producer: Esha Paul
Script: Aakash Joshi

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