Int’l Emmy Awards: Indian Documentary On Caste Violence Up For Win

Sandhya hopes the accreditation from Emmy will help translate caste violence to become a topic for debate in India.

Updated24 Nov 2019, 04:58 AM IST
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“There was a spine-chilling CCTV footage of the way Shankar and Kausalya were attacked,” says Sadhana Subramaniam, director of India’s Forbidden Love: An Honour Killing on Trial. Sadhana’s movie, which is based on India’s caste violence, has recently been nominated for the prestigious International Emmy Awards.

For rejecting caste discrimination and getting married, Shankar and Kausalya were attacked in broad daylight on 13 March 2016 in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur district. Shankar was a Dalit, while Kaushalya belonged to the Thevar community. While Shankar was killed in that attack, Kausalya lived on to ensure her husband’s killer’s were punished.

Sadhana, in her documentary, decided to follow this story till the verdict was delivered by the trial court.

Speaking to The Quint about the criticism the film received, she said, “[Those with] Pro-Dalit movements obviously thought that an irresponsible platform was given to the mother. She speaks in the film. She was being tried for the murder of Shankar.  Later, she was released. So, quite a lot of criticism came about that... [saying that] giving them a platform, it is almost justifying the murder.”

Adding that this was a criticism she often heard, she said, “Since it is a social issue, it becomes very important to look into these perspectives. And also, honour killing is not just an an act, it also reflects as to how as a society we are evolving in India. Which then becomes an important part of the film.”

Ahead of the awards that will be announced on 25 November in New York, USA, Sadhana says the experience of her first film making it to this prestigious stage has been humbling.

“I was born to Tamilian parents in Mysore and raised here till I turned 16. I worked as an investment banker for about seven years before I decided to do make my career change in 2016, which was when I went and studied MA in investigative journalism and documentary film-making,” she says.

Sadhana hopes the accreditation from the Emmy will help translate caste violence to become a topic of debate in India.

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Published: 23 Nov 2019, 04:01 PM IST
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