The 250 million Dalits (untouchable) in India are up against latest Bolywood movie ‘Aarakshan’ (means ‘Reservation’ in English) which attacks a few minority privileges they have in the country’s medical and engineering schools, universities and jobs.
Three Indian large states, Uttar Paradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have banned the screening of the movie on Friday over fears it could stir caste tensions.
The film is directed by Prakash Jha and stars some of top Bollywood actors and actresses, such as, Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali and Deepika Padukone. The ban could cost the movie producer over $3.5 million.
The film stars were given police bodyguards and police also guarded the cinemas which did show the movie. The situation has reminded many people of Hindu extemists’ stoning and burning theatres showing Shah Rukh Khan’s movie My Name Is Khan last year.
Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand, the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state’s best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar who will do anything for his Sir. Of Deepak’s love for Prabhakar’s daughter, Poorbi, of more »his friendship with Sushant. It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future. Centered on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court’s order on reservation, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand
Caste discrimination runs deep in India which has always been part of Hindu religion and Hindu culture.
The great majority of the three Hindu upper castes are incensed over the quota policy, which ensures lower caste get spaces in certain fields.
The great majority of Christian community in India are converts from Hindu low-caste communities. They converted during the British colonial period to upgrade their social status. Currently, Islam is becoming more popular among the India’s untouchable communities.
India’s neighbor, Pakistan, too has quota system in central and provincial governments and country’s fove parliaments for it 10 million non-Muslim population. However, education is open to all in schools, colleges and universities.
See official trailer here.