Bandit Queen filming and the caste system

The village where I shot much of Bandit Queen was physically divided into the Lower and the Higher castes. You could tell. The low caste dwellings were not only on the lower part of the gentle hill, but built of mud and bits of trees, shrubs and any other material you could lay your hands on. Quite run down. On the rise of the hill was the Upper Caste village. Built of bricks and mortar. The people better dressed and looking healthier. Better fed and less dark from being land owners rather than agricultural labour.

On a really hot day I was scouting for locations in the low caste part of the village. My throat was dry and I leaned over the prickly bush fencing to a woman in a house and asked for some water. There was hesitation. She looked embarrassed and called out to her husband. I repeated my request. The husband too looked hesitant , and then finally apologized and said that they could not give me water to drink. I asked why.

“You will be going to have lunch at the ‘high caste’ house after this” was his reply. I was surprised. Lunch for the crew was normally served in one of the houses of the ‘higher caste’ families in the other side of the village. Everyone knew that. But his response intrigued me.

“So may I have some water before I go ” I asked.

“Sir, we are low caste people” He replied.

“So ?” I responded.

“The high caste people will not want you walking into their house after you have drunk water given by us”

I was taken aback. Who does not know about the caste system in India, but to come face to face with it like that was a bit of a shock.

“Well, it does not matter to me, and if you want, I will not tell them” I said.

“They will know. It is our duty to tell you this”

I realized how difficult it is to break a centuries old tradition that is ingrained into your psyche. Fear of retribution. Fear of imagined sin.

But I did get my small pitcher of water to quench my thirst , by promising the family that I will tell my hosts that I have dunk water from a low caste home before I enter their house. As I came to have lunch with the rest of the crew, I thought about forgetting the whole incident. But I had made a promise, so I informed the high caste host that I had just had drunk water from the hands of a low caste family.

The family looked at each other not knowing how to handle this. I was after all a known film maker from the city and to them therefore and important guest. I had put them in an awkward position. The head of the family resolved the issue.

” It’s ok. Just wash your hands outside the house before your step in”.

So vividly do I remember their young daughter stepping out with a small steel ‘lota’ (vessel) in her hand, and just outside the house symbolically pouring water over my hands, before I stepped into the house.

A small symbolic gesture that upheld centuries of oppression.

My previous post was a short story called ‘Brides of the Well’. It was written for the National Geographic book published last year called ‘ Written on Water’. Some arguments have turned to whether I should have used the caste system to tell the story, and in doing so am I anti Hindu and pro- Muslim. I found these arguments ridiculous. Writings come from interpretations of ones own life experiences.

My parents were refugees from Lahore during Partition. Being a doctor my father went back to Lahore to treat the injured and dying. He felt compelled to do so by his medical oath. Only a few times during his life time was I able to provoke him to talk about the horrendous violence he saw. Yet not once in his life did he ever express an anti Muslim sentiment. In fact when I almost married a Muslim girl my parents fully supported me, proud of the fact that her father was a great Urdu poet. He himself wrote Urdu.

“We lived like brothers and gave as much respect to each other’s festivals as we did to ours. Till partition came there was only harmony between communities in Lahore” Was all he ever said.

46 Responses to “Bandit Queen filming and the caste system”

  1. KAUSHAL KAVEKAR says:

    Hi Shekharji,
    Recently i saw Bandit Queen one more time in Pune International Film festival…Enjoyed the movie on big screen… 🙂 But dont know why… but the one more time i was felt ashamed of being part of this cast system… the only question remains WHY WE NEED ANY CAST SYSTEM ?…. everybody everywhere segregating people by different criterias cast,religion,income,territory and etc … there might be more cases like Phoolan’s story… this is a story of rural India.. urban story is reverse here, upper class faces discrimination at all stages education…job..society. No matter how brilliant n poor (financially ) upper class guys are.. they get no admission…reservations… No matter how great performer you are.. in govt job u wont get promotions… dats the situation 🙂 kuchhh nahi hoga yahan ……
    Yahan pe jeene ke liye kamaane me lage hai. kya revolution karenge sab…

  2. kavitha says:

    On the heels of India losing one of its doyens of classical music, got this from a friend who remarked there cannot be a greater tribute to Pt. Bhimsen Joshi than with music itself — a moving and inspiring video that is symbolic and reflective of a deep yearning for a spirit of integration of hearts and minds by many who understand the true spirit of India, its roots as a nation that once truly embraced and propagated the gigantic ideals of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam beyond petty practices & interpretations of humanity based on caste, gender, religion or other racial divides.

    http://goo.gl/YeUZU

  3. Janita says:

    I understand.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BharatWaves.com, Sharique Siddiqui, Indian, Sharique Siddiqui, Karthik and others. Karthik said: RT @shekharkapur: Bandit Queen filming and the Caste System http://tinyurl.com/6ybdlza […]

  5. brahmastra says:

    We lived like brothers and gave as much respect to each others festivals as we did to ours. Till partition came there was only harmony between communities in Lahore Was all he ever said.

    The answers are staring you in your face. The partition that comes between people is of separatist religions that patent external Gods and imbibe the primitive animalistic territorial nature of domination to subjugate and “convert” anyone who does not believe in that patented God. Until and unless such toxic religious schools of thought are decimated, how do you expect to have social harmony?
    The unity consciousness that is the core essence of all beings is the real God, and it is your own deep self. This blissful and harmonious self, which you get glimpses of as a kid or now and then, is the real God. The simple question to ask is: Which religious teachings propagate this eternal truth more than the others? Would you not agree that Hinduism is the answer? Almost every scripture of Hinduism constantly emphasizes the divinity within, and reverses the outward flow of mind.

    This is the main problem with pseudo-secularists. In their inability to comprehend the depth of this simplicity, and thereby and taking an overtly anti-hindu stance, they are being anti-secular.

    All these other separatist religions should not be encouraged at all. It is also very important to look at people separately from their religion. This is not about going after people, it is going after the virus of religions and fake external Gods.

  6. brahmastra says:

    Pt. Bhimsen Joshi – another powerful link to the primordial gone with the wind

  7. Somaya says:

    I read your previous post (Brides of the Well) yesterday and was far more fascinated by the responses than by the story itself, no offence! I’m not against anyone holding on to old views and religious beliefs, whether or not I agree with them personally, but I do have issues with people getting so verbally violent and trying to force their opinions on others. The arguments against you and your story were fairly shocking and I was sorry to read them.

    A couple of years ago, I met you at the Nehru Centre in London when you came to introduce a documentary about the Cinema of Partition. I was one of the girls from Lahore who came to chat with you after the screening and you mentioned your father’s house in my hometown etc. I found you then and find you now to be a moderate, intelligent voice, ready to question convention and offer views of sanity. It’s sad that so many years after the Partition, there are fewer and fewer reasoning voices like yours.

    So thanks for that story and this one. And I hope you continue to say what you think despite the criticism.

  8. Somaya says:

    Sorry…I meant to say ‘antagonistic’ and not ‘verbally violent’:

    “I do have issues with people getting so verbally violent and trying to force their opinions on others”

  9. Bettina says:

    What a coincidence! Four days ago I saw Bandit Queen for the first time, I really was impressed!! It is harsh and unsettling. It is not an easy task to show the negative side of a country, but its important; people cannot continue in their negligence of the suffering they cause to others.
    There couldnt be better actress to portray this personage, Sima Biswas was magnificent!! The landscape, the villages, the houses and the bandits are so authentic! I felt as if I journeyed to India…

  10. parmeshwarichoudhary says:

    From a beautiful love story to a hate story like Bandit Queen…I wonder how you will portray Scarlett OHara of GONE WITH A WIND if you ever decide to do that.And.. as to cast-ism,we Indians do not feel ashamed to call even our ex President DALIT RASTRAPATI.Your narration is beautiful

  11. RajuK says:

    Shekharji,

    Your article has “caste system” in it’s title, but it brings in the hindu-muslim divide in the body of the article. Both of these are ills of Indian society. The caste system sort of also existed in the west, as can be seen in films like “Pride and Prejudice”. The religious divide is also surfacing in the west with Al Qaida on one side gaining prominence, and the economic power shifting to China & India.

    It is basically a divide-and-rule policy. The rulers are happy with it, till one of them ends up in the other side, like you needing water from the lower-caste, and the upper caste not wanting to disown you, had to find a symbolic way out. Had the British worked hard in promotng Hindu-muslim harmony when they ruled India, and stood against the partition of India, had Nehru refused to accept India’s partition, things would have been different. Had you refused to step out to get your hands washed, things could have been different. But we are mortals, and I have no idea about your responsibility to your filming crew at that time. Keeping your promise with the lower caste person is in itself an act of courage, as it could have gotten you and your crew thrown out of the upper-caste house and the village. I commend you for that. One small step at a time. Whatever you can contribute to caste and religious harmony is welcome.

    I commend your parents in supporting your decision in almost marrying a muslim girl.

  12. Ariana says:

    @ brahmasthra..please the more you talk the more you prove you are an intolerant, ignorant, white supremist oops I meant Muslim…oh my bad I meant Hindu supremist.
    Now you see why you sound like just one of those idiots?
    Shekarji, Kudos to your dad.My mom was like that too..We need more people like them.

  13. brahmastra says:

    The problem is that you are dwelling in this system of labels and conditioned Hindu-Muslim rhetoric. Grow up, go deeper and get a more sophisticated outlook. Everybody is a Hindu because Hinduism basically teaches that God is within each being.

    Hinduism does not need to be enforced, nor do people need to be “converted”. On the other hand, these other religions are based in fanatic tenets of domination and inexistent external Gods..so they have to convert others you see. All these people who consider themselves Muslim..why do they label themselves as such? What makes them a Muslim, and do they all really pray 4 times a day, abstain from alcohol, sexual activity and all those things? What makes an Aamir Khan or SRK muslims? They are more Hindu than Muslim, because Hinduism provides a totally inclusive way of existence.

    People need to some deep introspection over these matters and they’ll be free from their chains.

  14. shekhar says:

    I love reading comments by people on my blog, but when they begin to get too personal and almost abusive then it while it does not effect me personally at all, it does turn people who would like to indulge in more analytical and in depth discussions away. This is not a forum for extremist mud slinging, and while all points of view are welcome, I would appreciate if people would keep their comments from being abusive. shekhar

  15. Sir, Thank you for this post.

    It made me think of my parents, especially my father.

    My mother who was from the “highest”caste- Brahmin, fell in love with my father who was from the “lowest” caste (scheduled caste is what was put on his “community certificate”.) My mother was the eldest of 10 siblings from an orthodox brahmin family, and this was in the 1960 s.

    Both mom and dad had studied only upto the 10th class and poverty had forced them to discontinue their education and work.

    Amidst great opposition from both sides they eloped and got married and were ostracised from their respective communities. They moved to another city and started their lives. Me and my brother were born. We did well at school and both myself and my brother turned out to be the first “graduates” among both sides of the family. My brother , the first engineer and myself the first doctor.

    Meanwhile we moved back to the city from where my parents had left as soon as they had got married, and both sides of the family started looking upto us with new respect. They were the first to build a house of their own.

    My parents helped educate and get jobs for relatives from both sides. When my father discovered that he was a gifted healer, he started healing many people from our neighbourhood with his hands. People who had hesitated to even talk to us started coming to him for his “healing touch” ! He would place drinking water under cardboard pyramids that he had made himself and “charge” them with healing prana/energy and willingly distribute it to the very same people who had looked away earlier lest his “lower caste” stigma taint them in some way!

    And, the very same people drank the healing water and came for more ! The power of his love and compassion for people,his wisdom and lack of prejudice and his healing energy broke down all barriers of caste and colour.

    This was a miracle that we were fortunate enough to witness.

    When he died 10 yrs ago, he was carried to the cremation ground. The 6 people who carried his form tied to the plank made of coconut leaves were ALL “brahmins”.

    And it rained heavily that evening after 3 months without rain, as if the heavens wept for his soul and as if to wash away the “mistakes” committed by the people caught in years of conditioning and indoctrination into the brutal “caste system”.

  16. brahmastra says:

    Mr. Kapur,

    This is probably the first time you have censored my comment, and that is commendable. It was directed towards this primate Ariana. When it does not suit your liking, you call it ‘extremist’. I was making a larger point that most of these pseudo-secularists turn to Hindu bashing for personal reasons because they are either related or attached in some way to Muslims. I think secular ‘Muslims’ who really do not follow their faith must stop calling themselves muslims and get into the Hindu fold..they were all mostly Hindus converted by Mughals anyway. This will be better for social harmony.

  17. brahmastra says:

    Btw, most of these pseudo-secularists are the extremists..extremely dumb and ignorant. The Muslim and Christian religions are like a virus based in lies. Their original teachings have been corrupted and manipulated to the core; Christianity has nothing to do with Christ, and the very basis of Islam is questionable. That is why the people who follow them are prone to fanaticism, out of a fear of being exposed. Many of the compassionate people who follow these religions are confused and not exposed to the real truths, that is why such people are flocking to the Vedic ways in droves.
    Do not encourage these religions!! So many Vedic temples have been destroyed in the middle-east and asia, and mosques and churches built on top of them like the veil of ego over the Atman.

  18. brahmastra says:

    @Ariana,

    You are taking some isolated incidents of abuse by a few high-caste from current times, and painting such a picture so as to invalidate all of the magnificent culture that the high caste of yore had embedded into the Vedic society which is what has made India the gem of the world today.
    Yog, ayurved, jyotish, ved, various shastras, discovery of zero, the numeric system and other roots of modern day science, various paths to attain enlightenment, and so many other priceless jewels were the gifts of the Hindu high caste. It’s ingrates like yourself who do not have the humility or depth to comprehend this and are spewing your ignorant propaganda which is more divisive than anything the high caste have ever done. When you are not in touch with yourself, all these things are bound to happen.

  19. sajal says:

    Shekhar,

    Nicely summed up. Please also watch this video by Lahore school girls, especially the song towards the end. Hope you like it!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81cfly1npRA

    1 million Indians died in the Parition. In the Holocaust, 4 million Jews perished(figures from Wikipedia). Yet this defined their existence to the world, something they constantly remember, while we have flippantly forgotten about it. We don’t even have a simple memorial day for an event which displaced millions?! If we don’t learn the lessons of Partition, we’ll keep repeating it in Delhi ’84, Bombay, Gujarat, *insert 2012-2014 progrom here*.

    Btw. my grandparents were from pre-partition Lahore as well.

    Cheers,
    -Sajal

  20. Ariana says:

    @ brahmastra please like Mr.Kapur said, do not make this a personal agenda.
    There is goodness and bad in every culture and religion.
    Please, refrain from making me laugh.

  21. shekhar says:

    great video

  22. RajuK says:

    Shekharji,

    Subject: Getting personal on this blog.

    In my previous comment, I apologize if it was interpreted as personal. I meant, “Whatever **one**
    can contribute to caste and religious harmony is welcome.”

    Sorry for the oversight.

    Regards,
    Raju

  23. RajuK says:

    Subject: – Lahore girls video and Ariana- brahmastra comments.
    – “Divide & compete”

    The Lahore school girls video is a debate about atomic explosion, and one of the topics in Ariana-Brahmastra commnets exchange is about religious divide.

    I recall that just as most of us, when we were kids, and even now, when we gather to play soccer, or any other game, one of the first things we decide is to divide ourselves in teams. It is the “divide and compete” way of having fun playing.

    Extend this to praying. When people decide to pray, think of praying to other religions as “divide and compete” praying, so that God gets to hear the best of how people can praise him.

    The Lahore school girls understood the debate format, and it was great to see an open discussion after the debates. In this sense, even Tim Sebastion’s BBC TV Doha debates are flawsed, since he takes a vote at the end to see which side won the debate.

    I propose a few suggeestions for an ideal debate strategy. Divide the debators into for and against. Then, turn them around. The for people should debate for against and vice-versa. This will help focus on the issues, and not necesaarily the charisma/personalities of the individual debators. This should be followed by an open discussion, after that votes can be cast, if required.

    Regards,

  24. brahmastra says:

    Ariana,

    Did the mention of the ‘discovery of zero’ make you laugh? 😀 You wouldn’t if you knew the significance of that to science is equivalent to the idea of Shunyata in spirituality..it is pure advaita.

  25. Ariana says:

    And what significance does not letting a lower caste woman fill water at the higher caste well hold? Care to explain? anyways, class/caste/elitism, all revolves around power and that is the truth.
    Lastly, this is somebody’s public blog and not your personal battle ground,to thump your cause.
    So there will be no more reponses from my end to a bitter, disillusioned, misguided, pathetic, petty brahmass like you. Cheers & Om shanti

  26. Satish Badugu says:

    Shekhar,

    What fascinates me is the roots of casteism. How did humans actually come up with this entire notion of caste based segregation of society? The idea itself might have originated to build a perfect society. Society that can co-exist and benefit from each others services.
    i.e Human body was divided into four parts:
    Head ( Brahmins), arms (kshatriyas), stomach (vaishyas) and feet (shudras). Now in those times one group of people cannot do all four things to sustain i.e knowing holy scriptures and reciting them (brahmins), protecting ones land from the intruders (khatriyas), producing required food ingredients by agriculture (vaishyas) and finally comes dhobis, nais, bhangis, etc (shudras). This division is very similar to the Plato’s castes of ideal society 1) Productive(workers), 2) Protective(guardian or warriors) and 3) Governing (Rulers or Philosophical kings).

    The point I am trying to make here is that, that kind of caste based system might have perfectly worked in those times. For simple reason that humans were still in the early stage of making an ideal civilization for sustaining.
    So naturally, a brahmin’s son became a brahmin and a kumbhar’s son became kumbhar because they can easliy learn that art in family and so it continued. The obvious loophole in that system was the moment you come into this world your profession is decided by the society and by default what you are going to do in life is written on your forehead by your family occupation. When one lower cast guy tries to break the norms and wants to do that a higher caste people do he is opposed by the society. ( e.g When Karna in Mahabharat who was raised by a charioteer wanted to participate in archery, he was riduculed by Pandavas saying he was not Kshatriya).

    And that cast based system will not work in today’s day and age, but I do see similar division at my work place but in more matured form. I am in IT industry and in our team we have hierarchy like architect, developer, tester,etc. to make a perfect product. And Testing is relatively easier job than development, so developer can look down at tester and say that I am more important than you so I will not eat with you in the canteen. But reality is that in software life cycle the product will be up to the mark without a Tester. So a tester is equally important to the product.

    Anyways, I hope some day you can tell a story on caste based system, its original intentions (which was betterment of society) and how over a period of time the so called idea of “perfect” system made by humans actually led into the misery of humans for centuries by untouchability, etc.

  27. Vaishak Buddha says:

    Hi Shekhar,

    I Called you a hypocrite once for publishing a story that is exclusively designed for american readers to enhance and support their ego.

    But This one post, you yourself wrote is very touching. Nowhere in world except India, such a criminal system exist as politically correct. What kind of insanity is this ? Man should be man from the birth. Why these people have to tag him as Shudra,Vyshya,Kshatriya and Brahmin.

    Do you have any idea or design to de-program the guilt and inferiority complex the poor low caste people feel ? We really need such a plan to enlighten India’s villages. Man should be Man, nothing else. Explanation of the caste is more worse- A civilized society shouldn’t buy this illogical stuff.

    keep posting such wise articles….

    Vaishak

  28. Janita says:

    One thing to add to Plato:
    Plato talks about three levels of pleasure. First is sensual or physical pleasure, of which sex is a great example. A second level is sensuous or esthetic pleasure, such as admiring someones beauty, or enjoying ones relationship in marriage. But the highest level is ideal pleasure, the pleasures of the mind. Here the example would be Platonic love, intellectual love for another person unsullied by physical involvement.
    Paralleling these three levels of pleasure are three souls. We have one soul called appetite, which is mortal and comes from the gut. The second soul is called spirit or courage. It is also mortal, and lives in the heart. The third soul is reason. It is immortal and resides in the brain. The three are strung together by the cerebrospinal canal.

    Plato is fond of analogies. Appetite, he says, is like a wild horse, very powerful, but likes to go its own way. Spirit is like a thoroughbred, refined, well trained, directed power. And reason is the charioteer, goal-directed, steering both horses according to his will.

    Other analogies abound, especially in Platos greatest work, The Republic. In The Republic, he designs (through Socrates) a society in order to discover the meaning of justice. Along the way, he compares elements of his society (a utopia, Greek for no place) to the three souls: The peasants are the foundation of the society. They till the soil and produce goods, i.e. take care of societys basic appetites. The warriors represent the spirit and courage of the society. And the philosopher kings guide the society, as reason guides our lives.

    Before you assume that we are just looking at a Greek version of the Indian caste system, please note: Everyones children are raised together and membership in one of the three levels of society is based on talents, not on ones birth parents! And Plato includes women as mens equals in this system.
    I leave you with a few quotes:

    “Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.”
    “…(I)f you ask what is the good of education in general, the answer is easy; that education makes good men, and that good men act nobly.”
    “(I) do to others as I would they should do to me.”
    “Our object in the construction of the State is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class.”

    Janita

  29. shekhar says:

    Brahmastra, You have been on my blog longer than most, and would ask you please to help keeping a healthy dialogue going ? Getting too personal would turn this group into one of this gossipy blogs that thrive on confrontations to get eye balls. I would request Ariana to also restrain, thank you, shekhar

  30. brahmastra says:

    Mr Kapur,

    You have been allowing Ariana’s posts filled with personal attacks without an ounce of objective wisdom or intelligent debate, but are selectively censoring my posts which were not as harsh to warrant censorship. Being partial to pseudo-intellectuals is not wise moderation.

  31. shekhar says:

    am trying to stop this from getting personal and appealing to you because you have been on the blog much longer – all arguments should have the ability involve others, but if they become name calling then no one else is interested, I am saying the same thing to Ariana, no prejudice here, shekhar

  32. RajuK says:

    Beautiful recent posts by Satish Badugu and Janita. Did not know that the Indian caste system was based on the parts of the body.

    Perhaps, the ancients were trying to see if people are genetically pre-disposed to excel at something. But, I totally, agree, nobody should be branded at birth.

    Genetics, do play a part. Abhimanyu, in the Indian epic, learnt before birth, how to penetrate the enemy. Majority of professional basketball players in the USA are black. The Monarch butterfly is genetically programmed to migrate from Canada to Mexico every year. And during the migration, the butterfly dies and their offspring takes over 500 times!

    But imposing a genetic code on someone as happens in the Indian caste system is highly unfair. People should be free to move among castes.

  33. Ariana says:

    Thank you taking a Stance,Mr Kapur.
    I do not wish to be embroiled in a petty high school level battle.Its so easy to get sucked into one, when someone pushes your buttons, so hard to refrain.
    Much like a Chakravuyh.

    Will end with a qoute from GB. Shaw.

    “They are not beautiful: they are only decorated. They are not clean: they are only shaved and starched. They are not dignified: they are only fashionably dressed. They are not educated: they are only college passmen. They are not religious: they are only pewrenters. They are not moral: they are only conventional. They are not virtuous: they are only cowardly. They are not even vicious: they are only “frail.” They are not artistic: they are only lascivious. They are not prosperous: they are only rich. They are not loyal, they are only servile; not dutiful, only sheepish; not public spirited, only patriotic; not courageous, only quarrelsome; not determined, only obstinate; not masterful, only domineering; not self-controlled, only obtuse; not self-respecting, only vain; not kind, only sentimental; not social, only gregarious; not considerate, only polite; not intelligent, only opinionated; not progressive, only factious; not imaginative, only superstitious; not just, only vindictive; not generous, only propitiatory; not disciplined, only cowed; and not truthful at all: liars every one of them, to the very backbone of their souls.”

  34. brahmastra says:

    Though my posts get channelled to some of these individuals, it is not exclusively targeted to these individuals..they are mere soap boxes. That should be obvious.
    In my previous post which got censored, I had merely mentioned that most of these folks who vehemently criticize the caste system probaby also think that women wearing skimpy outfits and spreading lust in society are advocates of female liberation and empowerment. Just an observation.
    How can you guarantee that the beloved Bandit Queen was not a Mallika Sherawat or Bipasha Basu in a previous life who injected all this lust into society which only found its way back? Have you considered that possibility instead of blindly jumpin onto the ‘hate-the-highcaste’ bandwagon?

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  36. mansore says:

    hi sir..
    i too had a same kind of experience .. when i went for add shoot to a village near bangalore, its not more than for away from city.. its hardly 35 KM only. its located in border of tamilnadu and karnataka. on first day when i went one a street dat village to find a raw kind of house for our shoot. suddenly my friend pull back me and said dat dont go n dat way.. cause it was lower cast living street.. if u go their.. ll not get another house of upper cast people’s. i wondered dat.. we are came here not too away from metro culture life.. but still here we suffering from this kind of castisem so hard to digest…

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  39. anu says:

    So you told the upper caste family that you drank water at the lower caste person’s house. Why did you consent to wash your hands ? Why did you not just say, listen I do not support this awful system, thanks but no thanks, if I have to wash my sin outside the house and then step in, I will not eat at your home. By agreeing to wash your hands in that ritualistic way don’t you think you condoned / took part in this discriminatory cultural shame of hindu society ?
    Although I admit I would have done the same thing -:)

  40. Sakshi Joshi says:

    The reason why much of the people did not like this movie was that this movie depicted the true picture of India and that the truth is always bitter, No upper caste can easily digest the fact that they have for years suppressed lower caste and the lower caste who continued being exploited by the upper caste. Its not that easy to face the truth , it requires lot of courage, and neither the exploiters nor the exploited people can have that much courage because both are surrounded by fear. The lower caste has the fear of being tortured by the upper class and the upper caste has always lived in the fear losing their throne, end of their reign therefore they keep on suppressing the lower castes.

    I just want to say , this film is very close to my heart and its your most beautiful creation because it was all truth , and nothing can be more beautiful than truth. So keep going keep working because some of your fans are waiting for some real cinema.

  41. You have a huge dream in your heart to get your message out to many folks, and are terrified of the exposure, so you retain oneself a effectively-concealed key, all the while figuring out you could do more. This is a far also widespread predicament for delicate and spiritually-minded men and women, for numerous reasons, not the minimum of which is the reality that the fear of currently being exposed and even burned (actually and figuratively) lives in our DNA as strong women!

  42. javsector says:

    Greate writing!!

  43. Surabhi says:

    Dear Shekhar ji

    Watching Bandit Queen more than three times-one will fall in love with you Shekhar, and more than four times-one will start worshiping you. No words… only TEARS can appreciate this masterpiece. सच को स्वीकार करने के लिये बहुत हिम्मत चाहिये। ऐसी फिल्म बनाना आसान नहीं है। आपने ये कैसे बनाई? A Brilliant film by a Brilliant film Maker.
    Regards

  44. Harbans Lal Badhan says:

    Dear Shekhar Ji,

    You don”t know the pain of Untouchability and Casteism. Indian Caste system is more dangerous, cruel, barbarous, rigid, violent, hard, inhuman and harmful than any other kind of Racial discrimination or Slavery system. It (Indian Caste system) an unnatural and unscientific man made system made by the antisocial elements and the enemies of unity of society and nation. It (Indian Caste system) divides the society and nation. It (Indian Caste system) is not only a social, economic, political and religious evil, but also a mental disease and mental sickness. It (Indian Caste system ) should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the law of the State, otherwise it (Indian Caste system) will slaughter and kill the democratic institutions ans secularism of India. It (Indian Caste system) will also spoil the unity, peace and economic and scientific development and progress of India or any civilized society. It (Indian Caste system) is also an enemy of social justice, social equality, equality, liberty and fraternity and human rights and fundamental rights of an individual. It (Indian Caste system) is a great threat and challenge to unity of nation and society. To believe in Caste and Untouchbiality is not only a crime against humanity but also a violation of human rights of an individual.

    I know you are a good human being. Pl. make a movie on the life and social status in society of the untouchables of India, for the sake and humanity and unity of this nation and society. I hope—

  45. Harbans Lal Badhan says:

    Dear Shekhar Ji,

    You don”t know the pain of Untouchability and Casteism. Indian Caste system is more dangerous, cruel, barbarous, rigid, violent, hard, inhuman and harmful than any other kind of Racial discrimination or Slavery system. It (Indian Caste system) an unnatural and unscientific man made system made by the antisocial elements and the enemies of unity of society and nation. It (Indian Caste system) divides the society and nation. It (Indian Caste system) is not only a social, economic, political and religious evil, but also a mental disease and mental sickness. It (Indian Caste system ) should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the law of the State, otherwise it (Indian Caste system) will slaughter and kill the democratic institutions ans secularism of India. It (Indian Caste system) will also spoil the unity, peace and economic and scientific development and progress of India or any civilized society. It (Indian Caste system) is also an enemy of social justice, social equality, equality, liberty and fraternity and human rights and fundamental rights of an individual. It (Indian Caste system) is a great threat and challenge to unity of nation and society. To believe in Caste and Untouchbiality is not only a crime against humanity but also a violation of human rights of an individual.

    I know you are a good human being. Pl. make a movie on the life and social status in society of the untouchables of India, for the sake of humanity and unity of this nation and society. I hope—

  46. Harbans Lal Badhan says:

    “The Untouchables (Dalits) of India want economic, social, political, religious and educational equality in Society, not in the eyes of God.”
    (Harbans Lal Badhan)

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