The recent movie ‘Sairat’, while being wildly entertaining, also did a commendable social job of enlightening people about the ultimate cruelty and futility of our society’s general opposition to inter-caste relationships. Way back in 1936, a movie touching on the same aspects had become one of Indian cinema’s first huge blockbusters: Achhut Kanya.
In this article published in HuffPost on May 15 2016, I write about these two films and the sad truth that in many parts of India even today, a 1936 attitude still prevails.
It is noteworthy that two Indian films, one of 1936 and the other of 2016, both reach the same depressing conclusion — that however strongly inter-caste lovers feel for each other, such love is strictly “forbidden” in the grand scheme of things in our society. Four years ago, the TV show Satyamev Jayate also famously made us aware of the raw realities of caste in India. For a nation that lately has taken to an overaggressive aspiration for ‘greatness’, especially on the basis of ‘past glory’, this embarrassing social stagnation over an 80-year-long arc (cinematically) is urgent food for thought.