Are dalits part of (Vande) Mataram- India?
Date:24.02.06 , Thrissur
"The Vande mataram- A shit version" music video using the "Patriotic" remix album on visuals of manual scavenging (Dalits removing other people’s shit manually) is a conscious attempt to question the pseudo patriotism of the song and a society which allows such heinous practices on casteist lines. Some Hindutva people protested against this video after its screening at the VIBGYOR festival on 23.2.06, 3 pm at Thrissur Sahitya academy, Thrissur. As they continue their ‘struggle’ for preserving national pride by filing a complaint with thrissur local police and planning to approach the local court against the festival, some stinking truths are surfacing…
First and foremost is that – According to them scavenging and the dalit workers who are doing it are base and a sanctified song like vandemataram being used to depict them is unacceptable. Two, that no one has any right to express opinions different from those of Hindutva forces in any public space or for that matter any space. If somebody dares to do so their patriotism integrity and values would be questioned. They will enter closed screenings uninvited and obstruct the programme and will file false complaints against them in police stations. And a "pro-active" police force which takes years to respond to problems of ordinary masses would jump into action immediately.
If the hindutva forces that obstructed the Film festival and want to stop it are really interested in expressing their patriotism, First they should denounce in public the anti dalit anti woman and anti human Manu smriti which propagates varnashrama dharma, the fountain head of segregating human beings into a caste hierarchy.
Stop hate campaign against the minorities and Raise their voice against communal violence which cripples minorities and poor people. They should protest wherever human beings, always dalits, are removing human shit manually. They should fight in the fray when atrocities are unleashed on the dalits and adivasis.
Finally, the VIBGYOR festival which gives space to discuss and analyse various such concerns has to be appreciated. All democratic sections should extend their support to the festival and also o the larger struggle of various film makers and activists who are trying to raise voices against injustices in their own way in a growing atmosphere of
cultural intolerance of fundamental elements.
Film maker, Tamil nadu.
Amudhan, is a Tamil Film Maker, who has won the National Jury Award for his Tamil documentary on a manual scavenger titled, `Pee’, (Shit), in the National competition at the 9th Mumbai International Film Festival.
More about R.P. Amudhan