I’ve been told often that I get emotional easily… Specially watching movies, the four years old me cried while watching The Lion King, and that has become a habit growing up.

There are so many movies that made me cry, but last night actually surprised me.

I was watching ‘Article 15’ last night; and the last scene of that Film made me cry.

 I’m not here to critique the Film, but to put some things in perspective. The film is about equality, as we all know by now, and how a Cop in Uttar Pradesh tries to enforce the Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. The movie is a very well made, and worth spending time on.

But, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

This movie portrays the very real situation of Rural India, where lower casts (Dalits) are marginalized and preyed upon. Higher Casts are not allowed to Eat Food from there hand/kitchen even step in their Shadows, even in 2019. But not just rural, even in Urban India, marriage proposals start with

-“What ‘caste’ are you ?”

And we normalized this discrimination by putting a social label to it. “It’s what’s been happening since the dawn of time”, “It’s a part of Vedic Culture” etc etc…

It’s a great excuse to pull the world’s oldest book in the mix to justify things, but as Vedas clearly states, the “Varnashram” is the social division with respect to occupation. Scholars are Brahmins, Warriors are Kshatriyas, etc. Now, A Son of a Kshatriya usually goes into the family business of War and being Kings, and so does a son of a Brahmin; there’s rarely any change in occupation.

So, what started as occupational, got carried forward by Descendance… and thus “Varnashram” became racism. And even in modern society, we expect a son of a cobbler to become cobbler, not a doctor. And there is absolutely no ‘logic’ behind this mindless thinking.

This is going on for centuries. There are some places, where things are better, but In most places things are worse than ever.

But, in the last scene of Article 15, we see a Police Force led by Ayan (Ayushmaan Khurana) is eating food from a roadside vendor. And when Ayan asks “Amma, Kaun Si Jaat Ke Ho ?” we hear a truck pass by and that muffles the answer of the old woman.

I cried in that precise moment…

Because, ‘Hope’…

I often say, the chaos in my country will increase day by day. Communities will be at each other’s throat. Human Rights will be reduced to mere words. And people will not feel safe walking the streets.

But, still… Movies like Article 15, gives us hope… Gives me hope… Maybe we can make this better, maybe our country can be what we want it to be with our collective effort. Maybe one day we will be known for only the work we do, not our surnames. Not by my descendants, but my own doings.

Hope… and that made me cry… that made me feel helpless… Made me feel like that 4 year old dreamy kid, who only saw the good in this world.

But, we can’t live in the movies, can we ?

Peace…

Neel…    

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