New Delhi: ‘Kahab to lagi jaaye dhak se, dhak se’ (You will be offended if I tell you the truth), this folk song that sets the base of Anubhav Sinha’s critically acclaimed Article 15 perfectly describes the jarring contrast between the higher caste and the lower caste. Ahead of the World Television Premiere of Article 15, &pictures kickstarted a movement called #BurnTheBhedhBhaav, focusing on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. In our day to day lives, all of us come across instances where discrimination takes place in which either we are the ones initiating it or we may be unknowingly a part of it.
School is an institution where an individual’s perception of the world, our beliefs and value system are shaped. Keeping this thought in mind, &pictures associated with Shiv Nadar School, Noida to create more awareness on this subject. As a part of this, director Anubhav Sinha and Sayani Gupta visited Shiv Nadar School, Noida where they interacted with the young minds on the topic of discrimination and how one can make a conscious attempt to #BurnTheBhedBhaav in today’s day and age. Inspired by this thought, the students were encouraged to take a pledge to stand up against discrimination and how would they do it.
Director Anubhav Sinha said, “When I was a kid, I realized that people were judged by their surname. I felt it wasn’t fair and hence I have used the movie to elucidate a problem and get people to address it. According to me, Article 15 is one article of the Indian Constitution in particular, which is long forgotten, and I wanted everyone to find out about it and talk about it. That’s why I kept the shot lingering on what Article 15 says in the film, just before the interval. The initiative that &pictures has undertaken to do away with discrimination is extremely crucial and the need of the hour. I hope it causes a ripple effect.”
Commenting on the #BurnTheBhedBhaav initiative Sayani Gupta said, “I like to be aware of what is happening around me and have always tried to vehemently oppose to any kind of discrimination. The century long practice of the Hindu Brahmanical caste based hierarchical status quo is something that has made me uncomfortable always and hence I jumped at the opportunity to portray a dalit girl on screen. We need representation of dalit politics in the mainstream narrative. Today, when people are going to Mars and have invented nano technology, it’s bizarre that people are getting killed, raped and discriminated against only because they supposedly belong to a ‘menial’ caste. Humans are still being used to clean manholes without any kind of protection and we as society have become so okay with other people cleaning out faeces. Any kind of discrimination based on gender, class, date, religion, language, colour economic condition should be strongly criticised and it’s time to stipe looking away and take a clear stand. I am pleased to be associated with &pictures’ Burn The Bhed Bhaav initiative and to take a stand against discrimination. With this positive step towards influencing school children and young minds I hope this malpractice is completely eradicated from our society.”
Adding his views to the initiative Col. Gopal Karunakaran, CEO, Shiv Nadar School said, “The Indian Constitution grants to all citizens the right to live with equality and dignity, yet birth-based social discrimination remains a stark feature of life in many parts of the country. To establish a truly egalitarian society, we need to inculcate these values in children in their formative years when their worldview is getting crystalized. At Shiv Nadar School, great emphasis is laid on teaching students mutual respect for fellow human beings and viewing the entire humanity as one big family. We as an educational institution are therefore delighted to participate in the Burn The Bhed Bhaav campaign. It will help strengthen the core values of equality and dignity among our students and encourage them to resist discrimination of all types in the society.”
The movie’s narrative pulls the right strings, as it compels the viewer to think about the stigma associated with caste discrimination and the concomitant biases. One of its kind, this critically and commercially acclaimed movie marks the first inning for actor Ayushmann Khurrana as he steps out of his comfort zone to essay the role of an IPS officer. Along with him, the film stars Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa in pivotal roles. Article 15 relies heavily on reality and takes instances from the Badaun gangrape and murder case of 2014 and the Una floggings of 2016. &pictures – Naye India Ka Blockbuster Movie Channel, is all set to air the World Television Premiere of Article 15 on Saturday, 19th October at 8 pm.
Set against the backdrop of Laalgaon, the plot of Article 15 is based on the socio-political situation of India and follows the lives of police officers. An honest cop, Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana) is transferred to a remote village in Uttar Pradesh. He takes the onus of investigating a case where two young girls were raped and murdered and hung from a tree. As the story progresses, he stumbles upon many facts and is made aware of the many atrocities that the lower caste face in our country. The rest of the film shows how Ranjan solves the case while trying to understand the ingrained caste system in the village.