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How caste kills

How caste kills

Postby manikjethu on Tue May 02, 2006 12:39 am

If Premchand's SADGATI was strong as a short story, SADGATI the film was stronger as a statement against caste opppression and exploitation.
The half-hour SADGATI--incidentally, the first telefilm made in India and which heralded color transmission in the country--depicted most accurately how caste prejudices could even end human lives.
The chamar and his wife had to depend on the priest for fixing the wedding date of their daughter, because ritualistic decisions were a monopoly of brahmins.
But the village economy was based on jajmani, and the brahmin was perfectly within his jajmani rights to demand a service from the chamar in lieu of the favor that he was doing him.
When the chamar died trying to cut into small pieces the massive trunk of a tree--as demanded by the priest--the priest decides to get rid of the body, lest there is a reprisal against him and he is blamed for the death.
Why did the chamar accept his fate? Because caste tradition required that he obey the brahmin. More so if he was seeking a favor from him.
Did the brahmin feel remorse at the death of the chamar? No. Did he blame himself for the unfortunate incident? No.
Caste had robbed individuals of their emotions.
Om Puri as the chamar and Mohan Agashe as the brahmin put up powerful performances.
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