People of the lower castes have got a bad name because of Arjun Singh and every other politician. Here is the truth about most of them.
The Documentary Circle of the Hyderabad Film Club, with support from the Sarojini Naidu School Of Performing Arts (University Of Hyderabad), Bakelite Hylam Limited, M V Foundation and Creative Media Worx, is screening 3 documentaries by R P Amudhan, on 27th January, at the Prasad Labs Preview Theatre, as part of its monthly documentary films program. Footwear is being screened today.
A Tamil film with English subtitles, this one was originally titled Seruppu. It is a socio-cultural documentary on the lives of the Catholic Arundhatiyars (dalits/harijans/untouchables) of Dharmanathapuram, an old slum located at the heart of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu. The people of Dharmanathapuram are involved in making footwear, one of the traditional caste-based occupations of dalits within the Indian caste-based society.
According to the Presidential Order 1950: Para 3 of the Union Government of India, dalits (people from the lower castes in the Indian caste system) who do not follow the Hindu religion (or those who have converted to Christianity or Islam) are not considered as part of the Scheduled Castes (as any other Hindu dalits); and they do not get access to reservations for jobs, reservations in educational institutions, and or to other support mechanisms that are otherwise available to the Scheduled Castes according to the Indian Constitution.
Besides, the upper caste Hindus who have converted to Christianity also follow their caste-based practices such as discrimination, exclusiveness, untouchability, and, at times, violence against their fellow Christians who also happen to be dalits.
This film brings out the discrimination and struggle faced by the Catholic Arundhatiyars of Dharmanathapuram, who also face stiff competition on economic grounds as mechanization in the footwear manufacturing continues to grow in the era of globalization.
Ramalingam Pushpam Amudhan was born in 1971, and after completing M A in Development Communication from Madurai Kamaraj University, got associated with Marupakkam (meaning the other side, in Tamil), a media activist group involved in making documentaries, organizing regular screenings, video festivals and video workshops in and around Madurai.
Marupakkam recently organised the 8th Madurai Documentary And Short Film Festival 2006 in Madurai. He has directed and produced various documentaries like Leelavathy (1997), Theeviravadhigal (1998), Thodarum Thisaivali (2001), Kaviri Padugai (2002), Shit (2003), Notes From The Crematorium (2005) and Seruppu (2007).
The entry to the screenings is free. Please contact Bh S S Prakash Reddy of the Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841/93910-20243 for further details.