Bollywood is often considered Hinduphobic. But, that does not mean South Indian movies are way too secular and they respect people of every religion. Correction, they were pacifying all religions except for Hinduism. The best example to quote is of Dasavatharam where the protagonist is quick enough to question Hindu practices especially that of Brahmins.
But, he shows Muslims and Christians on a lighter note. Similarly, there are various movies that promote anti-Brahminism. While some happened in the 1950s and 1970s, some are in recent times. I’m giving you three movies that significantly demean Brahmins.
Parasakthi 1950s Tamil Movie
Sivaji Ganesan is a versatile actor and his performance in the 1950s movie Parasakthi is appreciable even today. However, this movie invited rage for projecting a Pujari as a molester. Yet, it did hit the screens and turned out to be a blockbuster movie of that time. Also, Dinamani Kadir, part of The Indian Express Group criticized the movie for anti-god lectures.
As we mentioned in our previous feature on Anti-Brahminism, a Brahmin is someone who lives in poverty. Someone living in such a condition does not enjoy any societal privileges. Therefore, he may not get any support from anyone for indulging in such a crime. In such a case, why would someone attempt to molest a girl?
Also, a person getting intoxicated is his crime. Being careless of his belongings is his personal issue. Why would someone blame a government or a society for that?
Arangetram 1973 Tamil Movie
Arangetram directed by legendary director K Balachander is another movie that demeans Brahmins. The movie plot revolves around a poor Brahmin with 8 children whose rigid principles and obstinate behaviour keeps the family in poverty.
His elder daughter lands for a job in Madras and is subject to sexual exploitation. In turn, she becomes a prostitute to support her family. At the end, when her family realizes her act of indulging in prostitution, she is disowned.
Well, we do not intend to question the feministic nature of the film. But, why a Brahmin family? In fact, Brahmins account for 2-3 percent of the entire Tamil Nadu population. Why not choose some other community? Was this movie an effort to demean the Brahmin community?
Devaraagam 1996 Malayalam Movie Featuring Arvind Swamy & Sridevi
Savundi Brahmin is someone who comes from the weakest section of the Brahmin clan. Well, that means a Savundi Brahmin is someone who is called to perform the cremation rituals for the deceased soul. Usually, there are Brahmins who tend to perform only auspicious rituals and often do not agree to perform last rites.
Hence, whomsoever from the Brahmin clan who is not able to get an assignment to perform auspicious rituals does cremation rituals. Moreover, several Brahmins in the ancient days and today perform both activities. Hence, it is a matter of choice.
But, the 1996 Malayalam movie – Devaraagam featuring Sridevi and Arvind Swamy portrays Savundi Brahmin as the one who lives the life of a savage. Such movies are provocative in nature. And, it does demean Brahmins and Hindu culture to the outside world.
Why Accuse Movies?
Some people from the movie fraternity always claim movies are soft targets. When someone may not understand the nitty-gritty of Indian culture, they must refrain from talking on such subjects. Moreover, what is the role of the Censor Board in all this? Are they not concerned about Brahmins and their intellectual interests?
As a community, everyone must make an attempt to not be judgemental of anyone. Such acts will not only pave way for hatred amongst us but also divide us as a nation. For the larger good of the nation, we all must learn to respect each other’s sentiments.
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