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Unveiling the casteism: 6 Indian movies with a strong narration on caste issues

Megha Mukundan

Megha Mukundan
Jul 13, 2021

The caste discrimination in Indian society is a painful fact that we all need to accept. The raw representation of this existing reality has been a strong experience for the cinema lovers in the past decade. Also, there are movies which put forward strong arguments against inequalities and paved ways for open debates and discussions among the audience. Besides an extraordinary cinematic experience, these movies have also worked as an eye-opener to many. Here are the top six Indian movies that have a bold narrative on caste issues.

1
Karnan
7.9OTTplay Rating
Mari Selvaraj’s Karnan is an eye-opener on how certain communities are dehumanised in the name of caste and how their struggle for life ends up in violence. The fearless and revolutionary Karnan is played by Dhanush with Lal and Rajisha Vijayan alongside.
2
Kala
6.8OTTplay Rating
There is a deep-rooted Kala (weed) inside all of us which grows and multiplies silently- the sense of superiority over the marginalised. Rohith VS’s Kala is a symbolic representation of this weed and how it’s plucked off. This psychological thriller featuring Tovino Thomas and Sumesh Moor, violently portrays toxic masculinity and gives it a tight slap on its face
3
Paava Kadhaigal
7.6OTTplay Rating
The Tamil anthology drama film narrates four different stories exploring themes of pride, honour and sin and how it affects relationships. Vetrimaran’s ‘Oor Iravu’ starring Sai pallavi and Prakash Raj strongly portrays how the caste discrimination makes people heartless. The other major artists include Kalidas Jayaram, Anjali, Gautham V Menon and Kalki Koechlin.
4
Asuran
8.8OTTplay Rating
Adapted from Poomani’s Tamil novel Vekkai, Asuran is a tale chronicling the revenge of Sivasamy (Dhanush) and his family on the age-old land dispute with the upper-caste. Vetri Maaran’s brilliant making and the stupendous performance of Dhanush and Manju Warrier takes the film to next level even though the story is set in the late 1950’s.
5
Pariyerum Perumal
8.9OTTplay Rating
Caste plays a major role while coming to love, marriage or even friendship in India. Mari Selvaraj’s Pariyerum Perumal is an anti-caste film which portrays the friendship of a high-caste girl and low-caste boy played by Anandhi and Kathir respectively. It showcases the immortality of caste discrimination in the land.
6
Sairat
8.4OTTplay Rating
Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat is a milestone in the history of anti-caste films fin India. The grief Archi (Rinku Rajguru) and Parshya (Akash Thosar) leave in the mind of a viewer can’t be matched to anything else. The film heart-wrenchingly depicts the distressing condition of equality and how worse it can act.
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