Article 15 was made available on Netflix only a few days back. It is probably one of the first mainstream Bollywood movies which raised the issues of caste and gender injustice in such a stark manner leaving the politicians, police force, and the general public exposed.
It pointed out the hypocrisy that has become a part of our daily living and which has kept a huge portion of our population completely at the mercy of the so-called upper castes.
Watching the movie made me very uncomfortable because it raised many questions for which I had no satisfactory answers.
Why is it that almost 70% of our population (Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other backward classes) are heavily under-represented in all spheres of our society? This is true even after governments over the past 70 years have prided themselves for undertaking affirmative actions for their upliftment.
Why is it that they are still have not been able to find the relevant space in the private sector? Why are they completely missing from the entertainment industry which is completely dominated by the so-called upper castes?
Why Is it that many of them are still working in occupations that should have been banned a long time ago? Why are they still being forced to clean our gutters and pick our waste in the most inhumane way possible?
Did the political parties who were supposed to protect the interests of the backward classes instead used them to consolidate their political power and fill their own coffers?
Why is it that we still make fun of their names, their traditions, their beliefs, their lifestyle and where they come from?
Why is it that we still have not been able to do anything about untouchability? Why can’t they still drink from the wells that are used by the so-called upper castes?
Why do we still hear of instances where their grooms beat to death for sitting on a horse (a tradition that is followed in many of the Indian marriages) when anyone from the so-called upper caste can easily do so?
Why are their people beaten up or even lynched for going to places of worship that are also frequented by the so-called upper castes?
Why is it that some of them still cannot be cremated in the same place as the so-called upper castes? Why are they discriminated against even after they are dead?