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Vivek Agnihotri: Beware of Cannes winners who still say ‘I am Dalit’

The filmmaker, who had earlier made a blatantly casteist tweet, lashes out at director Neeraj Ghaywan for criticizing him.

Mayur Lookhar

A couple of days ago, Masaan (2015) director Neeraj Ghaywan has taken offence to a blatantly casteist tweet by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, husband of actress Pallavi Joshi, and given him a fitting reply.

One thought the matter had ended there, but Agnihotri today came up with a bizarre reply to attack Ghaywan.

Agnihotri said a Dalit who opens a conversation with ‘I’m a Dalit’ is more oppressive than a member of the upper castes. The Buddha In A Traffic Jam (2016) director slammed Ghaywan for "milking sympathy, money and power on behalf of the oppressed".

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Agnihotri came up with another tweet telling Dalits to beware of Cannes award-winners who still say “I’m a Dalit”.

Ghaywan’s Masaan had won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes and a Promising Future prize (Prix de l'avenir) for debut films.

A Twitter user quickly reminded Agnihotri that Ghaywan cannot be belittled just because he is a Dalit.

Agnihotri’s reply to this was just inexplicable.

Agnihotri is a known supporter of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. And while the right to free speech is enshrined in the Constitution, Agnihotri’s bizarre tweets and his justification for them leave a lot to be desired.

Let us wait and watch how Ghaywan responds to the fresh attack.