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Alarming how we indulge in caste politics even in 21st century: Nagraj Manjule

The filmmaker spoke at 700th show of the acclaimed Marathi play, Shivaji Underground In Bhimnagar Mohalla. 

Keyur Seta

Nagraj Popatrao Manjule's Fandry (2014) and the blockbuster Sairat (2016) have been a critique of the caste divide in the Indian society. At the 700th show of the acclaimed Marathi play Shivaji Underground In Bhimnagar Mohalla, he lamented on the prevalence of caste system even in the 21st century. 

“Humans should behave with each other as humans. We were born in this world to give love. The caste system is all man-made. Today, we are openly declaring that India is polio free. Similarly, why can’t the caste system be eradicated? It is alarming how we indulge in caste based politics even in the 21st century. I consider ‘caste’ as a big enemy of mine,” he said. 

Both his films display the evils of caste system. While Sairat deals with honour killings in a caste bound society, Fandry discusses the plight of those belonging to the lower caste. 

Talking about the play, Manjule said he liked the representation of Shivaji Maharaj and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in it. “Shivaji Underground In Bhimnagar Mohalla is carrying out the task of spreading the great messages of Shivaji Maharaj and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. This is what today’s generation needs. These two personalities never differentiated on the basis of religion and caste. Their messages are presented to us in a wrong way. Therefore, I liked the example of good books and bad books shown in the play. It got me in tears a couple of times,” he said.