Recently, a film talking about caste discrimination and the gated communities, privilege, slums and football as a way out was released in theatres all over India. The film Jhund was directed by Nagraj Manjule, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rinku Rajguru amongst others, released on March 4.
While The Kashmir Files directed by Vivek Agnihotri, a film on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 from Kashmir was released on March 11. Both had a parallel run time. Jhund was applauded for the issues that it approached in the most caste-sensitive manner while The Kashmir Files was applauded by the ministers and even the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
In many states, Agnihotri’s film was declared tax-free and government employees were given half-day holidays to watch the film. However, no such generosity was extended to Manjule’s film. Manjule is known for making caste sensitive cinema in Marathi. He is the director of critically acclaimed films like Sairat, Fandry and Naal, amongst others.
Suggested Reading: When And Where To Watch Amitabh Bachchan Starrer ‘Jhund’
Jhund Producer On The Kashmir Files
Seeing the disparity in the promotions of two films that portrayed two communities of India, one of the producers of Jhund, Savita Raj Hiremath was left “perplexed” that her film was not made tax free. On Friday, Hiremath took to Facebook and wrote, “I recently watched the Kashmir Files and as the story of Kashmiri Pandits exodus its heartbreaking and is a story that needed to be told. It is a good voice for Kashmiri Pandits..!!”
Having appreciated the film, she said, “But as the producer of JHUND I am perplexed. After all, Jhund is also an important film and has a story and a Big Message that has received tremendous acclaim and word of mouth from the audience.”
She wanted to find out the “criterion” on which the Government had selected one film (The Kashmir Files) to support and make tax free while “endorsing” it through social media platforms. “…asking offices to showcase the film or give half-day holiday to its employees,” she enquired.
Hiremath wrote, “After all Jhund also has a subject that is so crucial to our country’s growth…Jhund is not just talking about the disparity between caste and economic disparity but also shows a way to make the lower strata of society find their success story.”
The Kashmir Files collected Rs 116 crore at the box office in just eight days while Jhund collected over Rs 15 crore in the 15 days of release.
(Feature Image Credit: Movie Poster)
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