Arts and Ideas

Screening of Jai Bhim Comrade and discussion with Anand Patwardhan

About the film:
For thousands of years, India's Dalits were abhorred as "untouchables" and denied education. By 1923, Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, earned doctorates abroad, and fought for the emancipation of his people. His legend still spreads through poetry and song.

In 1997, a statue of Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire, killing 10. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hanged himself in protest.

Jai Bhim Comrade, shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas and marks a subaltern tradition of reason that has, from the days of the Buddha, fought superstition and religious bigotry.

About the filmmaker:
Anand Patwardhan has been making investigative documentaries in India for over four decades. His films have often faced state censorship and the wrath of religious fundamentalists.

  • Click here to view a poster promoting this event.