Paava Kadhaigal

An anthology of a captured collections of horror or other unacceptable and terror pieces of writing, just to inject the fear into the minds of Dalits and Women by the violence of Upper-castes where Dalits, Women, Children and LGBT are never even tried to resist but just cry for their life. Netflix, an OTT platform with billions of dollars of net worth, didn't even Pay attention to what kind of stories they tried to tell through this Paava Kadhaigal. The title of the anthology itself suggests that the oppressed people shall be remain oppressed forever as their life is a pity and so the liberated Savarnas can cry sympathetically for the vulnerable communities by watching Paava Kadhaigal from their homes but does nothing in reality while the casteist Savarnas always does their honour to the casteism by acting violently against the vulnerable communities.

You will be killed if you resist, so don't resist. There is no way of life with honour if you are raped than die for the honour. One should not have their freedom of thinking of what they feel or believe. See, this way highlighting the violent thoughts than the much needed progressive thoughts like Resistance for human dignity is nothing but casteism or should we say that the filmmakers are not much educated.

Paava Kadhaigal is nothing but patriarchal and brahmanical.

Thangam by Sudha Kongara

Thangam, the gold is a strong metal unlike Thangam of Paava Kadhaigal. Writing or making this story seems to be done from the perspective of the whole patriarchal society. At least in one single moment of the whole life, any living organism or human does resist injustice or violent acts of others on them and that's how the whole world survives. But never such a thing is done by Sathar even at the time of his existence itself comes to the end. It never matters, even though that particular story happened in the 1980s or even before when there might not be many progressive movements of LGBTs. Also, it leaves another shocking message that the parents of transgender children might feel the shame of their children and wouldn't step out to save even at the time of danger which knocks them for being transgender or to stand with their children's emotional or biological changes or feelings, which for sure thrown transgender and their parents into unnecessary mental pressure. Highlighting all the horrors at first and giving the message at the end of the story never gives any message or morality. It doesn't matter in which century or decade a particular story might have happened, but what we are telling to the present and future generation’s matters most and that is what will help for civilised human life with dignity.

Love Panna Uttranum by Vignesh Shivan

Doesn't matter even though Dalits are educated but still, women from upper-castes can't choose their perfect life partner in Dalits as Upper-castes have placed their honour in women, so suppose not have freedom of thinking and living with dignity. What humans are supposed to live their lives with dignity but in Indian society, people who claim themselves as upper than others always want to live with the honour of casteism which exists just for the destruction of humanity?

So, here comes the episode Love Panna Uttranam (should be left free or alone if love anyone, such funny title) to the screen telling the casteist father kills his daughter for loving his car driver who must not be anybody else than the Dalit boy and also whose education doesn't matter to the upper castes. So, the plot begins with how brutally one kills or has to kill his daughter for loving a lower caste boy. It's nothing but injecting fear into supposed to be free minds of women. An elder daughter who told his father bravely that she loves a boy and wanted to get married killed brutally but the second daughter with a lesbian story to just get out of the home safely gets the permission to live her choice of life. So, the realisation of a father comes lately after the brutal murder of the elder daughter who braves enough to talk to her parents. Isn't it giving the kind of message that the open dialogue with own parents leading children to be murdered might mislead the whole generation, itself? That's where a filmmaker should be matured enough to know what way he/she is telling the story.

Vaanmagal by Gautham Menon

Vaanmagal is an apt title for the story, where an innocent girl child is left alone by parents without asking or caring how she feels after the traumatic sexual abuse.

A well-settled Savarna family where at least one couple in the whole story constantly shows us how romantic they are which is Gautham Menon usual story, but this has societal norms like women's pride constructs around caste and religion.

Happily living family suddenly lasts in grief as their second daughter who is just 12 years old is raped by the gang of college students who are seniors to the brother of this girl child. Brahmanical women with thoughts of honour and pride never really seem to be a human and responsible mother or a citizen who is supposed to file a case on this and punish the rapists even after knowing that the little girl is sexually abused. What's unbelievable mother thoughts are just the pride in the society which is constructed around casteism is more important than what her child has experienced. That's the problem with the character of Simran, written and directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, whose earlier movies showed women with again Savarna progressive and educated minds who usually have had great ambitions in life but ends up in Paava Kadhaigal as just brahmanical women who do not even dream of humanity and real emotions other than pride and honour. It's unbelievable how Gautham Menon had written or directed a scene where Simran's character threw the little girl from the top of the mountain which I felt like she threw humanity itself into bloodshed. I've thrown my mobile away with shock after watching this particular scene which is beyond the imagination; this is the absolute terror which made me cry for more than 10 minutes. Lateral only I've realised that it's that mother's thought while they were on the mountain, but didn't throw the little girl in reality as Simran's character narrates by imaging how she had thoughts about the little girl. How Gautham Menon got this idea even to write, what's his feeling about this and what he wants to tell the society with this Vaanmagal. This leaves a horror message. If sexually abused children want to talk to their parents about what had happened to them, they would stop talking about it for sure if they got to watch this Vaanmagal.

Again, highlighting the negative impacts leaves horror messages to society

Oor Iravu by Vetri Maaran

Starts with the little nonlinear storytelling which conveys us that the parents and family are somehow convinced of what the educated daughter who took himr own decision in marriage and married a boy from other community which supposed to be only Dalit according to the many films made on caste theme.

Sai Pallavi plays the role of Sumathi, most loved daughter of Prakash Raj's character Jaanakiraaman, who comes to Bangalore to meet his daughter lives with husband Hari. So, the doorbell rings, Hari calls Sumathi "Sumathi Yaaru, Paarungaa" (see, whose there at the door), really which husband that too in the love-marriage calls his lovely wife which seems to be only respected than with love (both respect and love should be mingled, but here seems to be only respected) with paarunga rather than Paaru". So, the Dalit husband's character in this Oor Iravu talks this way with respects to his loving wife, who is from uppercaste.

This particular dialogue itself tells how responsibly the writer or filmmaker had constructed the characters and whatever comes from those characters. So, this is the failure of a filmmaker without much needed responsibility when telling a story with a caste theme if its intention is equality with the sense of annihilation of caste.

So, the husband character much seems to be mum all the time despite having dialogue meaning soft-toned which shows very very small power of a dialogue that delivers a strong voice. So, after all, Sumathi's father takes her to home, in a village of Tamil Nadu. This is where we get to see two youngsters came on the bullet bike to Janakiraaman's home saying that they would see how things will happen peacefully unlike what had happened to their family because of Janakiraaman's earlier Khap Panchayath meeting dealing with the similar situation which ultimately must have made a human loss in that boy's family, for which Janakiraaman replies that his father's requested him to the panchayat whereas now boys came here with no such request from any of the family members of Janakiraaman for the panchayat.

So, here arrangements start for the day where pregnant Sumathi gets a function arranged by Janakiraman as a traditional fest for the well-being of the unborn child for a well-blessed life. This is where Sumathi's husband Hari has already asked Janakiraman while he was in Hari's house in Banglore for which he accepted, to arrange function in a private hall than their home saying that "you didn't even drink water I gave you, so I can understand how your family will treat my family members coming to your home for the function". So as per the plans, all family members went to stay in the function hall the very night itself while Sumathi and her parents stayed at home. Here, onwards Sumathi starts feeling uneasy, so go to the restroom and come back but unnecessarily starts getting vomited and calling her mother who comes while asking husband why can't he even heard of daughters calling. There that woman calls his husband and asks to call to the doctor as Sumathi vomits again for which Janakiraman don't even react and also took the phone of Sumathi talking with her husband about her present situation, taken away forcefully by Janakiraman and asked the daughter to take rest. Here, Sumathi starts vomiting blood for which her mother cries and asks her husband to call the doctor and again refuses which is a shock to all. But Sumathi's mother tried to run to make calls to the doctor to which Janakiraman reacts and shouts with anger " hey where are you going?'' and drags and throws her into another room by casteist hands of Janakiraman. Then only we do understand fully that Janakiraman mixed poison into the water and gave it to daughter when she asked while eating for which voluntarily Janakiraman goes to take water for thirsty daughter.

Sumathi begs her father like anything but father offered her deaf ears while offering his sin ears to evil casteism for the honour which only kills humanity. Meanwhile, Sumathi vomits blood and starts bleeding leading to the death of both the unborn child and herself. Before she even begged her casteist father that they would go far away and would never reveal his name anywhere as to protect his honour of caste but still Janakiraman doesn't care at all and Sumathi dies. There comes the Dalit husband and from here anthology goes to Animation and drags Janakiraman by his colour and slaps and goes to Sumathi to cry. So, that's where the Resistance comes only after all loss, death. Ends with lines in red colour that Hari went to court and own case on murderers of his wife with the help of a Dalit activist.

So, like the three other filmmakers, what Vetrimaaran wants to tell through such characters? And why Prakash Raj such a great actor, human and politically well aware person and also a politician, who wants to see a change in society accepted such character and acted, just to convey this terror message of Vetrimaaran's that loving and marrying a Dalit man ultimately ends your life but nothing else. So every filmmaker of Paava Kadhaigal just threw a violent message by highlighting the terrors of casteism, that "The Freedom of Life with Dignity Means Ending Your Life, Itself.

What's more unfortunate is that many filmmakers and actors are coming forward and talking about this anthology in its praise, which simply means that they do fail to understand that when a particular story is being told, then it should not be from the perspective of its only terror and violence of one's but should be from the perspective of the people who fights back for their life with dignity.

So, what's bothering me more is that the filmmakers of this Anthology, the other celebrities and audience who praises it just have forgotten or ignored humanity as well as well-being a good citizen of the Indian Republic by forgetting one of their fundamental duties given by the Constitution of India

"To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women".


Gundala Balagurunadham,
M.A International Relations & Political Science.

Illustration by : Siddhesh gautam
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May 15, 2021, 2:37 pm INDIA