India China Institute and School of Media Studies at The New School invite you to a special event with Anand Patwardhan, India's leading documentary filmmaker featuring a screening of the award-winning film, Jai Bhim Comrade, and a conversation with Patwardhan.
Nidhi Srinivas, associate professor of Nonprofit Management at Milano, The New School will chair a discussion following the event. Sumita Chakravarty, associate professor of Culture and Media, The New School, and Toral Gajarawala, assistant professor of English at NYU, and an expert on Dalit issues, will serve as discussants.
About Jai Bhim Comrade:
For thousands of years India’s Dalits were abhorred as “untouchables” denied education and treated as bonded labour. By 1923 Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, won doctorates abroad and fought for the mancipation of his people. He drafted India’s Constitution, led his followers to discard Hinduism for Buddhism. His legend still spreads through poetry and song.
In 1997 a statue of Dr. Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire killing 10. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung 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 from the days of the Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.
Reviews of the film are availalable on the film's website.
Anand Patwardhan is India's leading documentary filmmaker. For over four decades his investigative documentaries have charted life in modern India, from the nature of its economic development to the power of nationalism and religious fundamentalism, and the struggles by the poor and the marginalized for justice. It has taken legal action, including a decision by India's Supreme Court, to prevent successive Indian governments from censoring his films and blocking them from being screened.