Docu-Forum-Online Jai Bhim Comrade

Jai Bhim Comrade © Anand Patwardhan

Wed, 17.02.2021

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata

Park Mansions, Gate 4
57A, Park Street
700 016 Kolkata

A Film by Anand Patwardhan
Duration: 182 minutes, 2012, Marathi, Hindi with English Subtitles

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 emancipation 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 ten. 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.


Best Film Films South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal

Best Film Mumbai International Film Festival

Best Documentary Hong Kong International Film Festival

Bartok Prize Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris, France

Special Jury Award National Awards, India

Golden Camel Jaipur International Film Festival

Anand Patwardhan has been making political documentaries for over four decades pursuing diverse and controversial issues that are at the crux of social and political life in India. Many of his films were at one time or another banned by state television channels in India and became the subject of litigation by Anand who successfully challenged the censorship rulings in court.

Anand received a B.A. in English Literature from Bombay University in 1970, won a scholarship to get another B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University in 1972 and earned a Master’s degree in Communications from McGill University in 1982.

Anand has been an activist ever since he was a student — having participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement; being a volunteer in Caesar Chavez’s United Farm Worker’s Union; working in Kishore Bharati, a rural development and education project in central India; and participating in the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75 and in the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency. Since then he has been active in movements for housing rights of the urban poor, for communal harmony and participated in movements against unjust, unsustainable development, miltarism and nuclear nationalism.

You can watch the film here on 17 February 2021 at 5:00 pm

After the first screening, from 8:15 pm IST, you can join the film maker and senior journalist Vidyarthi Chatterjee for a live discussion.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the discussion are the personal views of the concerned person and are not the responsibility / views of our Institute.