Sanjiv Jaiswal’s latest film explores repercussions of social segregation

In his first directorial venture, film-maker Sanjiv Jaiswal has explained how the caste system came into existence and examined its ramifications.

For Sanjiv, who first produced the Manoj Bajpai-starrer Fareb , his upcoming venture Shudra: The Rising is not merely a movie but a tribute to the courage and fortitude of countless fellow human beings condemned to sub-human existence since time immemorial.

The film faced unnecessary delay due to objections by a high-caste group and is now due for release in theatres across the country on October 19.

Speaking about the bane of casteism in our country, Sanjiv says his film dwells on an issue which needs to be understood by people living in the metropolitan cities.

“I agree that discrimination on the basis of caste is not prevalent in our metros, but in our small towns and villages it can be seen in various dimensions. Therefore, those living in cities must know how casteism came into existence and what are its ugly ramifications, particularly in the rural areas of the country. They need to understand what are the economic and psychological aspects of segregating people on the basis of their caste. We should not circulate half-cooked information before the public.”

Unlike noted film-maker Prakash Jha’s socio-political drama Aarakshan which talked about the controversial reservation issue, Sanjiv says Shudra: The Rising explores other dimensions of the caste system. “Moreover, it is a period film. One of the factors that play an important role in electing a pradhan is what is the percentage of population of members from his community.”

Shot in his hometown Lucknow, the film was supposed to release earlier but because of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh had to postponed. “Some people insinuated that it was made at the behest of the ruling political party (Bahujan Samaj Party) and it would benefit if my film was released. Then the Central Board of Film Certification sat over the film for seven to eighth months before releasing it with a U/A certificate.”

Noting that he has been heartened by the positive response he has received on the Internet, Sanjiv says he launched a social campaign when his film was facing difficulties in getting released. “I got an overwhelming response when I launched my campaign on You Tube and received 40,000 sms.”

Asserting that the film has been made keeping in mind the commemoration of 100 years of Indian cinema, Sanjiv says theatre actors like Aaref Rajput have played the main roles. “Known Bollywood actors would have hijacked the subject.”

Sanjiv Jaiswal will organise a function at Constitution Club here this Monday where there will be a Dalit anthem, homage to Bhim Rao Ambedkar, and his film’s music would be released.

The occasion will be graced by National Commission of Scheduled Tribes chairperson P. L. Punia.