The director of Kaala, Pa. Ranjith recently met Rahul Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, in New Delhi and discussed politics and art. Describing his meeting with Rahul Gandhi, the director tweeted that a national leader engaging with people from all ideologies was very encouraging. The Congress leader, on the other hand, tweeted, “We talked about politics, films and society. I enjoyed the interaction and look forward to continuing our dialogue.”
IMP.meeting with @RahulGandhi abt politics&art.Discussed caste&religious bias threatening d core of our secular constitution.Thks for having me over Sir.Lookin forward for our discussion taking shape.A national leader engaging with ppl from all ideologies is very encouraging! https://t.co/2eskPfEmvp
— pa.ranjith (@beemji) July 11, 2018
Rahul Gandhi also interacted with actor Kalaiyarasan, who has been an important part of Pa Ranjith’s Attakathi, Madras and Kabali, during the meeting.
Kaala might not have been a blockbuster, but Pa Ranjith was lauded for bringing the discourse on Dalit identity to a mainstream platform.
The director sets his films in places where there is a history of class struggle, or like he says, in backgrounds he is familiar with. “With every film, I choose scenarios that resemble what I grew up with. That is why I chose Malaysia, and now Dharavi. Somehow, oppressed people across the world, beyond caste, race, language and religion, are linked by class. And, I want to explore this connection and bring out its layers.”
Dalit leader from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani had earlier written an opinion piece on Kaala and Pa Ranjith. He wrote: “Our cinema has been badly affected by the post-globalisation era. After the 1990s, we hardly get to see a working class hero, a chawl, a basti, or the plight of a working widow. In this context, films like Kaala come as a relief. For the Dalit masses who are ‘invisibilised’ in media, Kaala becomes appealing as it shows symbols and imagery they can relate to.”
It looks to be seen what this meeting between a political scion and a filmmaker who bats for the downtrodden will lead to.