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काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: १५४

'Pujaar Sarki': Serious subject, superficial presentation

Few films are made on Dalit issues. Making a film highlighting this kind of problem is positive. 'Pujaar Sarki' could have raised a loud voice against it, showing the caste system that had been built up over the years. However, due to weak screenplay, lack of study on serious issues and insensitivity, 'Pujar Sarki' has attacked Dalit liberation/rebellion.
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Ahuti writes in the book 'Jat Varta', 'Inter-caste love and marriage is a rebellion against the caste system by nature'. how A society based on the caste system prohibits blood relations between men or women of the opposite sex of different castes the most. One of the most central cultural values ​​of the caste system is the concept of blood purity, which is directly violated by inter-caste love or marriage.

'Pujaar Sarki': Serious subject, superficial presentation

Director Dinesh Raut has tried to rebel against the caste system through inter-caste love and marriage in the performance of 'Pujar Sarki'. However, due to weak screenplay, insensitivity towards Dalit issue and superficial presentation, this voice of rebellion is heard dimly in 'Pujaar Sarki'. In particular, inter-caste marriage will not eliminate the caste system. However, in this film, inter-caste marriage is tried to be established as the liberation of Dalits.

The story of the film revolves around inter-caste marriage, in which director Raut has also mixed the Jan Andolan (communist politics) of 2046. However, because love and politics are not woven into the screenplay, the film has not been able to establish either love or politics. Since Dalit issues and communist politics cannot be integrated, this film has become only a superficial presentation of serious issues. The issue of Dalits is not dealt with in a thorough manner in the film.

at the beginning of love! Maite (Pradeep Khadka), a supposed low caste, wants to marry Magar's daughter Gaumaya (Pariksha Limbu). However, Gaumaya's father is not in favor of accepting their love relationship . Seeing the daughter and Maite together, Khukuri starts to cry . On the other hand, the priest (Aryan Sigdel) who worships Kalika Mai also wants to end the discrimination and marry Maia (Anjana Barailly) who is said to be of low caste. What kind of struggle will these two characters do for the sake of this forbidden love in the society? This is the original story of 'Pujar Sarki'. However, because their love and inter-caste marriage cannot be presented convincingly, this film does not reach the rebellion mentioned by Ahuti in the book.

These two characters do not have to struggle much for the social acceptance of their love . After the priest read the scriptures and said that he would become a bridegroom, Maite started thinking about becoming a bridegroom . Thinking of getting married as a bridegroom, they start flipping the scriptures, they start digging their ethnic identity . Apart from that, this character is not shown to struggle much for Gaumaya . For his marriage, Maite sometimes takes shelter of the priest and sometimes of Meghraj (Paul Shah)! Now the supposed upper caste men don't have to struggle like Dalit characters to marry the supposedly lower caste women! In one scene, Pujaar is shown getting married to Maia with great fanfare, but till then, where did the society that opposed their love go ? Where did the family go? The film does not show .

Maite's effort to get Gaumaya seems contrary to the Dalit issue. For example, until the time before the middle ages, the idea that the supposed lower caste should marry the girlfriend of the upper caste has been expressed. This kind of Brahminical thinking has become dominant many times in reading the story. Director Raut has not been able to show the issue of discrimination and oppression that Dalits have been suffering for years in a strong way by forgetting to grasp such fine lines of story telling. The film tries to cover the Dalit struggle from 2046 Jan Andolan to 2081 . Even though trying to show all the political developments that are changing in the meantime, the film only seems to touch the issue of Dalits. With the entry of politics, inter-caste love in the film loses momentum. The love of Maite and Gaumaya, Pujar and Maia, when the public movement is connected, the director Raut has failed to match the identity of these two issues . Jan Andolan removes the Panjayat system and starts a multi-party system . Director Raut has hastily shown such major developments and changes in communist politics in the film, so if the political upheaval of that time is not shown, the main issue of 'Pujaar Sarki' gets confused . That is why the dialogue character says that the system has changed, but they have not been able to establish it in the scene.

This story of those who have been oppressed for years is also told from a Brahminist point of view . For example, it is Meghraj who gets Maite and Maiya into the party . Meghraj supposedly upper caste! At a glance, it is shown that the so-called upper castes have taken the leadership of the so-called lower castes in this fight for liberation. When a priest marries a low caste Maiya, he changes his surname. Does the caste system end when the alleged upper castes change their surnames? In one scene of the film, Pujaar says that he will fall when he gets married to Maiya . It's not like the priest accepting the fact that his caste has fallen by keeping the Sarki surname! It seems that writer Vikash Subedi did not consider the finer aspects of the caste system while writing a character like a progressive-minded priest. When Dalit women like Maia are favored by the supposedly big caste like Pujaar, Dalit men love only the daughters of the tribe. Dalit men can't love a supposedly upper caste woman?

There is no hierarchical structure of caste system within the tribe. However, due to the influence of the caste system, the hill and lowland tribes also made the caste system a part of their behavior. Gaumaya's father is the result of that . In one scene of the film, this character is shown to be flexible and trying to maintain balance. When the two characters are being chased by the villagers, the character appears balanced as he stands up for the character . However, to create a commentary that the tribe is the cause of the conflict in the process of showing Rukum-Massacre is neglecting the seriousness of the subject.

On the other hand, in this film, most of the time, the main characters continue to raise the topic of 'caste discrimination' which is not in the scriptures . The production team has forgotten about the caste system and is trying to create only a comment that there is no discrimination in the scriptures . In the Ramayana, there is a description of Rishi Shambuka of the Shudra caste, killing him by beheading him saying that he was bringing evil to the kingdom. Even in the Mahabharata, there is an episode where Karna was insulted for life as the son of a Shudra. It is positive for the characters to raise their voice against the caste system, but forgetting the caste system and the caste discrimination that it is fostering, the production team does not seem to have paid attention to the sensitive issue.

Who is telling the story on such a serious issue? It means a lot. You can only tell the story of the community you belong to very well . Having said that, in terms of filmmakers, there is no creative rule that tells stories of other communities. However, the challenge is always how closely you can experience the pain of other communities and convey it well. For example, Martin Scorsese in 'Killers of the Flower Moon' placed most of the Osage community people in different departments of film production, so that when telling the story of the tribal people, the opinion of the white American would not be imposed on it, the story could be shown realistically . While telling the story of a community, the production team adopted this kind of sensitivity with the thought of making it credible and close to the truth.

But, that sensitivity is not in 'Pujar Sarki' . The film is written by Vikash Subedi, directed by Dinesh Raut. Pradeep Khadka, Aryan Sigdel and Paul Shah in the lead roles! This narrator, who is considered superior in the caste system, has ignored the delicate subject of Dalit liberation in the film. The team of 'Pujar Sarki' has not become sensitive to issues like the caste system, which is like a flower in Nepali society. In the film, things like caste system and discrimination are only heard in the dialogues, they have not been able to establish much in the scene. The scene is stretched to connect the film with the current situation . The ending of the film is also kept only to speak a serious dialogue against the caste system. The scene, which is meant to give a message, looks intriguing. Only the slogans used in sloganeering have been mixed in the dialogue of the film, but the distinction has not been established in the scene. Achanoko Pir Khukuri show po po!

Few films are made on Dalit issues. Making a film highlighting this kind of problem is positive. "Pujar Sarki" could have raised a loud voice against it by showing the caste system that had been created for years. However, due to weak screenplay, lack of study on serious issues and insensitivity, 'Pujaar Sarki' has attacked Dalit liberation/rebellion.

प्रकाशित : जेष्ठ १४, २०८१ १२:५१
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