How I’m Fighting To Tell Stories About Indians Whose Voices Are Being Suppressed

Posted by Pawan K Shrivastava in Culture-Vulture
June 13, 2017

Nothing happens on its own. Everything which is happening around us has got a historical reference and a materialistic reason attached to it.

“We become what we read and watch.” I don’t know who coined this phrase but it is true, especially in a time when there is a high influx of texts and images in our daily lives. We have become accustomed to the digital and now each one of us is travelling with loads of data, images and news in our pockets.  It’s an era when voluntarily or involuntarily, everyone’s brain is being encroached with loads of images and texts. But, remember that any information which comes to you without your consent is nothing but someone else’s propaganda.

Now, the obvious question that comes to my mind is – who is the propagator and what is their agenda? I do not know whether it haunts your mind or not but certainly the question, and more importantly, its answer has given me power and a strong conviction to make “Life of an Outcast”.

Please do me a favour and rewind your conscious and sub-conscious mind. See if your brain has got any stored images or visuals of rural India. Can you recall the story of a farmer, tribal or a labourer living in the villages? Do you have any visuals of their day to day life? Voices of the majority are being marginalised. The absence of stories and visuals for 70% of the population of this nation has become the dangerous and ugly truth of today. Our TV screens, newspapers, the silver screen and most importantly Whatsapp images and Facebook feeds are deliberately being manipulated to keep us away from reaching the other side of this digital India.

Still from the film Life of an Outcast

It’s not because we don’t want to watch or hear them, but because the propagator doesn’t want us to see those images and stories. It’s a part of their politics. It’s a post-neoliberal-capitalist phenomenon in which we all are stuck. Our consents are being manufactured and a new truth and post truth are being created for us to believe in.

As a result, we have lost compassion for the issues facing rural India. We have been made to believe that everything is fine with this country and that India is shining. With each passing piece of information and visual, we are becoming less compassionate, less aware and further distant from rural India.

As a filmmaker and a storyteller, I am trying my best with what little capacity I have to bring those stories and issues back to your attention. It’s an effort to bring those visuals to your Facebook feed, and stories on your laptop screens through my film.

“Life of an Outcast” is based primarily on the ugly caste system which is still persistent in our society. It talks about oppression in the name of caste and religion.  In the film, you will see the visuals of our own people and prominent images of the land which is an integral part of our society.

The content of the current Indian film industry has forgotten the villages. As a result, so have the audience. Even if you make a film about rural India, there is no mechanism which can help you show the film to rural people. So, we have decided to subtitle this film in 10 Indian languages and have taken up the responsibility to screen the film in at least 500 villages across India.

But believe me, it’s not an easy task. Going against the wind always requires more strength and support. We have shot the film but completing it and spreading it is in your hands. Only you can do it. I alone cannot fight with this market, I need you to stand with me. Please help me in spreading this important story to the masses. I do not have a strong mechanism for it. All I have is your consent which I need for this important story.

You can watch the trailer of the film here, and support us in our crowd funding campaign. Please share so that it reaches more people.