By Kiran Kumbhar
August 29 2022
The 2018 film Tumbbad is among the best and most visually spectacular Indian films. Many of us know that. At the same time – what is less known – it is also one of the best Indian movies ever on caste.
We have been bombarded with claim that Dalits, Adivasis whose parents have government jobs are now “privileged.” In Tumbbad, we vividly portray such generational caste-based privilege.
There’s also a powerful and disturbing portrayal of “Brahmanical patriarchy”, as Uma Chakravarti described, after the people who made and propagated shastras as divine law.
Among the strongest undercurrents in the film is the elite privilege of committing offences and crimes at will, with little worry about punishment.
Maybe I have missed some good reviews. But it is unsurprising that these aspects just completely bypassed the radar of elite mainstream film reviewers in India.