Arunraja Kamaraj defends Brahmin hero in his Article 15: ‘Anyone can do good’ - Hindustan Times

Arunraja Kamaraj, who is remaking Article 15 in Tamil, defends film's Brahmin hero: ‘The change should start from them'

May 12, 2022 11:45 AM IST

Article 15, starring Ayushmann Khurrana in the lead role was released in 2019. The Tamil remake of the film Nenjukku Needhi will release later this year.

Lyricist-filmmaker Arunraja Kamaraj is looking forward to the release of upcoming Tamil thriller Nenjukku Needhi, a remake of Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15. As part of a promotional interview, Arunraja was asked about how a Brahmin hero saved the lives of the Dalits in the original. He said that he didn’t mind the story of having a hero from upper caste because it’s where the discrimination started. He added that you don’t have to belong to a certain community to do good. Also Read: Ayushmann Khurrana on controversy around Article 15: ‘Our film does not take any sides’

Anuraja Kamaraj is awaiting the release of Article 15's Tamil remake Nenjukku Needhi,
Anuraja Kamaraj is awaiting the release of Article 15's Tamil remake Nenjukku Needhi,

Soon after the release of Article 15, which starred Ayushmann Khurrana as a Brahmin police officer, the film was criticised for its gaze on caste politics. Sinha’s perspective of placing the camera on the shoulders of the privilege and exploring caste politics through that lens was not welcomed by all.

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In the interview, Arunraja was asked about criticism Article 15 received over having a Brahmin hero over a Dalit protagonist. The clip has gone viral on social media and many have praised Arun’s comments.

Defending the representation of the Brahmin hero in Article 15, Arunraja said: “You don’t judge someone’s caste by the good they do. Any person belonging to any community can do good. As per the point of view of the original (Anubhav Sinha) director, the discrimination was started by them (upper class), so he felt the change should start from them. I agree with his point of view. Anyone can do good and that deed can’t be defined by caste, creed or religion. Also, when you’re making a film on Article 15, I don’t even see the need to talk about representation because it defeats the whole purpose.”

He added that if you want to tell the story of a Dalit character going to on to become a high designated police officer, the journey itself becomes a story you need to tell. That’s not the story of Article 15, he said.

Several users on Twitter heaped praise on Arunraja’s clarity of thoughts. One user wrote: “Always admired his thought process. Very sensible among recent directors (sic).” Another user wrote: “Feel he is right. Brahmins doesn’t mean bad people. There are progressive thinkers in their community as well, same applies for any caste or religion in India, it’s based on how an individual thinks and reacts. aren’t we doing the same mistake that they did If we say all of them are bad (sic).”

Nenjukku Needhi, which stars Udhayanidhi Stalin in the lead, is gearing up for release on May 20.

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