India boasts that it is the largest democracy in the world and also claims ‘unity in diversity’. But is that the reality?
Article 15 of the Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, but rampant discrimination continues. Anubhav Sinha’s film ‘Article 15’ depicts the hard hitting reality of discrimination whose venom percolates through society in the form of rape, torture, untouchability, job quotas, honour killings, etc. The movie is based on a true story of the 2014 Badaun gang rape case, in which two teenage women were murdered in Uttar Pradesh.
Ayushmann Khurrana, who plays the senior police officer, Ayaan Ranjan hunts for the truth behind the death of the two sisters and their missing cousin.
The duty of India’s law enforcement agencies has been questioned as the higher officials try to manipulate medical evidence and suppress the truth as they say the women were hanged in public but not raped. The girls were asking for a wage hike of 2 rupees for which they were killed to show their ‘aukaat’ to the entire village. The fear spread among women in society has been starkly shown.
The movie exposes honour killings which are still prevalent in many parts of the country with more than 300 cases in the last 3 years.
A scene showing the horrific plight of sewer cleaners brings out the dark reality of our people. With modern technology which is capable of searching for life on other planets, around 620 people have died in cleaning sewers alone.
The movie captures a diverse spectrum of emotions with hints of tasteful humour showing the hypocrisy of law in our country and the thorough misuse of power.
The conclusion drawn at the end is that a difference needs to be made. But, are people willing to join?
The bigger question which the film does not raise but we have to ask is about various rights to people granted in the Constitution. What use are these rights if there is no provision in the Constitution to ensure that the Rights are actually enjoyed by people? What do these rights mean to people if their violation is not punished? Should not people be demanding the mechanisms for enforcement of rights?