Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: The Untold Truth (2000)



Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is a 2000 Indian feature film in English language, directed by Jabbar Patel. It tells the story of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, known mainly for his contributions in shaping the Constitution of India, as the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constituent Assembly. The film was a project funded jointly by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Government of Maharashtra. It was made at a budget of 8.95 crore. The production was managed by the government-owned National Film Development Corporation of India.

The role of Ambedkar was played by actor Mammootty: He won the National Film Award for Best Actor that year. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar won the National Film Awards for Best feature film in English and Best Art Direction (Nitin Chandrakant Desai) in 1999.

A portrait of the one of our greatest social reformer of our times - Ambedkar. The film documents the period between 1901 and 1956. The film delves more into Ambedkar's life as a reformer, while his personal life is sort of skimmed over. 

Ambedkar who is the first graduate of his community, the untouchables, is an unassuming young man. All he is concerned about, even when he goes to New York for further studies is that he's here to study, not get involved in political issues and rallies.

His exchanges with Afro-Americans, his teachers who support Human Rights and the inclusion of the 14th Amendment in the US Constitution granting rights to African-Americans however rouse the reformer in him. While India is fighting against the British rule on the political level spear-headed by Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar wages a social battle against the Upper Caste Hindus. Ambedkar and Gandhi clash in their ideologies. Yet Gandhi admires Ambedkar and it is on his insistence that Ambedkar is made the first Law Minister in Prime Minister, Nehru's rule. 

The film ends on the note of salvation - where Ambedkar gives millions of untouchables an alternate religion where they find dignity, compassion and equality. He publicly renounces Hinduism and adopts Buddhism.

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