Richa Chadha in a still from the film.
Richa Chadha in a still from the film.

Swara Bhasker asks Dalit feminists to oppose violent threats against Richa Chadha over her film Madam Chief Minister

Swara Bhasker has asked Ambedkarites, Dalit feminists and other sane people to stand up against the violent threats issued against Richa Chadha regarding her film Madam Chief Minister.
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:19 PM IST

Swara Bhasker has condemned the threats issued against Richa Chadha over her portrayal of a Dalit woman in her upcoming film Madam Chief Minister. The actor had recently apologised for a now-retracted poster which featured her holding a broom in her hand.

She shared two newspaper reports about announcement of a prize money to the one who cuts Richa's tongue, and wrote, "This is absolutely shameful & to be condemned in no uncertain terms. You can have ideological issues & problems with a film but this is criminal intimidation & incitement to violence. Ambedkarites, Dalit feminists & just sane people- stand up & call this out! @RichaChadha #NotOk."

Later, Richa reacted to the news articles, saying, "Hum nahi darte (we are not afraid)."

Richa, plays an aspiring politician who works for the backward castes and women in a largely patriarchal society. She received backlash over a poster and the makers too were criticised for not choosing a Dalit actor for the role.

Calling the broom just 'a prop', Richa had issued a statement, "This film was learning experience for me, for us all. The promotions were no different. The first poster that was released faced severe criticism, rightly so. What to me (and my privileged eyes) was a mere prop used by my character in a scene, came across as a stereotypical portrayal of Dalits for many of our people."

Also read: Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey to light up theatres this Diwali, see new still

She said it was an "inadvertent error" and added, "As an actor, I receive the communication for posting, complete with the copy, handles and hashtags. Needless to say, I have no role in the designing of promotional materials. By saying this, I am not throwing the makers under the bus. They realised this inadvertent error and took this criticism in their stride. They responded immediately by retracting the objectionable poster and by releasing a new poster the very next day. It was a regrettable and a completely unintentional oversight, not a deliberate insinuation. We are sorry. Our heart is in the right place. Hopefully you will see that for yourself when you watch the film."

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