“This film is inspired by real events,” reads the opening caption. Which is a relief as the last few years have been filled with Hindi films based on actual events. Including a disclaimer that confirms that is not the case.
Screenwriter and director Sartak Dasgupta 200 Halla Ho are based on a shocking story:
That it’s hard to believe wasn’t a complete find. In August 2004, according to media reports. A mob of about 200 women from the Dalit-populated slums of Nagpur. Which stormed a courtroom in the city and sentenced gangster Akku Yadav to death. It is alleged that they aimed to rape and attack women and girls. From the slums in various ways for about a decade.
Most were silent, according to the news site. Those who report to the police are either ignored or reported to Yadav. By law enforcement or sexually harassed by them. There have been various reports of Yadav’s ending. Including one from the police claiming to have been killed.
By the men and that the women held them accountable for the crime; Women insist on something else. Dasgupta and his co-writers Abhijeet Das, Soumyajit Roy and Gaurav Sharma welcomed the show’s latest version.
For the record, the 200 Halla Ho does not reflect the reality of most rape survivors:
In the world who don’t solve their rapists but struggle with survival because that in itself is a challenge. Her life has rarely been of interest to multi-lingual commercial Indian cinema.
Which has long been drawn to dramatic fiction stories about women. And/or family members carrying out colourful revenge against rapists. Recent known film cases.
The major difference between these films and the 200 Halla Ho is that they are not the product of the author’s imagination. However, we should note that the stories we tell as a society reflect our commitment to the community that we otherwise ignore.
Undoubtedly, the women who killed Akku Yadav deserve this story, especially since Hindi cinema has practically erased the Dalit community from its universe in recent decades.
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Rinku Rajguru, best known for the Marathi blockbuster Sairat, stars as Asha Serve, the great hope of the impoverished Dalit community in the impoverished area where she grew up – one who seems to be running away from their life of obedience. Asha managed to get a higher education and embark on a promising professional journey. When she decided to go back and fight for her people against Bali and other oppressors.
In 200, Halla Ho, Asha and Vithhal Daangle (Palekar) clashed:
Because he had spent his entire career defending himself from being called a “Dalit judge”. When he insisted on carrying his Dalit identity up his sleeve. Reminding him that he did so because of society. Did not allow him to forget his caste even for a second of his existence. His aversion to reductive labelling is undoubtedly justified, but the arguments against mentioning their caste origin are equally valid.
Initially, it appeared that Vithhal was used as a preferred verbal tool. By the dominant community, suggesting. For example, that a fair investigation would require the commission to ignore the caste and gender of those involved. As the film progresses, it turns out that the initial violence. Which is a reflection of what privileged people. From lower castes are, women. And others who have been successful want to hear during the Asha-Dalit resistance. How he still lives with them – reflects reality.
Dasgupta’s film shines in parts because it sticks to naturalistic storytelling, like this introductory conversation between Asha and Vital. Bali’s crime saga is horrific. Its castism, apathy, and establishment intrigue are believable. And the balance of the film strikes at its position as an audience is paramount. It’s not prescriptive. It doesn’t praise vigilance. It’s a warning. As Withal puts it at several points, of what is happening. Can happen if the system continues to deny justice to the oppressed.
When 200 Halla Ho spend time in the slums. Asha’s congregation is painted with a broad brush (their political representation is so bad). That Asha is the only one to remember.