Movie Review-Jai Bhim

Jai Bhim is a film based on the 1993 Cuddalore Incident where Rajakannu, a Kurumbar tribal community was falsely accused of theft,imprisoned, and tortured by the Police. After Rajakannu succumbed to his injuries, the police covered up the incident but his wife fought for justice. Chandru, who was a lawyer at the time, fought and won the case in a landmark judgment. The film shows how caste is used as a dividing force to determine who will pay the price of corrupt practices.Covered with multiple such examples, the story serves to remind how commonplace it is to exploit people because of their caste, especially in villages and small towns.

review by monendra .n

Rajakannu is accused of robbing the sarpanch, despite the fact that he is not even in the town when the robbery takes place. From capturing and beating his relatives, pregnant wife torturing him repeatedly and forcing him to confess to the crime, Rajakannu and his family members’ treatment at the hands of the police is one of the most shocking scenes to witness. 

And yet, it’s not far from reality. After all, instances of police brutality are far too common in India, even today. It’s rooted in caste-based violence because the prime accused in the cases go scot-free, and innocents are imprisoned and mercilessly beaten. His family is not informed of his death, and he is not even awarded the dignity of last rites. 

The second half of the film focuses on Rajakannu’s pregnant wife Senghini fighting to find the truth about her husband, aided by activist and lawyer Chandru. Through several twists and turns, the film constantly builds up the idea that every human is born free, and deserves to be protected, not exploited, by law and order. While technically a ‘happy ending’, the film imprints on you with a sobering realization of the ugly reality of the caste division in India. 

Inspired by a real-life case fought by former lawyer and Madras High Court judge- Justice K Chandru, Jai Bhim is showcasing  a society that is too comfortable turning a blind eye to the caste divide, corruption, and caste-based atrocities in our country.

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