Jai Bhim is an Indian Tamil language film (dubbed in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada) released on the 2nd of November, 2021. The film stars Saravanan Sivukumar (Suraiya) who plays the role of the then Advocate Chandru, and Lijomol Jose, K. Manikandan and various others. This legal drama, directed by T.J. Gnanavel, is based on a true incident that occurred in the 90s – Justice K. Chandru’s endeavour to secure justice to a couple belonging to the Irular tribe in particular, and the entire community in general.
India is a country in which caste-based discrimination is still prevalent. Jai Bhim shows how this brutal truth is existing. This movie is a must-watch for the entire country and beyond as it highlights the wounded facade of India’s social (in turn, political) reality.
Advocate Chandru is sympathetic to the cause of the oppressed tribal communities. At the beginning of the cinema, it is shown that he fights for justice for several people from tribal communities who were turned in by means of false cases. It was due to him that 7000 of such victims were ordered to be released. This sums up his passion for right and justice.
Jai bhim cinema contains various important lessons.
- Every citizen should be aware of the fact that the Fundamental Rights are for every single human being of the country – irrespective of Caste, creed, sex, religion, race or place of birth. The Fundamental Rights of India are – Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to Constitutional Remedies. Caste-based discrimination has to stop because these rights have been applicable to everyone, including the people belonging to the tribal community.
- The hierarchy of the society, that was inaugurated by the caste system, has to be done away with. Consciously or subconsciously, very often citizens try to demean or look down upon people belonging to the so-called lower castes. Such practices are looked down upon in the film and in real life too, these practices should stop.
- One should stand up for what is right, no matter what. Advocate Chandru’s fight for justice for an innocent, pregnant woman from Irular tribe was not easy. In every moment, there were hurdles and conflicts. But he followed the honest road and did not fall for the ugliness to which his opponents had succumbed.
- Senghani, in spite of all the hardships and tough situations that she had to encounter, fought for her right. There were times when influential people tried to manipulate her to give up in return of a huge sum of cash. But Senghani did not surrender and she fought till the end, seeking justice for her husband’s death.
- Mythra, a teacher for the adults from Irular tribe, is an inspirational character. The tribal people require education more than anything else, to escape such a horrendous state of living. They should be made aware of their rights and educators would help them gain this awareness.Mythra helped Senghani throughout. The society needs more people like Mythra, who is sympathetic to the situations of the tribal communities and tries to help them in general and especially during their need.
- If someone (especially from a lower caste or tribal community) has a history of being arrested, one must not discard them or deprive them of good behaviour or the authorities shouldn’t deprive them of the opportunities they need. There is a chance that they have been accused of false case. Thus, the grounds of arrest should be enquired before dealing with such people.
- A level of honesty in profession is also shown through the characters of Inspector General and Advocate Chandru. Their roles prove the age-old sayings about the ultimate victory of truth. It is them whose roles are remembered and praised because they did the right thing and stood up against the wrong while most of the other people involved were following the road of dishonesty.
- The importance of independence of judiciary is illustrated in the cinema. If the hands of the judges were tied by some other institution, the verdict might have been different. In the end, Senghani received justice because the judges were not influenced by any external factor. Advocate Chandru also could not be influenced by anybody as he is the flag bearer of honesty in this film.
- Habeas Corpus is a process through which an unlawful arrest is brought to the notice of the court and the court is requested to determine the case of the arrested person. Chandru filed a petition for Habeas Corpus to determine the reason of Rajakannu’s arrest. This shows that the Constitution is very powerful in the country which doesn’t allow anything immoral and protect every innocent citizen. It is the practice by people that leads to all the unlawful activities and injustice.
- The verdict delivered by the judges is the most significant of all. It is the reason for which Chandru fought. The verdict was not influenced, nor sugar-coated to protect the wrong doers. The wrong doers, to whichever profession or class they belong, should be punished by the Honourable court.
The purpose of cinema is not just for purgation or entertainment purposes. Cinemas are cultural texts which are accessible to all. This is exactly the reason why cinema should become a significant tool of education. Movies like Jai Bhim accurately use this tool. Cinemas even have the power of manufacturing consent. The impact the movie will leave in the minds of rational beings – sociologists, political scientists, human rights activists, and so on and so forth. Movies like Jai Bhim are needed to leave people thinking, educate people about the realities of Indian society and finally, maybe, urge people to change the society.
Certain dialogues of the film include:
– Law is a very powerful weapon. Lekin aap iss hatiyar se kise bachaate hai, isse zaruri aur kuchh nahi hota. (Law is a very powerful weapon. But the most important thing is who you save with this weapon.)
-…har ek ko insaaf k kiye ladne ka haq hai aur in adalat ka farz hai ki woh unhe insaaf dilaye. (Everyone has the right to fight for justice and it is the duty of the Court to impart justice to them.)
-Waise bhi gunhegaaron ka saath aksar kahi log duya karte hai, sir. Behgunehoka kaun dega? Unhe humi se ummed hai. (The wrong doers have a lot of supporters but the innocents have hopes from us [lawyers]).
-Kaunsi Jaati mai chor nahi hote hai, Nataraj? Tumhare Jati, mere Jati, sab Jati mei bade bade chor hote hai. Pehle logo ko jati ke aadhar mei baatna bandh kardo. (In which caste or category of people wouldn’t you find thieves, Nataraj? There are big thieves in your caste, in our caste, and every other caste. First, try to quit dividing on the basis of Caste.)
These are certain significant lessons from the film, too. The application of these lessons is also properly shown.
Jai Bhim is a reflection of society, exposing the dirty practices that take place, by succumbing to rage and illegal means. The police torture shown in the movie would make anyone cringe and get terrified. So, imagine what the victims go through! Controversies surround this cinema because the public wishes to rather watch politically incorrect entertaining films like Sooryavanshi instead of a portrayal of a real-life, horrible incident. The entire society is filled with flaws, which is why more cinemas like Jai Bhim should come up. There’s a reason why the film has a 9.6/10 imbd rating. The film highlights corruption, which is basically the real image of Indian society. Very obviously, people don’t want to watch it.
According to YouTube-based journalist Akash Banerjee, “Custodial death is a harsh truth and that is the focus of Jai Bhim”. He also states a very significant statistic that for the last 3 years, 5 deaths took place daily in judicial custody, as reported by the home ministry. He highlights how the film shows the importance of judicial assistance in the lives of the marginalized.
Last but not the least, acting and direction. Even though it’s a very low-budget film, good acting and good direction add cherry on the top of this masterpiece. One can’t help but feel bad for Senghani for her plight and the character was given 100% justice by Jose. Suraiya is, undoubtedly, amazing too. Gnanavel, perhaps, gave a certain level of freedom to the actors. Even except that, the movie is well directed, containing amazing dialogues and hostile scenes of brutality.
This movie is a must-watch for every Indian citizen, especially for the youth. The country needs more honest lawyers like Adv. Chandru, who is free from the shackles of corruption and has his conscience as a guide. The country could become a better place to live in only through joint efforts of all the educated youths and honest authorities