Identity crisis faced by rich OBCs

Thiruvananthapuram: Will economic prosperity raise the social status of the OBCs in the country? Gyanesh Zooting, a young filmmaker from Pune, explores the identity crisis being faced by the affluent among the OBCs in the country through his film, ‘Floating Position’.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on 24 June 2009, he said a conflict of a ‘Where do I belong’ kind is troubling even the affluent among the Other Backward Communities (OBC) in Maharashtra. “Financially, many of the OBCs have made giant leaps and are on par with Brahmins. In some cases, they are more well-placed than Brahmins. But, still, they don’t enjoy the social status of Brahmins,” he said.

Gyanesh said the identity crisis had started affecting their personal relationships with the upper castes. “Even though we are more religious and learned than some of the Brahmins, there remains confusion over status,” he said.

He said, “The backward class movements are fragmented and are not connected to their history.”

Venu Nair, who made a film on the Kattunaikkar of Wayanad, said he had focussed on the life and culture of the tribal community “which is still striving to retain its ethnic traits and traditions despite facing the impact of globalization”.

P Beena, a teacher at the Vivekodayam LP School at Puthusserikadavu in Wayanad, who made a film on the Paniya community among the Adivasis, said “her film explores the reasons behind the large-scale dropout among Paniya children.” She said the Paniya community was very eager to retain their language, culture and tradition.

When a new teaching system to suit the Paniya children was introduced, they started attending the classes. Beena said “her film propagates the message that the government and non-governmental agencies should give importance to Adivasis’ lifestyle and culture while trying to uplift them through education.”

C Rahim, who made the film ‘Birdman’, based on the lives of a couple engaged in protecting birds at the Kunthakulam bird sanctuary, said “only a few wildlife documentaries are produced in Kerala”. He said more documentaries should be made to educate the people.

Accepting foreign funding with strings attached would be dangerous for the country and producing independent wildlife documentaries was advisable, he said. Rahim said he was saying this in view of the fact that Western Ghats, which is one of the 50 bio-diversity hot spots in the world, has become a destination frequented by bio-smugglers.

Filmmakers Asha, Vishnu Syamaprasad and Gargi Sen were also present at the meet-the-press programme.

Source: The New Indian Express, 26 June 2009|8=&SectionID=lMx/b5mt1kU=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=tm2kh5uDhixGlQvAG42A/07OVZOOEmts&SEO=



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