The fifth episode of Made in Heaven 2, directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, has brought the sensitive topic of casteism into the limelight. The episode features Radhika Apte as Pallavi Menke, a bold Dalit author who fearlessly advocates for her community.
Yashica Dutt, a prominent journalist and author known for her insightful book “Coming Out as Dalit,” has taken to Instagram to share her thoughts on the episode. While she praised the series for its depiction of a Dalit-Buddhist wedding, she expressed her dissatisfaction with what she perceived as a lack of recognition for her contributions to the core ideas of the episode. Titled “The Heart Skipped a Beat,” the episode portrays the empowering journey of a Dalit woman during her inter-caste wedding. Dutt lauded the Made in Heaven episode’s brilliance in showcasing the resilience of Dalit women, but she emphasized the importance of proper credit.
In her Instagram post, Dutt revealed, “Seeing my likeness on screen without warning or permission was a roller-coaster starting from thrill and excitement to sadness and loss.”
Dutt’s feelings stem from her belief that certain elements of the episode mirrored her own experiences, yet her name was conspicuously absent. She expressed her disappointment that her words and ideas were integrated into the narrative without proper acknowledgment. Despite her candid criticism, Dutt did not shy away from praising the episode, describing it as a “cinematic triumph” that captures “the true essence of a Dalit woman reclaiming her power in a casteist society.” She expressed ongoing support for director Neeraj Ghaywan, highlighting his role in showcasing unapologetic Dalit voices in cinema.
Dutt acknowledged Neeraj Ghaywan’s public acknowledgment of her work on his Instagram, but she pointed out that it came only after numerous viewers raised questions about her missing credentials. She concluded her message by urging the creators of the show, including Neeraj Ghaywan, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti, to formally acknowledge her intellectual contributions.
The episode’s exploration of casteism through the character of Pallavi Menke has ignited discussions about representation, credit, and the necessity of acknowledging the voices that contribute to such narratives. As the conversation continues, it underscores the importance of giving due recognition to those who shape and inform these stories.