Nakul Singh interviews the filmmakers of ‘Caste on the Menu Card’
Newsclick organised an interview between the filmmaker Nakul Singh and the makers of “Caste on the Menu Card”who are also students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. The film was denied permission for screening at the ’12th Jeevika Asia Livelihood Documentary Film Festival’ after a dictate from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.The film makers said, there was no proper official communication on why the film was not permitted to screen at the festival. The synopsis of the film had been given; therefore it is not appropriate to say there is no enough information given about the film, a day before the scheduled screening. The students said that they selected the subject of the film as per the theme given to them according to their curriculum. The film had been made before all the controversies of beef came-up. It asks why a certain community is having a particular food culture like the consumption of beef and other meat; how their livelihood work is connected to their caste; and the relation of cultures of food with caste. The students criticised the I&B Ministry as they claimed that the film is denied permission only because it is not favor to the dominant ideology in the country under the rule of the BJP. Singh veers the conversation to more complexities: the attack on the domestic consumption of beef so that smaller slaughter houses, often maintained and owned by marginalised groups, are affected, leaving the large-scale export of beef and larger slaughter houses out of the ambit. The filmmakers also mention that the discourse around the right to food choices may be misleading as this is not always a question of choice, but one of imposition of particular food cultures on particular communities.
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