January 4, 2018
Acclaimed filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan responded to a casteist
tweet by fellow filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri by saying he won the award at the
prestigious Cannes Film Festival without using his Dalit identity.
Amidst the unrest in Maharashtra over clashes between Dalits and Maratha groups, Agnihotri spoke about how he once saw a grandson of a Dalit leader in a Business Class seat in a plane while he himself, a Brahmin, was seated in the Economy Class and remarked that the "pyramid is inverted".
Ghaywan on Wednesday replied to Agnighotri: "I am a Dalit. I won the Cannes Film Award for our country. Also the Cannes advertising award. I won the National award and the Filmfare award. All without using my Dalit identity. And yes, I fly Business Class now and I will offer you my seat next time you are on the same plane."
A shutdown called by Dalit parties hit Maharashtra on Wednesday following Monday's riots in Pune district.