23 November, 2020

Shivaji's Diktat

A film gives new meaning to Maratha pride

Apoorva Salkade
Shivaji's Diktat
Bang in the middle of Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy (This is Shivajiraje Bhosale Speaking), the film's protagonist Dinkar Maruti Bhosale lashes out at the Maratha legacy and Maharashtra's heroes, from Bal Gangadhar Tilak to B.R. Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar, for the insults that Maharashtrians must suffer in Mumbai. In the same dream appears Chhatrapati Shivaji, astride his horse, sword in hand, to correct Dinkar's acutely negative self-image. By the end of the three-hour film, Dinkar is proud to be a Maharashtrian and wears his Marathi asmita on his sleeve, without running down 'outsiders' and non-Maharashtrians. What's even better, he inspires other Maharashtrians to straighten themselves out.

In a politically surcharged climate that makes capital out of the Marathi manoos's seeming marginalisation and oppression in Mumbai, Dinkar's is a timely and remarkably sane voice. Amid the endless politics over Shivaji, his is a calm and wise voice. But Dinkar's voice is not really his own; he articulates what Shivaji thinks and speaks, when...


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