Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law
Monthly Review / by Saroj Giri
In “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka portrays a countryman who can only be forever “before the law,” but never entering. “It is possible” to gain entry, says the doorkeeper, “but not at the moment.” The man gets old and is about to die—and only now does he understand that the gate was meant for him! “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.“
… Bhima Koregaon is, in terms of its empirics, so loaded with historical memory and the legacy of caste oppression that the so-called progressive left would rather take cover in the past-erasing, rarefied realms of the futuristic non-world of the constitution and the rights and innate liberties it supposedly guarantees to all citizens. Before the law, any day!
● The Bhima Koregaon Arrests and the Resistance in India (Monthly Review / April 2022)
● Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati, by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
● Documentary: The battle of Bhima Koregaon – an unending journey
multiple Indian languages / en subtitles │ 50 min │ 2017
By pedestrian pictures
Direction and Camera – Somnath Waghmare
Editor – Deepu (Pradeep K P)
About the film
History speaks about great wars fought, brave warriors and clever kings and emperors. What history doesn’t do is justice to the wars, warriors and leaders of the oppressed. This documentary is about the 500 Mahar soldiers who offered to fight alongside their countrymen, against the colonisers. Rejected by the ruling class they joined forces with the colonisers and fought in the ‘Bhima Koregaon Battle’, defeating the Brahminical rule of the Peshwas. Just as history did, so do the media and ruling class today conveniently forget to acknowledge them. On the 1st of January, every year, 20 lakh (2 million) people gather at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, Maharashtra to commemorate that battle. No national or local media covers the largest annual gathering in the region. The documentary captures the history of Bhima Koregaon and its relevance to contemporary Dalit issues and politics in the country. It tells the history of the Bahujans through the coverage of the events of this gathering.