In the midst of the credit controversy, filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan has shared insights regarding his episode in Made in Heaven 2, which showcases the highly-discussed ‘Buddhist wedding’ scene with Radhika Apte.
Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, one of the episodes of Made in Heaven season 2, became a talking point after Dalit author-journalist Yashica Dutt demanded due credit in Made In Heaven season 2. In a new interview with Bombay Times, Neeraj not only talked about his response to Yashica’s claims, but also the reaction to the wedding ceremony shown in the episode, which was praised by many on social media.
Neeraj on Made in Heaven’s Buddhist wedding
The filmmaker objected to Dalit bride Radhika Apte’s wedding on the show being called a ‘Dalit wedding’, and not a ‘Buddhist wedding’. Neeraj said, “When the response to MIH (Made In Heaven 2) came in, something inside me changed. I got heartfelt reactions from people, who thought they were finally seen and heard. Their trauma was acknowledged. The one thing that I want to humbly acknowledge is that we called it a Dalit wedding. That was wrong. It should have been called a ‘Buddhist wedding’.”
Yashica Dutt’s demanded recognition
Recently, Yashica Dutt had demanded recognition for inspiring the storyline of a Made in Heaven 2 episode directed by Neeraj Ghaywan through her life and work. The episode drew praise and generated discussion on the portrayal of a Dalit character in mainstream entertainment, as well the Buddhist wedding shown in it.
Explaining the premise of his Made in Heaven 2 episode, titled The Heart Skipped a Beat, Neeraj said in the same Bombay Times interview that it tells the story of Pallavi Menke (Radhika Apte), a Maharashtrian Dalit from the Vidarbha region. She goes to Columbia University in the US, and becomes an Ivy League professor. He said the episode is about her getting married to a man belonging to another caste, and how his family ‘has issues with her Buddhist wedding ceremony’, as they like her academic accolades, but want to erase her caste identity.
Neeraj said, “The episode handles this conflict. I don’t know how this is a homage to any one person. Even if you claim ownership to the term ‘coming out’, can you claim ownership to the act? So many people have hidden and then finally proclaimed their identities due to the fear of being judged. I hid my identity for 35 years, then suddenly spoke about it.”
Recent controversy regarding the series
Earlier this month, Yashica Dutt had said in a long Instagram post that her book, Coming Out as Dalit: A Memoir, served as an inspiration for the Neeraj Ghaywan-directed episode in the Prime Video show, but she wasn’t formally credited.
She had requested Neeraj and Made in Heaven creators Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti to formally recognise her contributions beyond a social media post and ‘within the show’s credits’. Neeraj and the makers had then denied Yashica’s claims.
Disclaimer: Except for the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service