A Strong Dalit Political Discourse Behind Kabali Title

Kabali seems to be the trending word for weeks now and the movie is commercially hit benefiting stakeholders and the team. Superstar Rajinikanth played a role of an aging don in the movie who shared his screen space with Radhika Apte as his wife. The movie is well received by the audience; however, it created an open platform for mixed criticism, especially Dalit political discourse.

Directed by Pa. Ranjith, a person of revolutionary ideology, who always intends to record Dalit identity and politics through mainstream media, has implemented the same with Kabali. His previous outings ‘Attakathi‘ and ‘Madras‘ had also reflected his oppressed class politics, but they weren’t into the limelight as they were small movies in terms of production value and star casts.

Let’s discuss Pa Ranjith and his movies in the coming posts, and let me stick to the niche. Why Ranjith opt ‘Kabali’ for this melodrama gangster movie? It basically reflects the ideologies of the director.

The text of the movie and the title Kabali has a long history in Tamil cinema. The text has deep roots into various culture and traditions but how it is handled in Tamil cinema. Who is Kabali in Tamil cinema? Tamil cinema had predominantly portrayed Kabali(s) as oppressed class people, local goons, illiterates, and most prominently as bad people living in Madras. So obliviously, if someone is named Kabali, there would be discrimination and others follow back. They were never treated as heroes in Tamil Cinema as they belong to the oppressed class.

So he wanted to show Kabli(s) as heroes in his movies. Whenever he starts writing a script for a movie, the title would be probably Kabali, but due to some reasons, it didn’t work out until meeting Rajinikanth. The name has reached the nook and corner of the world, and suppose if some other actor had done the movie, it wouldn’t have that wider reach.

Kabali is a serious oppressed class political movie.

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