I’m listening, learning but anger misdirected: Richa Chadha on ‘Madam Chief Minister’

MUMBAI, Jan 22: As her latest film “Madam Chief Minister” released in theatres on Friday, actor Richa Chadha once again addressed the controversy surrounding the movie’s poster and representation, saying that it is misdirected towards her.
The film’s poster, which was released on January 5, was slammed by many on social media for apparently showing the Dalit community in a stereotypical way as Chadha’s character is shown holding a broom in her hand.
Some users had also taken umbrage over the use of the word “untouchable” in the poster. In her response, Chadha had called the gaffe an “unintentional oversight”. There was also criticism for the film’s lack of representation of people from the Dalit community.
On Friday, the actor said that she is still receiving angry message from people on social media.
“I am listening, learning… As I have been attempting to, for the past 2-3 years. Here, some thoughts on the representation debate, from my limited and self-admittedly privileged understanding. The anger is completely understandable, especially with the poster et al. I get it.
“I understand this anger. But as is often the case with anger, it is in fact misdirected since I am not the sole creator of this film. Hundreds if not thousands of people have worked on it. I can’t undo historical caste injustices, or brutalisation dating back thousands of years,” Chadha said in a statement.
“Madam Chief Minister” is written and directed by Subhash Kapoor of “Jolly LLB” fame.
Chadha said playing a Dalit person in a film does not make her an expert on the issue.
“Don’t expect me to become a scholar or expert on the subject, by acting in one film, especially when it is as vast and complicated as caste and varna.
“I don’t even contest the fact that my performance will never ever be able to replicate the lived experience of a DBA actor. I am aware of that and it only made me work harder,” she added.
Chadha said she has tried to play her character in the movie with utmost “dignity, honesty and empathy”.
Produced by T-Series Films and Kangra Talkies, the film also features Manav Kaul and Saurabh Shukla. (PTI)