Anger over ‘Madam Chief Minister’ is justified but misdirected: Richa Chadha

Anger over ‘Madam Chief Minister’ is justified but misdirected: Richa Chadha

Actress Richa Chadha has once again expressed her thoughts on the controversy over her new release “Madam Chief Minister.” She said that this was an “unintentional oversight”. Her movie’s poster was surrounded by controversy as soon as it was released.

On Friday, Richa Chadha’s latest film “Madam Chief Minister” released in theatres. The first poster of the film, released on 5th January, faced a lot of criticism as it allegedly stereotyped the Dalit community by holding a broom in her hand. People were offended by the use of the word ‘untouchable’ in the poster. With the release of her movie, the actress has addressed the issue on the micro blogging site.

Richa wrote on twitter, “The film releases across the country and abroad today. Still reading some very angry tweets, threads about myself, (not the film yet, no one has seen it). Some people are just venting. And that’s ok. I am listening, learning… as I have been attempting to, for the past 2-3 years…”

According to her the anger over the representation was justified but she said it was misdirected, as she was not the only one to contribute in the project.

She further added, “Here, some thoughts on the representation debate, from my limited, 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.”

She said that playing a Dalit person does not make her an expert on the issue.  She can’t undo centuries of caste apartheid.

“I can’t undo historical caste injustices, or brutalisation dating back thousands of years. Please 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,” she wrote.

She added, “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. As someone who is an artist, who considers herself an ally, I choose to do whatever little I can, in my capacity as an individual. I have attempted to play this part with dignity, honesty and empathy. As that was frankly the only thing in my control,” she added.

The actress made it very clear that she did not take any ‘trolls/death-threat givers/fake-news spreaders for genuine voices’.

This was not the first time that Richa responded on these controversies. Earlier over the controversy of the poster, she said that her privileged eyes’ did not consider that the prop could be seen as a stereotypical portrayal of the Dalit community.

‘Madam Chief Minister’ also features Manav Kaul and Saurabh Shukla. The movie is written and directed by “Jolly LLB” fame, Subhash Kapoor and is produced by T-Series Films and Kangra Talkies.


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