The war between Devar and Dalit community
I traveled to the south to research on the war between Devar community and Dalit community and to know the reason- since my next film is on that. Though this rivalry happens all over the state, it’s high in South. I reached the town Theni (550kms from my city) in the morning, took bath and waited for my friend to pick me from the hotel. Before he reached the hotel I was talking to a man I already knew. He was the location manager for my first movie which I shot in the same town Theni. I asked him about the war, he said it’s there for years and no one can change it. Dalits belong to the lower caste and the Devar to the upper caste. Dalits had to work for Devar for wages. No one owns a piece of land. Very few leave the village for better jobs in cities and they never come back. He said dalits are even not supposed to sit in front of others. My friend came and I drove the bike to a village called “Periyakulam”.
It’s about 15kms distance and I wondered to be there for years. I felt country sides are the best places to live in if the people stop the battle. Roads with trees on both sides. I saw the hemisphere cloud wherein cites I could see only by craning my neck. The air was chill inspite of the hot sun. I thought there is one more war in village between sun and trees. The trees win every day to keep the climate cool. I reached the village. I met the mob of Devar people around 25yrs old. They protested against Dalits. I talked to them for 3 hrs, and couldn’t understand the actual problem. They weren’t open to me. I didn’t know whether they were afraid to tell into my camera. 3 hrs, I tried to pull them a lot but I lost. I didn’t even get a clue for my topic. I can tell you one thing, those people were 200 years back. I left them and reached my friend’s place which is 45kms away. My friend is from Devar community and I wanted to interview his father and his uncle since they might know more than the youngsters knew. I talked to them for 2 hrs and had a rough debate. I kept supporting for the Dalits. “They aren’t gona let me in next time” I thought. They were 300 yrs back. It was late evening when we left. We Reached hotel after meeting a couple of Dalit guys. The inputs I got that day weren’t enough and I wanted to know more. The Dalit guys didn’t even open their mouth.
I prayed to God “My dear God, please show me a way to understand them more. Today was a waste of time and energy. I want to know their feelings and the way they react to each other. I want to see them clash, so that I can get the concrete picture. (My prayer might be silly).”
You won’t believe what I say. I got a call in the morning from my friend’s father. He asked us to come to the village. We rushed there in 30 min. I saw some 300 people in front of the police station. Last night there was a clash between two gangs. The quarrel had started from two school kids and they both had beaten themselves which the elders took over. The Devar kid with around 50 people had gone to Dalit area and started to yell and beat whomever they saw on the roads. The Dalits were around 200 people and they fought back. The Devar guys had no other way, tried to escape but couldn’t. Five of them were in hospital towards death. The police had filed case on both the sides, still they support the Devar community. They said that was the biggest clash after 4 years. “Why this happened? Did God make this for me to know and experience lively?”
I was among them hearing their voices. Oh my God that was horrific. I saw the painful life of Dalits. I interacted with many people and they weren’t allowed inside the police station where as the Devar community was sitting in an air conditioned room. I could see the red faces standing out in the hot sun without the breakfast and lunch. When the Devar people came out from the station both the sides started to wrestle and it was cleared by the police in few minutes. I felt shame for them. I experienced more than I expected.
“God thanks for showing such an event for me accepting my prayers. Now I pray again to you and please accept this one too. Please make them know they are friends not enemies. Please make them united and live happy.
I will also try to make them together through my movie with this experience".