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An open letter to Alia Bhatt from a Bihari girl

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 1:41am | IP Logged

An open letter to Alia Bhatt from a Bihari girl
By Shefali S Jha | 05:49 AM April 19, 2016



An open letter to Alia Bhatt from a Bihari

 

Just like the rest of the country, I am thrilled by the intense trailer of Udta Punjab. Shahid looks like a rockstar. The movie appears gritty and real. The music is something we're all waiting madly for. But just one thing. I somehow could not digest your migrant Bihari character.

 

While others, reportedly, got goose bumps' watching you, I thought you were trying too hard to pass off as Bihari, especially considering (as you have constantly claimed yourself) that you took such great pains to lend authenticity to the role.

 

As a bonafide Bihari myself, I think I have the right to be absolutely blunt. So, here goes. Firstly, your treatment of the character is nothing but a concoction of stereotypes. (Trust me, this kind of stereotyping is far ahead of what even Chetan Bhagat is capable of.)

 

Secondly,  Bihari' is not a language. People in Bihar converse in Maithili, Bhojpuri, Maghai or Angika. They don't speak in Bihari'; people who originant here are referred to as Biharis, and not their language. You actually underwent  a month-long coaching to get the dialect right, and still ended up calling the language 'Bihari'? Not good. And, by the way, 'Ee', 'Ka', 'Kon', 'Chutiy***' is not the 'Bihari' language either. It's just lazy stereotyping, something Bollywood has always excelled at.

 

Thirdly - and this makes me weep -  the costumes and props that you claim helped you 'nail' the Bihari look  are nothing but  soiled, tattered clothes, grimy skin and messed up hair. These are not the preserve of just the state of Bihar, only the grave manifestations of poverty the world over. Is this what you think, Alia? Do you really think all Biharis are poor and look like this? Shame.



Edited by touch_of_pink - 19 April 2016 at 1:41am

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 1:55am | IP Logged
Alia is playing a child labour so she should wear designer clothes?
Writer is smoking something

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:00am | IP Logged
The writer is a Jha, who from my little knowledge of the Bihari caste system is in all probability an upper class Brahmin. Alia on the other hand is playing a Bihari migrant labourer who is in all probability a BPL person with minimal education which explains her rustic, soiled attire and abusive language.
The writer seems illogically offended, cause except for referring to the language as Bihari, I cannot see where Alia is at faultConfused

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:12am | IP Logged
Its easy to write open letters in AC rooms and much more difficult to try something new. Kuch bhi, 

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:17am | IP Logged
Exactly what I said when the first look came out but I had everyone jumping on me for criticizing someone who has worked in all time epic movie UP. On the clothes I will still give Alia some leeway. But the accent was terribly off. I 

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:24am | IP Logged
I agree with everything that the writer has written EXCEPT for the last paragraph...  Not sure what the writer expects a migrant labourer to wear... Maybe Louis Vuitton

Edited by Serotonin - 19 April 2016 at 2:31am

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:25am | IP Logged
The author has no idea about the poverty level in Bihar. In fact Bihar tops the poverty list in the country with 40.69% of population under poverty level. Such poverty level encourages migration of labor across the country. The author needs to read the data available on Google as reading economic survey and census data would be too tough for her.
As far I have heard that Alia is playing a role of a seasonal labor who are generally helping hand in agriculture. In India unskilled labor is the biggest victim of crime specially women and girls. I liked Alia looks and character.
The author even forgot that for Indians people from Bihar are collectively called Bihari. Many people who do not understand the difference between the dialects collective call the spoken language as Bihari.

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Posted: 19 April 2016 at 2:27am | IP Logged
This article looks so forced, honestly. So there is a girl who hails from Bihar who moved to Punjab in search of work. She works in a field for long hours under the sun the explains the grimy skin and messed hair. Usage of expletives during aggressive situations is extremely common all over North India, be it Bihar, UP, Delhi or Haryana. Nowhere does the trailer suggest that all Biharis are like that. I mean wha? It's like saying ki if you are picking a man from Delhi who is portraying a gunda, entire Delhi consists of gundas. And none of the stuff is made up. So many people from UP/Bihar do travel to Punjab to work in the fields. It's a fact/. Coming to the accent, she was clearly struggling but I wouldn't call it caricature-ish or an attempt to mock.

Edited by Kaapi - 19 April 2016 at 3:39am

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