Article 15 (2019) Movie Script

You'll get offended if I tell the truth
Rich people live in palaces
With a shining chandelier hanging
From their roof
We live in a hut
It's just a small hut
Just a storm is enough to blow it away
Rich people enjoy delicious food
They even buy mineral water
We make do on chutney and bread
We drink unfiltered water
Rich people's kids go to big schools
And colleges
They also take extra classes
While our kids toil hard
They say studies won't help them
You'll get offended if I tell the truth
You'll get offended if I tell the truth
When Lord Rama was
journeying back to Ayodhya
the villages on the way were lit
with lamps to welcome Him.
Except one village. It was dark.
My mother told me
that Lord Rama did notice it.
He stopped and asked the villagers:
"Why is it so dark?"
The villagers replied:
"We lit lamps to welcome you.
There was a sudden storm
and all the lamps went out.
We noticed
how Your palace shone in the dark.
So we embraced the darkness."
The Indian countryside
is beautiful, Aditi.
Perhaps it's sucked
all the oxygen in Delhi.
Pull over, Chandrabhan.
Get me a bottle of water.
This is a Pasi village, sir.
-They're lower caste, sir.
They breed pigs.
We don't drink water they touch.
We can't touch them.
Even their shadows can't fall on us.
Nihal Singh, get me one.
My driver says even their shadows
are forbidden to fall upon us.
A scheduled caste village.
What's funny?
Our moms had separate dishes
for the maids not so long ago.
They're looking at me
like the British are back.
Yes, page 7.
But it's just a slice of India.
Here we go again!
The right turn takes you to Ayodhya.
Lucknow is straight ahead.
Turn left at the freeway
and it's straight on to Kolkata.
A lot of development here.
Are they building a mall?
No, it's for Mahantji's ashram.
A multiplex ashram!
Circle Officer Brahmadatt.
In fact, Brahmadatt Singh, sir.
This way, sir.
Hail India, sir.
SI Kisan Jatav, sir.
Ajay Singh, sir.
Rajesh Mishra.
Pramod Yadav.
She's Nihal Singh's younger sister.
A great cook.
If you don't mind, sir,
she'll serve you.
He is... Yadav. And he is--
Greetings, sir.
Welcome to Laalgaon.
Anshu Naharia, sir.
He's a respected contractor.
Your toilet needed repair.
I suggested we should get a new one.
He does a lot of work for us,
government roads, railways, etc.
Anshu has built many nice
public toilets for us.
The SP has a party planned
for you this evening.
Why not freshen up, sir?
You'll get to meet everyone
before he leaves Laalgaon.
I do declare
the Neem tree is no less than
the sandalwood tree.
Our Laalgaon police station is
as good as the city of London!
-Nihal Singh, is this party for me?
-Yes, sir.
Welcome, Mr. Ayan Ranjan.
I'm Mayank.
He got the idea of buying single malt
from your Facebook page.
-Same thing.
This way. Come, come.
Sisters and brothers,
we have with us our new
upper, upper police officer.
Mr. Ayan Ranjan.
Ranjan. Ranjan. Ranjan.
I declare...
The moon shines after years.
The fun starts
now that you're here.
Cover it properly.
I'm a fan of his book.
Is your father a writer, sir?
A very senior IFS officer.
He wrote a book after he retired.
Ayan, you must've studied abroad?
No, sir. I graduated in Delhi.
St Stephens.
I was in Europe and then Dad ordered
me to return. So I came back.
Your first posting? Laalgaon!
-Sir, it's a punishment.
-Did you fall out with someone?
-No, sir. It was out of affection.
I said: "Cool, sir" to Shastriji.
Madanlal Shastri.
The Home Secretary in Delhi.
You said: "Cool, sir" to him?
He said something
at the graduation party
and I replied:
"Cool, sir."
What did he say?
He paused for two seconds then said:
Here's 20 rupees from Bachchu Rai
for our singer Amitji.
I thank you all.
There's a canteen behind the station.
They serve amazing food.
SP Subodhji never needed food
to be sent from home.
Your office is over there.
Is that Satyendra Rai?
Yes, sir. Do you know him?
Of course. He's a good friend.
We studied together in Delhi.
Was he in the IAS too? He's an officer
of the Pollution Control Board.
-Shall I call him?
-Let's go.
Don't you recognize him?
You should thank him for the drinks.
I recognized him, sir.
Congratulations, Additional Commissioner.
How are you?
He is talking to you.
I'll be back, sir.
-He's had one too many.
-He was a good friend.
Oh no, they're back again.
Excuse me, sir.
-You will find them if you try.
-You mean right now?
-At least lodge our complaint.
What's going on?
I must work on Shastri.
It's like Bollywood in 1980s.
Wait for a couple of days.
If you could talk to the CBI...
Buzz off! You don't belong here!
Okay, Ayan.
I'm off. My flight's at 5 tomorrow.
Laalgaon is in your hands now.
I'll do my best, sir.
Thank you. Thank you.
All the best.
Look after Mr. Ayan.
Oh, Brahmadattji!
-Who are they?
-They're from a nearby village, sir.
They skin animals and sell the hides
to the tannery.
What's the problem?
Nothing. It's the usual, sir.
They say three of their girls
have been missing for two days.
-Have you filed a report?
-We're making enquiries, sir.
Happens all the time.
Their girls run away
and then come back.
-What's their nearest police station?
-Ours, sir.
Not from my dish, sir.
I'll get you another dish.
Bring some "mangauri" for sir.
Hurry up!
This fool, Satyendra.
I'm fine.
Let me drop you.
I haven't driven a bike in years.
Jatav, look here!
-Don't you go!
-Tell Chandrabhan to follow them.
Make it quick!
He's leaving on the motorcycle.
Follow them!
I worked very hard too.
But you did better.
I knew you'd clear the tests.
Where are you running away?
-He's drunk.
Rascal, come here.
Are you Bulan's son?
What's this?
Go on! Squat!
It's nothing, sir.
He's the confectioner's son.
He had a kitchen knife on him.
-Let's go, sir.
I didn't think you'd recognize me.
Why wouldn't I?
We're home.
How is Aditi?
Does she still call you a foreigner?
She doesn't say it, but thinks it.
She does good work.
Gender equality, human rights.
Her articles get published.
We talk often.
Talk often? What do you mean?
These days,
we argue more than we talk.
She still thinks of me
as her college boyfriend.
Listen. Don't let Aditi go.
You'll never find another girl
like her in your lifetime.
Here we go!
Greetings, sister-in-law.
-I'm Ayan.
She knows you.
Archana, you heard us?
-Please come inside.
-Some other time.
See you later.
Listen, sonny!
We haven't even hugged!
Oh, shucks!
Sorry to wake you up so early, sir.
You must've slept late last night.
We've photographed them.
The missing girls?
They've been missing for two days,
since the 12th.
They were cousins.
The third girl was a friend
from Laalgaon.
The villagers said
the cousins were intimate.
-Their fathers hung them.
-Where are the fathers?
We're investigating.
-Has anyone given a statement?
-No, sir. But they will.
-The third girl?
-No sign of her, sir.
We've called an ambulance.
We'll send the bodies
for the postmortem and file a report.
Careful, sir!
Jatav, can't you untie the knot?
Pull the body up and undo
the knot around her neck.
If you pull her up,
you can't untie the knot.
Shall I cut it?
Then she'll drop to the ground.
Don't you know physics?
What shall we do?
Shit. They were children. Only 15.
One girl is still missing.
It's just like the wild, wild west.
Hello, are you there?
Yes. Last week a girl's body
was found in Rajasthan. In Sikar.
Looks like rape, but they claim
it was a case of honor killing.
-Are these girls Dalits?
Why isn't this news reported
with the GDP headlines?
It does get reported.
Remember the Nirbhaya outrage?
But why can't the Laalgaon
or Sikar cases hit the headlines?
Why should you decide about Laalgaon?
We'll only know
after the investigation.
You can't just publish
that it's rape based on rumors.
That's not what I was saying.
You're defending the system.
Don't honor killings happen?
I thought I could share it with you.
But you don't believe in moderation.
You want me to be an activist,
but law-abiding.
You want a hero, Aditi.
No, Ayan. I want someone
who doesn't wait for a hero.
Glory to India.
Sir, will your lunch come from home?
We've ordered something
from the canteen for you.
Pramod and Mishra want to see you
for a briefing, sir.
Chandrabhan, hurry up.
Why is the fan so noisy?
I'll get it fixed, sir.
Why didn't you register their complaint?
-It didn't seem serious, sir.
-When is it serious?
These people keep reporting
false cases.
In January a boy ran away
and we had to report it
as a kidnapping.
-Then these people...
-"These" people?
File the missing girl's report. Now.
Yes, sir.
-Ask Pramod and what's his name?
Send them in.
Move back!
She was from Laalgaon.
Step back!
Move it! This isn't a circus.
-Get Dr. Awdhesh on the line.
-He's down with malaria, sir.
Who'll do the postmortem? You?
His assistant Dr. Malti Ram will do it.
Oh God! Long live
the reformer Dr. Ambedkar!
-Mr. Navin of Prabhat News is waiting.
-OK. Go.
By hanging the girls
he's just attracted the media.
Good boy.
There you go.
My sonny!
It's a case of honor killing.
The girls were cousins.
They were too close.
Bad influences everywhere these days.
Their fathers found out. They could not
take it, so they hung them.
I'm not saying this.
Other people have made statements.
Get it?
Got it.
Very well.
The village is calm, sir.
Tomorrow's papers will say
it was a case of honor killing.
-You talked to a journalist?
-No, sir.
-What about the postmortem report?
-Soon, sir.
But it won't tell us anything new.
I want to avoid delays, sir.
Or their leader, Shanti Prasad,
will start a strike.
In power, they build statues
of themselves.
Out of power,
they turn into lower caste Dalits.
-Tell me when you get the report.
-Okay, sir.
-We must find that girl.
-What girl, sir?
How many villages besides Harimanpur
are there near the tree?
Two, sir. Bichhiya and Chhatni.
Find out if anyone saw anything.
You two meet me at home.
Stop the car.
Nihal Singh, listen.
I can't get through to Satyendra Rai.
Go to his house.
Phone me when you know what's going on.
Okay, sir.
Come on, move back!
Sir, the older girl, Shanu,
was my daughter.
And the younger girl, Mamta,
was Mahendar's daughter.
Our daughters were killed, sir.
And they're framing us.
-I'm sorry.
-You should be, sir.
What's your name?
Pooja is her sister, sir.
Please find Pooja.
We beg you.
Don't we have a glass?
They won't drink from a glass
in your presence, sir.
Had they kept our girls all night and...
freed them later, it would've been okay.
But they hung them from a tree.
If someone had listened to us,
our girls would still be alive.
Let me see the postmortem report first.
Anshu Naharia slapped Pooja.
That's why Brahmadatt
didn't file a report.
Shanu and Pooja were working
on a road construction project.
They asked for a three-rupee raise.
-How much?
-Three rupees.
The daily wage was 25.
They wanted 28.
The other children then refused
to work for under 28 rupees.
When Anshu slapped Pooja,
the others stopped working.
They worked at the tannery instead
for 28 rupees a day.
Did any kids work for 25 rupees?
After he slapped her, a few kids left.
The curtain's the wrong way round.
The print should face the room.
Everything will look
white in the office.
Gaura used to study at our school.
I studied in Harimanpur till class 9.
My father worked at the school.
That's how I know her.
-And yet you didn't report it?
-I was busy with the Kanpur case.
-And Brahmadatt told us...
-Is it filed now?
Yes, sir.
Jatav, we must find the missing girl.
Get the details from Gaura.
Check Pooja's phone records.
Take statements from her neighbors
and family.
Talk to the tannery supervisor.
What time did she leave work
on the 12th? Who with?
Where was Anshu on the 12th and 13th?
These girls and boys
return home sometimes.
To be honest, sir, whatever
we do for these people...
Who are "these" people?
Are they from Jupiter?
"They" this, "they" that.
Who are "these" people who come and go?
Or hang themselves from trees?
Sir, I was...
Come. Let's go.
What did he say?
-Was he swearing at us?
-No. He asked us to go.
Let's go to the tannery. It's late.
Please come.
Put it on the table.
Yes, brother.
Shall I make okra tonight?
Or marrow? Cottage cheese?
-Make whatever you cook well.
-I cook everything well.
-Are you Nihal Singh's sister?
-Did you go to school?
-Till class 8.
Now I'm learning Inglish.
Not Inglish, it's English.
Call it what you want, brother.
Understanding is what counts.
Anshu Naharia has sent
a mutton curry for you.
I'm making marrow with parathas.
Yes, Nihal Singh?
Satyendra is out, sir.
His wife is here. Shall I put her on?
Hello! Where's Satyendra?
He left home early.
His phone is switched off.
-Did he say anything before he left?
He got up at 4 a.m. and just drove off.
-But I dropped him home at midnight.
-He slept for awhile.
He got a call and then he was gone.
Long live India!
Nihal Singh
What are you doing here?
The boss sent me to Satyendra's house.
He hasn't returned home.
I see.
How much longer for the
postmortem report?
The Addl. Commissioner keeps asking:
"Where's the report?"
-Not long now, sir.
-It doesn't look like it.
-It'll get done, sir.
-Come on!
Doctor, the CO.
Mr. Brahmadatt Singh.
I'm making a provisional report.
The final one will take time.
What's in the report?
Rape, gang rape.
They were raped repeatedly for days.
Two or three days.
Then hung alive.
Have you spoken to Dr Awdhesh?
I can't do what he's asking.
You're reacting emotionally, Maltiji.
I advise you to write a few poems
on your Facebook page.
You'll feel better.
But don't write anything here.
I'm just doing my job.
-Your work is amazing.
-Dr Awdhesh on the line.
Doctor, what's this?
The women's movement
has taken over here.
Now will you write up
the postmortem report?
How will we control this district?
If the Additional Commissioner
sees the report,
your malaria will be replaced
by jaundice.
You'll die a mysterious death.
Get up! Enough of your malaria.
Get well soon.
This is the quota system for you!
The girls were from scheduled caste.
And so is the doctor.
Our taxes paid for her education.
-Get it?
I told you to disappear
for a while.
Come back in four months
when all is calm and the case is closed.
But you people never listen.
You kept me away from you, my love
What mistake did I commit?
You know the trouble
with the lower caste?
I'm an insider.
I've watched them for 40 years.
As soon as one of us becomes a cop,
they take us for their
action hero, Ajay Devgan.
"The rascal cop will help us now."
Gaura's got it in for you.
If you live in the slums where you shit
and eat in the same place,
where animal hides rot
-can girls be safe there?
-No way.
Look at history.
Have girls ever been safe?
These people never change.
Must I risk everything and become
a reformer like Raja Ram Mohan Rai?
Mayank, you know how I've struggled
to get anywhere in our society.
Yes, I know.
You saw me sweeping the school floors.
Jump, Jatav!
You scum!
Who is it? Come out.
Nokhai! You dare attack the police?
Now you're the big cop!
Not one of us now?
-There's been a murder.
-So you want to kill me?
We don't believe in killing.
And you won't kill me.
Put your gun down.
Take the shortcut through Bichhiya.
The bridge has been reopened.
Sir, Pramod said you wanted
to see the old police files.
Who's Anshu Naharia's friend here?
He's rich and the councilor's friend.
So he's everybody's friend.
His father was a politician.
He's powerful, sir.
He was close to Subodh Lal,
the officer before you.
And Brahmadatt?
-Him, too.
-And Jatav?
He's a zero.
He doesn't count for anything.
He may not do the right thing,
but he won't do anything wrong.
I'm sorry. I think I was overreacting.
You wear fancy clothes,
speak good English, traveled the world
maybe that's not the real you.
You became a civil servant
because of your Dad.
You may become an activist
because of me.
You don't want to discover
your true self.
If you don't know yourself,
how can you know me?
You were right.
I will do my best.
I look at everyone's face
Hoping someone will call out to me
Don't leave me
My little girl please come back
To your father
Your fight is over
Oh, lord
Your father is crying his heart out
Mahendar! Let's go.
Your mother is stunned
Like she lost something precious
Let's go.
-Let's go.
-Where are you taking them?
What have they done?
What have they done?
Where are you going?
We were returning from the tannery
after enquiring about the missing girl.
When suddenly a fireball made of jute...
No, no, write:
We were bombarded by fireballs
and the jeep caught fire.
So we jumped out.
I told Mayank to run.
We ran in all directions.
Who was the rascal? Sorry.
We looked everywhere. It was dark.
No one was there. We saw no one.
We kept running through the fields.
We had no torch.
I reached for my cell phone.
If the fireball was thrown at the jeep,
they must've been very close, Jatav.
But you saw no one?
Sir, their faces were covered.
You had a gun.
They had a gun, too.
Did anyone fire?
No one fired, sir.
Why not?
You've made a false statement.
Sign it.
Sign it.
Go on!
One minute.
-Anything else?
-That's all.
-Sir, Nishad...
-Shut up!
They were Nishad's men, sir. BSS.
-Who's Nishad?
-A member of the Bhim Sangharsh Sena.
They said the police
asked the villagers
to make false statements
against the girls' fathers.
Did you have a hand in this, too?
Which side are you on, Jatav?
Whichever side you choose for me.
Bhim Sangharsh Sena, sir.
They were Nishad's boys.
He's their leader, sir.
He thinks he's the Dalit Robin Hood.
He was jailed last year.
There's a national security case
against him. He's on bail.
He's gone underground.
Let's close the case, sir.
The girls' fathers have been
granted custody for seven days.
Four villagers have made statements.
The fathers beat the girls.
That's why the case closed, sir.
-Where's the postmortem report?
-Coming, sir.
-The bodies have been buried.
Yes, sir. They usually bury girls
if they are minors.
I'll bring you the report this evening.
Case closed, sir.
Who is Anshu Naharia?
You've met him, sir.
He built the bathroom.
Call him to the office.
I want to talk to him.
You want to talk to Anshu?
About what, sir?
Let it go, sir.
Why get mixed up in all this?
If Anshu is implicated,
it'll lead to Ramlal Naharia.
The government's in his pocket, sir.
I beg you, sir,
don't disturb the balance.
Till I see the postmortem report,
I won't sign this.
I'm your well-wisher.
I beg you, sir.
I'm your well-wisher, sir.
It's like quicksand.
Don't probe too much, sir.
If you probe too much...
If we stir things up,
we won't be spared. I beg you, sir.
They won't spare us.
Are you crazy?
You really enjoy playing
the detective, don't you?
You didn't think you should
clear it with me first?
Why didn't you ask me?
He'll leave.
He'll be here for
a few months then he'll leave.
But you and I?
We have to live here. Survive!
Do you get it?
Haven't you heard of Ramlal Naharia?
Do you know what'll happen
if he's implicated?
Want to play the honest cop?
-Go, stop him!
-How can I?
If he questions me,
I'll have to answer him.
Did I speak to his predecessors?
I've stood by you all my life.
How can I say no to him?
You talk to him.
Take me to Harimanpur.
My mother used to say...
our society is built upon certain laws.
There's a king and his subjects.
Attendants and servants.
Society has a balanced order that was
created by Lord Brahma. In Sanskrit.
We have no right to upset
this balance.
And, sir if everyone is equal,
who'll be the king?
If everyone is equal,
who'll be the king?
Why have a king at all?
Who knows Nishad?
Maatadeen, Shishupaal,
Lachcha and Deenu Daama.
They have all given statements.
Where are they?
We haven't seen them since yesterday.
I know Nishad.
Mayank and Jatav could've been killed.
They didn't mean to kill them.
Do you work with Nishad?
I was going to marry him.
If they didn't mean to kill the cops,
why attack them?
"It takes a loud voice
to make the deaf hear."
Bhagat Singh said that in 1929.
I studied civics till ninth grade.
Nishad understood it better
than he should have.
We're looking for your sister Pooja.
The police don't even have her photo.
Morning, sir.
Sorry, sir.
They'll fix it tomorrow.
Satyendra's wife is here, sir.
-Has he left home like this before?
I'm very worried.
Any friends or family nearby?
He hardly meets anyone.
And Anshu Naharia?
They meet sometimes
for some work or other.
Mayank, take her number.
Find out who called at 4 a.m.
Tap the caller's number.
Find his location.
You'd better go home.
I'll call you.
Tap her phone as well.
It happens every day, sir.
Brahmadatt's at the hospital now.
He can take care of it.
Good excuse to go to the hospital.
Meet the doctor too.
Did you perform the girls' postmortem?
Dr Awdhesh will write the report.
I'm going on leave.
Were they raped?
It was a gang-rape.
Over two or three days.
What difference does it make?
It makes a difference,
but if you go on leave.
Have you the courage to stay?
I'll stand by you.
Give me a provisional report.
Keep the girls' DNA samples.
We'll have them tested.
You'll come to no harm.
It hurts!
Shut up!
Why are you shouting?
-So you dare sit and eat in the temple?
-We did not eat there, sir.
It's the truth, sir.
We did not eat in the temple.
Any names?
No, sir. But they described
the boys who hit them.
-Round up the suspects.
Take their statements. I'm coming.
Too sweet! Chandrabhan has diabetes.
-It burnt my tongue.
Sorry, sir.
What about the temple?
-Aren't Dalits allowed to enter?
-Right, sir.
Who beat them up?
-Boys from Mahantji's ashram.
-Who is Mahantji?
Mahantji is Mahantji.
-He's upper caste?
-A Brahmin, sir.
-And those young men?
-Scheduled caste, sir.
-What caste is Brahmadatt?
-Thakur, sir.
So are Thakurs considered to be
Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas?
They're Kshatriyas, sir.
What are you?
I am a Jat.
Now called OBC, "Other Backward Class."
So why are you still protesting?
I'm not, sir.
The Haryana Jats are protesting.
They're still considered Jats.
-Jatav, aren't you a Dalit?
-Yes, sir.
-Same caste as the injured boys?
-No, sir.
I'm a Chamar. They were Pasis.
We're much higher than them.
We have nothing to do with them.
We don't eat the food they touch.
-And I can't eat the food you touch?
-Right, sir.
-And what caste are you?
-A Kayasth, sir.
What's a Kayasth?
We're different. We don't fall into
the four main castes.
-And me?
-A Brahmin, sir.
-So am I Mahantji's equal?
-No, no, sir.
He's a Kanyakubja Brahmin, a top Brahmin.
You're a Saryuparin.
-What the fuck is going on here?
-Okay, sir.
Just a second!
Jatavji, what's wrong?
Why did you leave?
-Didn't he tell us to go?
-When did he say that?
Didn't he say "fuck"?
-Doesn't that mean "go?"
-Come on.
How far is Harimanpur?
There, sir. About two kms.
And the tannery?
Just beyond Chhatni village.
About 5 kms away.
What's that?
Ignore it, sir.
Dead animals are brought here,
skinned and sold to the tannery.
Their work used to run smoothly
but now there's the strike.
Because those boys were beaten,
Nishad has stopped the men
from his caste from working.
They've alerted everyone on WhatsApp.
You and I are invisible to them.
Though they depend entirely on us.
We work on their farmlands.
We clean up their shit.
We deliver their babies.
We burn their corpses on funeral pyres.
Now we're done with begging
for justice.
Stop working now!
You won't find her in the fields, sir.
It's been three days.
The fields may look big,
but a farmer knows every foot of his land.
Will we ever find her?
We must keep looking.
That's the tannery.
The girls went home this way.
This is called the "pig swamp."
It's filthy.
Pigs used to wallow in it.
They were three girls.
Why kill only two?
A pink slipper was listed
in the report.
Can the swamp be crossed barefoot?
It's deep in places, sir.
No one would dare cross it
at night.
What's on the other side?
What's on the other side?
Fields are on this side.
Jungle's on the other.
-How big is the jungle?
-About three or four kms, sir.
How does one get there?
Why go there, sir?
-How does one get there?
-We don't go there, sir.
Long live Bhim!
Who did this?
Glory to India.
The cleaner didn't show up.
They're on strike, sir.
They're dumping waste
outside government offices.
Yes, sir. He's here.
I'll put him on.
Himself, sir!
Of course, sir.
So shall I close the case, sir?
How are you?
You're up early.
I couldn't sleep.
Did you feel again
that you had landed on Mars?
What do three rupees buy, Aditi?
Can three rupees buy anything?
What's wrong, Ayan?
The girls were raped
and murdered for three rupees.
When I was growing up in Europe,
people would say:
"India, India, India."
I'd sell the Taj Mahal or Khajuraho
as though it was my family property.
Two girls are dead. One's missing.
No one's bothered.
People here think it's happening
in some other country.
Everywhere, on TV, in cities,
life goes on. We ignore reality.
We must find new words, new ways.
Because this mess is ancient.
As per the Indian Constitution,
Article 15
the State shall not discriminate
against any citizen
The Constitution of India, 1950
on the grounds of religion, race,
caste, sex or birth place.
The use of wells, tanks,
bathing places, roads
and the access to
any public property
will not be subject to any disability,
liability, restriction or condition.
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams
Bright with orchard gleams
Cool with thy winds of delight
Dark fields waving Mother of might
Mother free
Mother, I bow to thee!
The three girls used to take
this road from the tannery.
They stopped at the shop,
bought some snacks
and left.
Did you see anyone after that?
-A bus drove by later.
-What bus?
A yellow bus, sir.
Which bus line's yellow?
No buses come here, sir.
Brothers and sisters, everyone!
Join us at the Brahman-Dalit Unity Rally.
And you will hear Mahantji
and Shanti Prasad
share their thoughts about this unity.
Mahantji is doing it
for his personal interests.
Nishad opposes this rally.
These girls have become
the main issue in this election.
-May I?
-Go ahead.
Hello. Yes.
Yes, all right.
Okay, okay.
It was Bachchu Rai
who called Satyendra at 4 a.m.
-He repairs bikes.
-Get him in at once.
-Long live!
This is the new Uttar Pradesh. A Brahmin
and Dalit eating off the same plate.
I bow to you, Goddess of Plenty.
It helped heal the village's grief
when Mahantji shared a meal
with the Dalit leader
Shanti Prasad in Harimanpur.
He ate with the girls' family
and reassured them.
The rapists are being protected
by the politician Ramlal Naharia.
Instead of arresting the culprits,
our government
is framing the girls' fathers.
Because they're Dalits
and the government is against Dalits.
If we are to save
Hindu traditions and religion
and save Hindus, we must unite.
Dalits and Brahmins must unite as one.
This is just the start.
-To our union!
-Long live!
-How long will it take?
-They've been working for two hours.
The more we drain the gutter,
the more filth pours out.
-How many men work here?
-Here, sir?
How many men work for us?
With the cleaners, we're 20.
-And at the Haulpur police station?
-About 12 or 13 men.
-In Chhatni?
-About 20, sir.
-Tomorrow at 6 a.m.
-Yes, sir.
-I want to see everyone at the swamp.
-Yes, sir.
We'll make our way into the jungle.
We'll search from the tannery
to Harimanpur.
Yes, sir.
Anshu Naharia is here, sir.
Sir, you guys get transferred,
but we get killed.
All we need is your signature.
Are all the Delhi files above board?
Ramlal Naharia asked for your number.
He'll be calling you.
Why did you hit the girls?
They wanted a raise.
So you hit them?
First, I refused them.
So why hit them?
They were going to quit working.
So you hit them?
The others would've demanded
a raise or stopped work too.
All work would stop.
Your milk would not get delivered.
You'd have to clean the sewers.
Cobble your own shoes.
If we didn't keep them in their place,
no work would get done.
What is their place?
The place we give them, sir.
And what I earn tells you
my place in society.
Everyone has their status, sir.
Where were you on the night of 12th?
At home. The 12th, 13th, 14th.
I'm home every night, sir.
Friends drop by.
I have many friends.
Malti, examine this man.
We need a medical report.
Or Ramlalji might claim
we beat Anshu. Right?
We must maintain the balance. Right?
Very well, sir.
Please go to Lucknow.
Test the girls' DNA samples.
My man will accompany you.
Will you go?
Yes, sir.
Call me, no one else.
Jatav, do you know any journalist
who'd write against Ramlal Naharia?
Yes, sir.
Leak some news to the press:
"Anshu is our prime suspect."
The headlines tomorrow must say
Anshu is Ramlalji's close ally.
It'll be done, sir.
The local papers are publishing
an article tomorrow.
Try and get it published wherever you can.
Are you okay?
Sir, Bachchu Rai.
Come inside.
You called him at 4 a.m?
He owed me money, sir.
Satyendra used to get his bike
repaired by him.
He owed Bachchu money.
So you call him at 4 a.m?
My family was leaving for Lucknow
on the 6 a.m. train.
He promised to pay me
the night before, but didn't.
That's why I called so early.
But there was no sign of him.
Keep an eye on him.
-There must be CCTV in Anshu's house.
-No CCTV in Laalgaon, sir.
-Only banks have it.
-Is there one near his place?
-I'll check, sir.
-Get me the footage if there is.
Amali, can you make me some tea?
-Yes, sir.
Where's Amali?
Out shopping, sir.
-At the market.
-Vegetable market?
-Yes, sir.
Phone her.
-I tried. She didn't answer.
-Why didn't you tell me?
I thought she'd be back.
Don't you know what
this place is like?
Call her brother Nihal.
Ask if he's heard from her.
Call Nihal Singh. Now!
Get the car out.
I'll look for her.
-I'll go, sir.
-No, I will.
Where were you?
Sir, we had to submit
a form for her exam.
Today was the last day.
We went to get a photo taken.
Will anyone show up?
The upper caste will never
step into this swamp, sir.
And Nishad has asked the lower caste
workers to go on strike.
I thought the villagers would come.
-Are you all scheduled caste?
-No, sir.
I'm a Yadav. We await your orders.
No orders. We need your help.
We need many men.
We must break the strike.
I want to meet Nishad.
Nishad? He's gone underground.
Find him.
I've swept this place for ten years.
When we were 11,
the principal caught Jatav
with a love letter.
We kids watched as Jatav's father
ran after him with a stick.
I'll never forget that day!
It was a just a plot!
But his father made delicious porridge.
It's Malti, sir.
Anshu raped the girls.
His DNA is a match.
I'll be back tomorrow with the report.
Send it to me on WhatsApp.
Call when you're here.
Let's go to bus station.
We were taught a bunch of lies.
Maybe that's why the school
didn't last.
Here I am, sir.
Send the men back to work, Nishad.
We need people to look for Pooja.
Why bother looking for her?
Just find Pooja's father and frame him.
Nishad, aunt has sent halwa for you.
It was his birthday the day before.
The boy was a gem, sir.
No one would believe it if Nishad
was given 90 out of a 100.
Because Nishad could never score
below 100.
If he was a gem of a boy,
why he's rebelling now?
You've become so negative.
If you were negative,
would they accuse you of being
a threat to national security?
There's a right way of doing things.
Jatav's father was a sweeper
in our school.
And my father was a teacher.
Today we're equals.
We earn the same wage.
Hasn't Jatav made a place for himself?
-Has nothing changed in 70 years?
-Yes, it has.
Sometimes we're called Untouchable
citizens or scheduled caste citizens.
But we're never counted as just citizens
so we would be counted as equals.
You've studied too much.
I may not know a lot.
But every community
has its problems, Nishad.
Gaura was hired to cook at a school.
The very first day the kids refused
to eat the meal she made.
Food for 150 kids was thrown away.
Did anyone throw away the food you touch?
Or wash their hands
after they shook yours?
Every community has its problems,
but your bones aren't broken
if you enter a temple.
Mahant was invited by Shanti Prasad
to eat with all the villagers.
But the food and plates came from
his home. They didn't say that on TV.
Does Shanti Prasad do nothing
for you all?
He did once. That's why I worked
with him for so many years.
But I soon realized
power is a creed in itself.
He rose in politics by stepping
on our shoulders.
Now he thinks of us as dirt.
So I started to rebel.
Last year,
Shanti Prasad's men attacked us.
My guru's return gift.
This rally is to manipulate our votes.
I won't let that happen.
Nishad, I'm doing my best.
At least as much as I can.
-Will I win or lose? I need your help...
-They won't let you succeed, sir.
They ignore the Constitution
though they swear by it.
That's the fight, Nishad.
They must follow the Constitution.
That's the only way.
That's what Dr Ambedkar said.
Dr Ambedkar also said:
"If I find the Constitution being misused,
I shall be the first to burn it."
We found Pooja's slipper
near the swamp.
I've got to find her.
We won't stop the anti-rally protest,
but your men will be there.
Look at this filth.
-Glory to India.
-Glory to India.
She must've eaten something bad.
Animals don't understand.
Give her an injection.
Jatav, we're going to arrest Anshu now.
Excuse me?
Mayank! Get me the warrant.
If you don't mind, sir.
We just heard from Lucknow. The case
has been transferred to the CBI.
Good, sir. You'll be rid of it.
-They'll manage the case.
-The warrant, sir.
Let's manage it ourselves first.
He's not at home, sir.
Search the house.
Yes, sir.
He's gone, sir.
What's that?
A school, sir.
-Who does the school belong to?
-Anshu Naharia.
-Come on.
-It's vacations, sir.
The school reopens in two weeks.
Unlock all the doors.
The keys to this room?
Sir has them.
-Who's got the keys?
-Mr. Anshu.
-Break it open!
Ten men will cross the swamp
and search the fields.
Ten men will search the jungle.
And the others will comb
every inch of the swamp.
Not so fast!
Some villagers are coming to help.
Come on! Let's start.
Get on with it.
Anshu has been named prime suspect
in the Harimanpur case
I've seen it.
Ramlalji must be angry.
He won't spare him.
Suspending him isn't enough.
We'll have the rascal arrested.
-Have you spoken to Ramlalji?
-No. His phone is switched off.
The CBI is involved now.
Yes, that's to be expected.
-Have you had your breakfast?
-No. They're making parathas for me.
The wheat crop is fantastic this year.
-You didn't have to kill them, Anshu.
You could've let the wretches go
after ten days.
They were causing trouble, sir.
Remember how the girl struggled
when Brahmadattji lay on her?
He dared to say I was on top of her!
I'll be finished if you get arrested.
We must close the case.
-Ramlal won't spare you.
-But he's let go of you.
You don't get it, do you?
Let's do it, Anshu.
Long live India!
-Mr. Panicker from the CBI is here, sir.
-Get him some tea.
Yes, sir.
Central Bureau of Investigation
Mr. Panicker
Dr Awdhesh?
Dr Awdhesh Laktakiya.
Dr Awdhesh, how long has Malti
worked as your assistant?
She's not an assistant, sir.
-She's an assistant.
Though I'm in charge, sir.
You speak Hindi and English.
She has to type everything twice.
I went to arrest Anshu, sir.
He was hiding in his farmhouse.
He took a shot at me.
You were right, sir. He's a bad sort.
How are you, Mr. Ranjan?
It's been chaos since you arrived.
You are not familiar with our
complicated Indian customs, are you?
Are you uncomfortable in Hindi?
You prefer English.
In Hindi-speaking states
it would be preferable if you could
speak the local language.
You'd understand local customs
better that way.
A girl is still missing, sir.
Every minute's important.
The prime suspect is dead.
-Are you on meds?
-Sorry, sir?
Are you on medication?
You seem agitated.
-Sir, young girls were raped.
What makes you think that?
The doctor's first postmortem report.
The senior doctor's report
does not mention rape.
She did the postmortem
and the report says rape.
The girls' DNA samples were tested
and they matched the suspect's DNA.
Anshu Naharia's, sir.
The DNA test results
are not in my report.
Sir, I had the samples checked
WhatsApp messages can incite
lynching and riots too.
They say you're biased against
the scheduled caste.
When you arrived you asked
about everyone's caste.
Sir, I was trying to understand
why we follow a 2000-year-old system
in 2019?
Asking people their caste is an
offence under the SC/ST Act.
-You must know that?
-Yes, sir.
I suspect, Mr. Ayan Ranjan,
you're motivated by a personal agenda.
You want to disturb the peace here.
What do you think of the
Brahmin-Dalit Unity Rally?
Upper caste and lower caste
standing together against
the state government?
Do you want them to succeed?
The rally has nothing to do
with these people.
It never has.
They're very innocent, simple people.
They get influenced by sloganeering and
become part of the crowd in rallies.
Okay. Stop working on this case.
At once.
Anything you wish to say
in your defense
you may tell me tomorrow.
I know where Satyendra is.
I'm going to see him.
I'll stop after that.
Ayan, you've only just started.
-Are you arresting me?
-I must talk to you.
-Don't lie! You want to arrest me.
-No, I want to talk, Satyendra.
Let go. Leave me alone!
I just want to talk.
Why were you at Anshu's house
on the night of the 12th?
Do you know a IPS officer was beaten
to death in this very state?
I saw the CCTV footage from
the bank opposite his house.
You arrived first,
followed by a police jeep.
-What happened that night?
-You want to be Superman?
Where did you go at 4 a.m?
Why did Bachchu call you?
Why are you hiding now?
I'm being suspended,
but I'll do what I can now.
If that means arresting you
or shooting you.
I got a call at 4 a.m.
Anshu's car broke down.
He needed booster cables.
When I got there, they had just hung
the two girls from the tree.
I was told to lie low.
And on the 12th?
There was a party at Anshu's house.
I was there.
So were Brahmadatt and Nihal.
The girls were there, too.
They went into the school,
one by one.
Anshu raped them. So did Brahmadatt.
Nihal Singh did, too.
I left.
Where's the third girl?
I don't know.
I thought maybe the three girls
had escaped that night.
Ayan, I won't make a statement.
Ask me in front of anyone
and I'll deny everything.
You'll stand witness.
You'll soon be suspended and sent away.
They'll kill me.
That's the way it is here.
And always will be.
You don't get it.
I'm leaving.
Shoot me in the back if you want to.
Finish it for me!
Where's Pooja, Nihal Singh?
I don't know, sir.
You did it, too?
He got us very drunk.
I was with Brahmadatt.
I did a bad thing, sir.
I sinned, sir.
I committed a shameless sin, sir.
Did Brahmadatt rape them?
Yes, sir.
Where's Pooja?
There were three girls, sir.
It's the truth, sir. I don't know.
-Where's Pooja, Nihal Singh?
-I don't know, sir.
Please forgive me.
I made a terrible mistake, sir.
Please forgive me.
Forgive me, sir.
Don't tell Amali.
If there's news of a rape that's
taken place in Badaun and Buland,
it feels far away from us.
But distance means nothing, sir.
Nihal used to...
sit a foot away from me.
For 12 long years.
Arrest Brahmadatt, Jatavji.
The Lucknow officers are waiting
with my suspension orders.
If I accept them,
my hands will be tied.
Mayank will bring the arrest warrant
to your house.
Sign it before you go in
and I'll manage the rest, sir.
I make a great potato curry.
And bitter gourd,
but it won't taste bitter.
My brother Nihal thinks
I make better kheer than our mother.
Tell me what you'd like to eat.
I'm not really hungry.
You and sir are never hungry.
Who can I cook for?
Sir does not sleep.
And what about you?
Brother's here.
I thought you might need me.
I do. A lot.
One minute.
Do you know what rape is, child?
You know Shanu and Mamta were
hung from a tree?
Your brother Nihal raped them too.
He told me.
He's not coming back.
He told me not to tell you,
but you would have found out.
I don't know if it makes
any difference
but your brother knew
he'd done a bad thing.
We're here for you.
They can't stomach
our anti rally protest.
They're capable of anything.
I have to go away for a few months.
Before leaving, I'd like to see you.
Can you come?
Long live Bhim, Brother Binayak!
Nishad just got here.
Nokhai, take him to Patna
for a few days.
They're sending me to jail again.
They'll wear you out, Nishad.
They wear everyone out.
Sometimes I think it's hopeless.
But you can't admit that.
Because so many get strength from you.
But you can tell me though.
Sometimes I think about all the things
I wanted to do.
I wanted to bring you flowers.
But such terrible things
were happening around us.
It felt like a sin
to even smile at you.
There were so many terrible things
going on around us. I never got
five minutes to sit quietly near you,
with our feet dipped in the river.
I've never stared at the moon
for five minutes.
Or known five minutes' peace.
You've shown
where you truly belong, Jatav.
You're wearing a uniform
and working in an office because of me.
Scum! You should've stayed a sweeper.
You should collect garbage instead.
Move back!
How long must I be a sweeper?
Take him away.
Whenever Gaura speaks of Nishad,
there's a glint in her eye.
I felt sure
I lacked something because you
did not look at me like that. Ever.
-Long live!
This is the land of Shabri's Lord Rama.
This is the land of Kevat's Lord Rama.
I wanted to be a writer.
And a scientist.
I thought I'd write about science.
But it came to nothing.
Because the place I was born into
was a terrible accident.
Whatever caste you belong to,
it's time for Hindus to unite.
Time to recognize the true enemy.
Men martyred at the border
are outnumbered by those
who die cleaning the sewers.
No one mourns for them.
We made a terrible mistake, sir.
Our daughters became wayward.
We tried explaining to them but they
didn't listen to us, so we killed them.
If anything happens to me,
it'll enrage you.
Make that anger your weapon.
But make sure you use
no other weapon.
Because the day we take
the path of violence
it'll be even easier to kill us.
Friends! A few young anarchists
in our own community
are spreading fake rumors
on WhatsApp and Facebook
in order to malign our unity.
We must be alert.
If anyone tries to raise their voice,
they're accused of being
a threat to national security
and killed.
The poet Paash once said:
"We all stand in danger
from this kind of threat."
Pull over.
We are not the last ones.
Many will follow.
-Long live!
Long live Shanti Prasad!
-Long live!
I beg your forgiveness, Gaura.
I'll ask you again and again.
But don't forgive me.
If there's more violence,
they'll be the ones to pay for it.
Who is being violent, sir?
You must've heard their slogans.
Long live Bhim!
Sometimes the quiet persistent violence
behind such violence is overlooked.
It becomes part of our culture.
We don't call it violence then.
We call it law and order.
You can't be neutral, can you?
Staying neutral when a fire is raging,
is standing with the ones who lit it.
Who has lit the fire?
The man who's been calling you
repeatedly for the past 12 hours
he has lit the fire.
Your phone records.
Anything else to add?
Otherwise it's an open-and-shut case.
A clear-cut case of honor killing.
Sir, the three girls were only asking
for a three-rupee raise.
Three rupees.
Enough to buy you...
a couple of sips of mineral water.
That's all they wanted.
They were raped because
of this mistake.
They were not mature enough
for sex.
They were gang raped to remind them
of their place in society.
Their bodies could've been hidden.
Instead they were hung from a tree to
remind the scheduled caste of their place.
I've got the evidence, sir.
Their feet were tied with this rope.
They were gagged with this cloth.
The stained bed sheet found
at Anshu's school.
Anshu, Brahmadatt and Nihal
raped the girls.
Anyway, sir.
I'll submit the additional evidence
in due course.
In the near future,
I shall present all the hard evidence
in court, sir.
This case could've been dealt with
by my police station.
But no.
They said: "This is what happens
with these people. This is just them.
"Don't touch the food they touch.
Don't let their shadows fall on you."
In English,
they're called the scheduled caste,
scheduled tribes,
Other Backward Classes.
But in Hindi, their caste names
are used as swear words.
These castes, OBC, SC, ST represent
70% of our population, sir.
They've been marginalized and regarded
as minorities for eons, sir.
And we, the 30% of the population,
regard them as lesser in status.
We let them do
the jobs we don't want to do.
Nowadays our toilets have jet sprays.
But even now they still go down naked
into filthy sewers to clean them.
Unprotected and naked.
We know all this, we see it every day.
We just ignore it.
Sir, this is the ninety-pager.
My report.
I know you'll bin it.
I became a civil servant for my father.
You love Hindi so much.
I'm sure you love India very much.
But in all these years you haven't seen
what's happening. When in two days I have.
Or maybe "these people" do not exist
in your idea of India.
In Delhi, instead of saying
"Yes, sir" every time
if you just once said "No, sir."
What's the worst that could happen?
You'd be done for, right?
That's already done.
You just don't know it.
Handle the case and the rioting.
I'm going to look for the missing girl.
She's waiting for us.
I hope you remember you're suspended.
No one remembers anything here.
Except for one's power.
I'll do whatever it takes to save Pooja.
If it's illegal, arrest me.
In life, there's a 50-50 probability
between yes or no.
And a positive outcome of 50% is a lot.
Long live India!
-Mind your step.
She's not in the fields, sir.
They're giving up the search
in the jungle.
You're entering the swamp, sir?
Someday even Brahmins have to descend
from on high.
Your clothes will get soiled, sir.
Has your mother any tips
on washing dirty clothes?
Not my mother, sir.
But the ads on TV say
stains are a good thing.
Let's go.
She's not in the fields, sir.
They're giving up the search
in the jungle.
She must've crossed the swamp.
That's our only hope.
Let's search beyond the swamp.
We'll find her, Jatav.
-Yes, sir?
Aren't you a Rajput?
But I'm not brave like Rajputs.
I'm in the Ahir caste
because of my job, Yadav.
I have the same job as Lord Krishna.
Driving, I mean.
Who do you vote for?
The Bicycle Party?
No, sir. Before dying, mother said
always vote for the Flower Party.
-And you, Jatav?
-The Elephant Party, sir.
But once Flower and Elephant
joined hands.
-Then who did you vote for?
-The Bicycle Party.
Sometimes the Bicycle Party backs
someone from the scheduled caste.
And the Elephant Party backs Muslims.
-It gets so confusing, sir.
-So then?
We don't vote, sir.
I always vote for the Hand Party.
Madanlal wasn't
their candidate this year.
So I voted for the Candle Party.
Hi, Ayan. Shastri here.
Sir, I've been suspended,
in case you didn't know.
Just carry on.
Continuing, sir.
Are you deep in mud?
Many people are helping, sir.
I've found the other slipper.
Pooja! We're here.
Pooja, the police are here!
It's the police, Pooja.
There's an old pump house ahead.
It's been shut for years.
-How far is it?
-A couple of kilometers.
It's me! Pooja.
Jatav, I want an ambulance here
in five minutes.
Following Pooja's statement
Brahmadatt was found guilty and
sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.
The court found the girls' fathers
had confessed under pressure.
They were exonerated
and released at once.
Mahant won the election hands down.
But for irreconcilable differences
over Ministerial berths
the Brahman-Dalit coalition
is in danger.
What have you cooked?
Bread and vegetables.
-Give it to everyone. We're starving.
Here you are.
-What caste are you, mother?
-I am...
My India is great