How ‘Bahubali’ glorifies Hindutva’s regressive view of the caste order

Minus the hype, the commercial success of Bahubali is frankly baffling.

As India’s most discerning newspaper reader J. Mathrubhootam has said, who in his right mind would want to  want to see 500 computerised elephants in just one scene, or one thousand bulls running at you in 70mm, or one man kill 40,000 other men in 20 minutes, by spending hundreds of rupees?

One reason for the newly discovered global ability to pronounce “Kattappa” is the subliminal quest of “We, the Feeble” for the superhero: we had a genuine cricket one (Sachin Tendulkar); we have a fake political one (Narendra Modi), and we now a cinematic CGI one (Bahubali).

G. Sampath adds his two cents (Rs 500 in demonetised currency) in The Hindu:

“Beneath the expertly paced plot and glossy production values, the subtext of Baahubali glorifies the caste order.

“It seeks to unite a putative Hindu community divided by caste, not by picturing the elimination of caste divisions, but by exhorting people to rally around the perfect Hindu as embodied by the Kshatriya warrior.

“Even as it presents the Kshatriya code of honour as an aspirational ideal for all Hindus, it leaves no doubt that the dharma of the lower-caste Hindu enjoins him to recognise the Kshatriya’s right to rule, and to obey his commands….”

Read the full article: A kshatriya superhero

Also read: Letter from a Concerned Editor to J. Mathrubootham