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• Mandrika Rupa • Director and Producer •

Hidden Apartheid: A Report on Caste Discrimination

A 70 minute independent human rights documentary that gives an in-depth history and analysis of caste based discrimination

Since the early 1900's Indians have migrated across the world, seeking freedom from caste based inequality. But, since the 1970's caste practices have emerged throughout these host countries. Over the last decade a hierarchical atttitude of graded inequality is increasingly evident. Caste discrimination outside India has been reported in community centers, places of worship, work places, educational and political institutions, restaurants, public transportation, and in matrimonial columns.

Produced over a period of four years, what started as archival interviews of 'alternative histories' for the academies turned into a full-length film. After completing the interviews, we felt that the invisible aspects of caste discrimination that the interviewees discussed needed to be exposed to the wider public. This led to our transforming our original archival interviews into "Hidden Apartheid: A Report on Caste Discrimination".

This film illustrates how casteism originated in Indian society, how caste segregation was systemic, until the Constitution of India made it unlawful. However, political democracy has not translated into social democracy, casteism, and "untouchability" have remained, and are practiced in every country where Indians have settled. On-going caste conflicts in the UK and the USA are explored through the interviews. The interviewees are from India, the UK, USA, New Zealand, and Australia. Caste based discrimination has very recently been challenged in the UK, through legislation. The film highlights the struggle to stop this scourge of caste discrimination.  Very little about this subject is known by non-Indians, because the alternative stories of India's poor have been historically hidden. This film brings awareness to injustices that need to be confronted urgently by the wider world.

Sapna.World Pictures collaborated with Attar Films to make this documentary. Its completion has been possible only as a result of the input and energy of many talented people from several countries. Recent decades have brought about a rise in fundamental attitudes and intolerance which have to be addressed. This film was made with the intention of stimulating positive change.

We acknowledge and thank all the interviewees, researchers, journalists, academics, artists, writers, musicians, actors, and technicians whose knowledge and expertise enabled the film to take its final shape. The film’s subject inspired everyone. Some donated their time, some money, while others spent many hours providing quality work and charging only a fraction of their full professional fees.

Mandrika Rupa
Director and Producer