Manusangada: The Grammar of Anarchy


“Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realise that our people have yet to learn it. Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil which is essentially undemocratic.”

                            – Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

      The above quote by Babsaheb Ambedkar in the times of Corona Pandemic which is proving to be a litmus test for Bhakts to show their Bhakti by being in alignment to the nonsense that has been the trait of the State since 2014 and for citizens to show their patriotism by doing stunts which our Hon.Prime Minister asks to show support to State and its mentally sick, absurd initiatives which needs to be discarded for and following the much needed tenets of rationality and Pragmatism with Constitutional Consciousness which is the crying need of the hour,  there was a film which I stumbled upon which of course was consciously  not promoted keep out of majority reach owing to its truth and no-nonsense depiction of Society, State and Civic sense it was none other than Manusangada, a Tamil Film on Netflix.

The basic story line goes that the protagonist Kolappan’s father dies, he isn’t allowed to carry his father’s body through the common pathway because he is a Dalit. He seeks help from official powers only to find that they are equally casteist. Refusing to be cowed down, Kolappan begins a protest and finds his village standing by him. Based on an actual incident, Kolappan’s story is a look at the deeply-embedded prejudice that Dalits have endured and against which they are rising.

The above mentioned is just a cursory glance and not the whole portrayal of the story line as even thinking of it gives me goosebumps even at this instant.As mentioned above the protagonist takes recourse to the Judiciary under the writ of Mandamus as per Article 226 of Constitution of India and even gets a judgement in his favour but the other organ of the State i.e Executive is hell bent on not following the orders of the High court and to hold Social Morality in highest esteem.The incidents here are stark portrayal of all forms of exploitation as Roemer(1986) states i.e Structural Exploitation, Dominance Exploitation, Corporeal Exploitation and Authority Exploitation.

Atlast the Dalits as a whole and protagonist succumb to the Humiliation and Exploitation inflicted on them and raises the question that how this lawless of law and microfascism of power ought  to be tackled via the methodology of James Scott as portrayed in his The Weapons of the Weak or David Harvey’s Spaces of Hope as agents of law remain socialized in the legitimacy of humiliation thus making them the agents of Great Refusal !In this era of Hyper Nationalism borrowing sensibility from the words of Ambedkar who says,”Without Social Unity, Political unity is difficult to be achieved.If achieved it would be precarious as a summer sapling….” To conclude the movie raises an important question that Ambedkar raised in his last speech of Constituent Assembly which is mentioned below,

“When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.”

Thus, if the problem of marginalisation and its tangible succession via Humiliation and Exploitation is not solved within the Constitutional Frame via upholding the tenets of Liberty, Equality, fraternity to ensure justice this Grand Tower of Democracy shall be demolished by the very people who are at the receiving end by being compelled to adopt unconstitutional methods and Grammar of Anarchy ! Manusangada is a stark warning for the same and a reminder of Newton’s Third Law of Motion !

Nikhil Sanjay-Rekha Adsule has completed his B.E(Electrical) and  LLB from Savitribai Phule Pune University(SPPU) and pursued his Masters in History from I.G.N.O.U and currently he is pursuing Masters of  Law from TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (TISS).He cleared NET with JRF(Junior Research Fellowship) in History along with SET Examination(Maharashtra).Recently he was awarded with prestigious Dr.Ambedkar National Dignity Award -2019 in New Delhi.He dreams of creating a BEGUMPURA  of Genderless, Casteless and Classless India.




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