Dalit group angry over Saif's role in 'Aarakshan'

May 13, 2011 IANS

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Filmmaker Prakash Jha's upcoming movie "Aarakshan" has upset a Dalit group in Kanpur that is angry over Saif Ali Khan being cast as a member of the backward caste in the movie.

The Dalit Suraksha Samiti has sent a letter of protest to Jha's Patna office, asking why he chose Saif to play a Dalit, as it is insulting to the community.

The letter also warns Jha of serious repercussions if he doesn't explain the reason behind the decision.

"Yes, we have received a letter. My people are looking into it. We have not filed any complaint yet. It does not seem to be a registered organisation," Jha said in a statement.

The national film award winning director has always tried to bring forth the plight of political and developmental initiatives in Bihar and he says this is a lame reason for any one to be offended.

"Dalit groups should be happy that we are making a film about reservations. I can't understand why anybody should be offended if Saif, being from a royal family, is cast as a Dalit. As directors, we cast actors who we think are suitable for the role. I thought Saif would be right for the part so I cast him," he said.

The movie also features actors Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar and Manoj Bajpayee and it deals with the issue of reservations.

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