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Zoya Akhtar & Reema Kagti defend creative choices in 'Made in Heaven Season 2' amid Yashica Dutt controversy

Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the show's creators, have taken to social media to counter Yashica's assertions in a comprehensive statement.

Published: Friday,Aug 18, 2023 06:16 AM GMT-06:00
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Made In Heaven 2

Yashica Dutt made waves on August 15 when she utilized social media as a platform to accuse the producers of Made In Heaven Season 2. She alleged that her life's narrative had been incorporated into the show without due credit, specifically pointing to Radhika Apte's character in Episode 5. However, in a recent development, Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the show's creators, have taken to social media to counter Yashica's assertions in a comprehensive statement.

It reads, "We are deeply disturbed with the misleading reports and comments in context of author Yashica Dutt claiming formal credit for her 'contribution' to Made in Heaven, a show set around wedding planners and remarkable brides who challenge prejudices deeply ingrained in our society. In Episode 5 - 'The Heart Skips A Beat', we peek into the life of Pallavi Menke a fictional character. Pallavi Menke is a Maharashtrian Ambedkarite from the Vidarbha region who studied law at Columbia University. She grew up using a caste-neutral surname and was called Pallavi Kumar. She has now reclaimed her original surname, Menke - a signifier of her true identity as a member of the Dalit community. Pallavi Menke is an academic who teaches at Columbia and is likely to be tenured as a professor."

They further added, "She is a recipient of an Amnesty Award. All of this earns her the respect of her prospective in-laws, who belong to a different caste. At the same time, her in-laws think her identity as a Dalit is better brushed under the carpet. The central conflict of the episode is whether Pallavi should fight to have the wedding rituals that are a signifier of her identity, or not. None of the above is drawn from Yashica Dutt's life or her book - 'Coming Out As Dalit'."

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Further talking about it they said, "We categorically deny any claim that Ms. Dutt's life or work was appropriated by us. 'Coming out' is a 1950's academic LGBTQIA term that was first used by Mr. Sumit Baudh in the Indian caste identity context in 2007. He used this in an article he wrote for Tarshi. A decade later it was used by Ms. Dutt in her book. This term has since become common parlance for reclaiming caste-identity.

In the episode, the character, Pallavi Menke simply uses it in this context. The character does not attribute herself and neither has she been attributed with coining this term or being the pioneer of its usage in a Dalit context. In the episode Pallavi Menke mentions her grandmother's back story. This narrative of cleaning toilets was included because it is a common history that came up recurrently in our research of the community. Pallavi Menke's fictional book, "Denied" is a hat-tip to several books like Ants Among Elephants by Sujatha Gidla, Caste Matters by Suraj Yengde, Coming Out As Dalit by Yashica Dutt and the Tarshi article by Sumit Baudh."

The concluded by saying, "We have immense respect for them and their experiences and their work that has admirably shed light on caste based discrimination. Through his previous work and this episode, Neeraj Ghaywan has added to the discourse. We made this show with sincerity, passion and a beating heart and are overwhelmed with the love we have received. We will continue to platform stories and voices that are truly bigger than us."

'Made in Heaven Seaaon 2' is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and the show received mixed responses from the critics as well as the audiences. 

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Related Tags:

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