An FIR has been lodged towards the film’s director Aimee Baruah for allegedly ‘misrepresenting’ Dimasa culture and perpetuating stereotypes towards the neighborhood

An FIR has been lodged towards the film’s director Aimee Baruah for allegedly ‘misrepresenting’ Dimasa culture and perpetuating stereotypes towards the neighborhood

The director of the 2021 Dimasa-language film Semkhor, Aimee Baruah, has landed in legal bother after an FIR was lodged towards her by All Dimasa Students’ Union ex-president Mohendra Kemprai for allegedly ‘misrepresenting’ Dimasa culture and perpetuating stereotypes towards the neighborhood.

The film has gained a slew of awards together with the Best Actress class at Toronto International Women Film Festival (2021) and the Special Audience award in the 20 th Dhaka International Film Festival Award (2022). Recently, in the 68 th National Film Awards, Semkhor gained below two classes: Special Jury point out and Best Feature Film in Dimasa.

Based on the traditions and livelihood of the ‘Semsas’, a Dimasa neighborhood dwelling in the distant space of the Semkhor area in the Dima Hasao district in Assam, Semkhor has drawn the ire of the Dimasa neighborhood with many criticising the film for a stereotypical illustration of the Dimasas.

The Dimasa Mothers’ Association has vehemently condemned the depiction of feminine infanticide by the Semsas in Semkhor, calling it ‘completely unfaithful and factually incorrect’. In a press notice launched by the Association, they stated that fictional tales towards indigenous tribes mustn’t be propagated as factual practices of the Dimasa neighborhood. “Such propaganda is disgraceful and should diminish the honour of the indigenous tribes of Assam,” the press notice said.

The All Dimasa Women Welfare Society has expressed ‘robust resentment’ towards the film, calling it a ‘completely incorrect projection of the Dimasa customs and the individuals of Semkhor village’. Objecting to the portrayal of ladies in Semkhor, the Society stated that Ms. Baruah has lied in regards to the practices and customs of the individuals of Semkhor village, thereby making a incorrect picture of the Semsas.

The All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU), has additionally criticised the film and referred to as out the alleged derogatory nature of Semkhor. Calling the film a ‘fallacious presentation,’ ADSU condemned the film for hurting the feelings of the Dimasa neighborhood. “Such ailing portrayal of Dimasa’s wealthy culture and heritage is an assault on our identification and it’s aimed to trigger emotional harm to our neighborhood,” the ADSU stated.

The Dimasa Students’ Union Delhi has demanded an apology from the filmmakers and has requested to additional ban the screening of the film. Semkhor

has lowered the wealthy historical past of the Semkhors, and lowered it to magnify, sensationalise, and diverge from the prevailing practices, the Union stated. “This is a doubtlessly harmful train of artistic liberties involving the overlooking of sure social responsibilites on the half of the artists,” the press notice learn.

Diksha Langthasa, a bureaucrat, and hailing from the Dima Hasao district, watched Semkhor just lately. She stated that there’s a gross misrepresentation of the village and that the director, Ms. Baruah, has fabricated the entire premise of the film and represented them as details. “It’s actually unhappy that the primary function film in Dimasa language is letting down the very neighborhood it seeks to symbolize,” she stated.

Dr. Santosh Hasnu, a historical past professor at University of Delhi, and hailing from the Dimasa neighborhood himself, visited the Semkhor area in 2013. He stated the portrayal of the individuals of Semkhor in the film as an remoted, self-indulgent tribe is unfaithful. “The film reeks of a civilising mission, undertaken very similar to the British, the place the tribes have been introduced as backwards and harmful,” he stated. Movies similar to Semkhor proceed the processes of ‘othering’ of a tribal neighborhood towards the dominant majority and those that wanted to be rescued or given company as they’ll’t arise for themselves. And it is extremely clearly evident from many of the interviews of the film maker, Dr. Hasnu added.

Talking in regards to the sophisticated historical past of the Semkhor area, he stated that the Dima Hasao space was continuously visited by the British. “Semkhor, being situated on the hilltop was strategically essential for the British to control the raiding tribes,” he added.

Dr. Hasnu additional stated that the interactions between the individuals of Semkhor and the Britishers have been outdated, and never like what Ms. Baruah has claimed. “They have been in fixed contact with the opposite tribes, with salt being the dominant commodity which was traded.”

In one of her interviews at IFFI Goa in 2021, Ms. Baruah had identified that the individuals of Semkhor and the neighbouring Dimasas had by no means seen a digital camera earlier than. However, Dr. Hasnu refuted the very fact and stated {that a} British officer, J.P. Hills, had visited Semkhor in 1927 and picked up many photographs.

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