A Dalit Panther is not a single person but a complete movement by himself

 

Praful Kamble

prafulI come from a small village named Bhilwadi, in Sangli district of Maharashtra. I had pursued my Bachelor of Arts from my village. When I was in SSC and HSC I started my own Dance Academy called Blue Star. Gradually, I came into contact with the camera and I learned to handle basic cameras and from that time onwards I have been interested in filmmaking.

My keen interest to learn filmmaking kept growing. Cities like Pune and Mumbai are well-known for such courses, I started gathering information relating to it and found that the fees for such courses were more than one lakh INR which was next to impossible for me.

After that, I found out about an institute named BARTI which also offered such courses, including filmmaking, absolutely free. After cracking the entrance exam, I got an opportunity to pursue my dream from IDEMI, Mumbai.  

In my village I got to know about Dalit Panther. I started questioning myself about this Panther and hunting for reading materials and related sources in Mumbai while my course studies were underway. Then I committed myself to this search when I witnessed an interview of a member of a Dalit Panther. After relentless efforts and research, my questions were beginning to be answered and today it has become my passion. It is my dream project and now to hunt for a real Panther. I have started my struggle.

panther poster

My documentary film is about What was the background for the formation of Dalit Panthers in Maharashtra as well as all over India? How was the period of Dalit Panther? And what was the aftermath when Dalit Panther movement started splitting?

This is what I am trying to recreate in the documentary film on Dalit Panther, which is based on what I learned, read, referred, imagined and want to present.

A Dalit Panther is not a single person, but a complete movement by himself.

The main aspect of this film is to highlight the period from 1972 to 1975 which saw the high contribution of the Dalit Panther association and hence is very significant. This important contribution must be known to every single youth of this society and that is my main intention.

I hope to complete the film next year.

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