those without caste

So it was with villains. You could name the moll Lily or Rosy, you could name the henchman Robert, but where would your villain come from? It is no accident that many powerful villains have had no Indian caste identity at all. We do know where Gabbar Singh came from – we even know that his father’s name was Hari Singh – but we have no idea where Dr Dang (Karma, 1986, dr Subhash Ghai) came from or Shakaal (Shaan, 1980, dr Ramesh Sippy) or Loin (Kalicharan, 1976, dr Subhash Ghai) or Mogambo (Mr India, 1987, dr Shekhar Kapur) for that matter. They were villains who were free-floating signifiers. Dr Dang could be Chinese if you wanted him to be Chinese. He could be South-east Asian or even from a tribal belt in India. It did not matter because he could not be located and so could not become an insult to any community. Henchmen were also given ur-names: Jagga, Raaka, Kaalia, Saamba.
jerry pinto on minorities and bollywood. but do we really know where gabbar singh came from?


Gende Thimma said...

What about the heroes Jai and Veeru in sholay. Any clue as to what caste they belong to.

kuffir said...

yes, interesting point. was thinking about the 'heroes' of the dacoit films of those times a couple of days ago.

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