Sunday, December 10, 2023

“An anti-caste camaraderie gone too soon…”: Journalist Sneha Belcin dies at 26

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Sneha Belcin, a young journalist and filmmaker, passed away in Chennai on Monday. She was 26.

The 26-year-old was working with the digital and video team of The New Indian Express.

“Sneha joined The New Indian Express in March this year, writing articles and producing videos on issues related to caste and gender, which were close to her heart. Among her most popular articles was a critique of the Vetrimaran movie Viduthalai Part I, which garnered a lot of attention and provoked a discussion within the film community,” read TNIE report.

Sneha, originally from Coimbatore, earned her journalism and filmmaking degree from Mumbai University. Her journey led her to the Covai Post, where she started as a reporter.

Later, she ventured into Neelam Productions, a Tamil production company founded by renowned filmmaker Pa Ranjith, where she took on the role of a creative producer. While with Neelam, she did political satire shows such as Munnurai and Ennada Politics Panringa, which garnered wide attention.

Sneha also wrote poems and blog posts under the pen name ‘kaartumbi’.

She directed the short film Savundu, a political drama that reimagines the power dynamics between a policeman and a person from a marginalised community.

Many users took social media accounts to mourn the sudden demise of the young journalist. Pa Ranjith was among the mourners on Monday.

“Sneha Belcin, an anti-caste camaraderie gone too soon. Sneha will remain one of Neelam Social’s most celebrated content creators. They mainly spearheaded shows – #Munnurai #EnnaDaPoliticsPannuringa and played a significant role in disseminating political discourse on intersectional feminism to a wider non-English audience. Their voice and thoughts have inspired many to assert themselves against status quo & helped many unlearn gender bias, garnering admiration. Sneha’s recent work as a journalist writing majorly on the themes caste and gender asserting anti-caste perspective is a break through in Indian newsrooms and culture that are otherwise hegemonic. Beyond this, Sneha was a person full of life, with an admiration for little things. Their presence would uplift the spirits of people around.” read Neelam’s post on X.

The post further read: “Quite often, they penned down words through poetry, blogpost and on social media platforms that most of us but either shy away from talking about or find hard to express. Nevertheless, these words made many feel heard, seen and appreciated. All of us at Neelam are here still shaken by the loss! Our heartfelt condolences to their family. What a wonderful person and assertive #Ambedkarite voice the anti-caste discourse has lost! Jaibhim Sneha, thanks for speaking truth to power. We are proud of you!”

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