Pa Ranjith, the Dalit revolutionary voice in Tamil Cinema is all set to make his debut Bollywood movie on Birsa Munda, the tribal leader from Jharkhand who fought against the British occupation and injustice. “The research work is going on now. We haven’t decided on the cast or any of the other details now. It’s being produced by Namah Pictures which made Beyond the Clouds. We’re hoping to shoot from May next year,” he told The news Minute.
“I feel this will be a very important film. And cinema isn’t restricted by language. It’s a visual medium. I was inspired to enter the cinema because of The Battle of Algiers. My Tamil films have travelled across the country, but yes, I do feel that for a subject like this to reach everywhere in India, Hindi would work better,” he said.
Director Pa Ranjith, who is the director of blockbusters like Kaala and Kabali is known for exploring political angle. The story of Birsa Munda’s biopic is centered around the tribal uprising in the British era during the latter half of the 19th century. Gopi Nainar also announced a film on Birsa Munda last month.
Birsa Munda was born in 1875, and the tribal leader from Jharkhand, the land of natural resources fought for the rights of his tribes and their land. There was a huge famine in British India during the 1890s. In the year 1894, he started a revolt against the British government to remove the tax arrears for plantations by farmers. This was said to be the first revolt by tribes for their rights in India. Once he gathered a mass from tribal youths to fight with weapons, he formed guerilla troops to fight for the rights of tribal farmers.
Pa Ranjith has started his preproduction work reaching out to tribal pockets in and interacting with the tribals. He sent a few pictures where he is seen examining their primitive gadgets and sitting and chatting with the tribals. The director is yet to decide about the cast and crew. But he has said he is in talks with a prominent actor to be featured as Birsa Munda.
Another project that Ranjith is expected to be working on is a web series on Silk Smitha, who mostly acted in erotic roles in southern films.