Have you ever been humiliated or made fun of because you belong to a different region, or simply because of your looks? If yes, the act is considered as racism. Honestly, racism exists in almost all cultures. Some people are still not aware of such issues, admitting they are not racists, while their actions and words prove otherwise. Unfortunately, even now, there are lots of people who find their race is better than another, making the relationships unequal in all aspects. That’s the way racism prospers in human civilization. In my view, all people regardless of their culture, looks, race, religion, caste and origin specifications, should be treated in the same way, equally.
Racism is a worldwide problem for all civilizations. Actually, the only thing that racism gives is the division on ‘us’ and ‘them’ based on what our origin is and the skin colour or facial features. It all happens, when people forget about tolerance and think that it is normal to treat others badly. Racism is always awful.
Also, in a country as diverse and varied as India, lack of awareness about all cultures and regions is a high possibility. When this ignorance translates into racial discrimination, it can have grave consequences. Thus, racial discrimination is a major issue faced by people from Northeast India when they live in other parts of the country. This kind of discrimination has its roots in isolation and a lack of awareness about the Northeastern culture.
However, not all forms of racism are always visible. The simplest example is when a casting director refuses to audition a Northeast Indian with oriental features by saying ‘You don’t look Indian’. Racism happens everywhere, in schools, colleges, workplaces and others, but also in sports too. The racism in sport is old. There are many incidents of discrimination towards people of colour. Sport is admired by everybody and plays an important role in our society. Hence, racial discrimination in sports cannot be ignored.
Northeast India is the mitochondria of Indian sportsmanship, but in spite of bringing numerous laurels for the nation, players from the region are not spared from racial discrimination. With the perspective of weaving a new yarn for the nation by combining cinema, sport, diversity and racial discrimination, debutant Director Shubham Singh along with his writers Akhilesh Choudhary, Sparsh Khetarpal and Tasha Bhambra are releasing a one-of-a-kind film ‘Penalty’ focussed on football, with a Northeast Indian as the protagonist. The film also boasts of a diverse cast and crew. Penalty revolves around a young, talented Northeast Indian football player played by Lukram Smil. The 21-year-old footballer is seen fighting all sorts of negative backlash and racial discrimination to achieve his dreams.
The film puts light on the racial discrimination internally prevailing in India and as it progresses towards the climax, there are unpredictable turn of events that deliver the underlying message of the film i.e. ‘India as one’.
The official trailer of movie Penalty has been unveiled by the makers. Starring Kay Kay Menon, Manjot Singh, Shashank Arora, Lukram Smil, Aakash Dabhade, Srishti Jain and others. The movie is releasing on July 26 under the banner of Rudrakshh Films.
Watch the trailer here
By Bijou Thaangjam
The author is a talented actor from Imphal. He has acted in many Bollywood films including Mary Kom and Shivaay. Initially he dreamed of being a researcher but during his final year of graduation, he was bitten by the acting bug after watching a play and there was no looking back. He is also one of the cast members of Penalty.