Richa Chadha looked stunning in the first look of the upcoming film, Madam Chief Minister. She is seen sporting short hair with bruises on her face and a broom in her hand on the poster. It shows her co-stars Saurabh Shukla and Manav Kaul on each side and a glimpse of an election rally in the background. But the first poster of the film was criticised for adding to the stereotypical representation of Dalits.
To this Richa says, “This film was a learning experience for me, for us all. The promotions were no different. The first poster that was released faced severe criticism, rightly so. What to me (and my privileged eyes) was a mere prop used by my character in a scene came across as a stereotypical portrayal of Dalits for many of our people.”
“As an actor, I receive the communication for posting, complete with the copy, handles and hashtags. Needless to say, I have no role in the designing of promotional materials. By saying this, I am not throwing the makers under the bus. They realised this inadvertent error and took this criticism in their stride. They responded immediately by retracting the objectionable poster and by releasing a new poster the very next day. It was a regrettable and a completely unintentional oversight, not a deliberate insinuation. We are sorry. Our heart is in the right place. Hopefully, you will see that for yourself when you watch the film,” Richa adds.
She said she made this film for love, as though the team was on a mission to tell this story. Tara, one feisty oddball of a woman, fights patriarchy, caste oppression, brutal violence along with the usual betrayals of politics, to rise to the top and affect change. And she does so with incredible dignity and courage. I could relate to her righteous rage. She says, “As the film nears release, I am becoming aware that I have to say goodbye to Tara. I am also aware that she will never entirely leave my side.”