A Dalit group in Kanpur is upset with Prakash Jha for casting royal Saif Ali Khan as a Dalit in his next film AARAKSHAN. The movie that deals with reservation issue has Saif playing Deepak Kumar, a member of the backward caste.
A certain Dalit Suraksha Samiti has sent Jha a letter of protest at his Patna office, claiming that getting someone like Saif Ali Khan - a blue blood - to play a Dalit, is an insult to their community. The letter also threatens Jha of 'serious repercussions' if he doesn't explain why he has caste Saif for the role. Jha says, "Yes, we have received a letter. My people are looking into it. We have not filed any complaint yet. It does not seem to be a registered organisation."
Jha, who has always tried to bring to fore the plight of political and developmental initiatives in Bihar through his films, says that he cannot fathom the organisation's problem. "Dalit groups should be happy that we are making a film about reservation. I can't understand why anybody should be offended if Saif, being from a royal family, is cast as a Dalit. As directors, we cast actors who we think are suitable for the role. I thought Saif would be right for the part so I cast him," he says.