Friday, July 6, 2007

Dalan Tele-Serial


Dalan is a television serial that portrays how the laws of the land affected Dalits and role it played for Dalits to become Dalits. It is also a story about the Dalits emancipation movement against these oppression, the heroes of the movement and future vision for the emancipation.

Social and political history between 1991-2007 has been taken into account for analysis
as for serial script that has been portrayed in the serial. Dalan is focused on the issue of caste based discrimination faced by Dalits. The serial covers the geographical area of western Nepal to the capital city. It presents social environment of various castes and tries to corner out the psychological framework formed by the state. Dalan is a presentation of Nepalese social history from Dalits' perspective.

Why Dalan:
Film is a medium of free expression. Nepalese films have failed to picture the sentiments of Nepal's Dalits, indigenous people, women and the marginalized community. The development of Nepalese film started around 1950.

"1 language 1 dress, 1 religion 1 caste" slogan put forth by the state was a failure as it could not prioritise other languages and castes. King Mahendra brought Indian artists to play in the cinemas to save the "Khas culture" and preserve his one culture policy. But in recent times there are films that raise Dalits issue.

Short films and documentaries on Dalits are insufficient, so a 'Dalan' was felt as a need. Dalan fills the gap, fight discrimination and corners the psychological mind-set of society.
A Brahmin by origin Harihar falls in love with Tulki, a Dalit girl. Tulki becomes pregnant on the due course. News spread like a rapid fire. To save the image of Brahmin family, Harihar is sent to Benaras. The lovebird returns from middle of serial again. Tulki suicidal attempt goes in vain. Harihar feels guilty about the whole thing and they are together again. When Harihar decides to take responsibility of Tulki, a village-meeting (Kachahari) takes place which decides to expel the Harihar and Tulki, cut their hair half and a pig tied to them.

Harihar faces the downward mobility and turns into Damai, a low caste in the hierarchy. To cope with the hand to mouth problem, he reaches western Baglung-Parvat. A child is born to them. Dhambare Damai gives space to them when he finds them of the same caste. When difficulty arises in the child naming ceremony Dhambere comes to help economically. Harihar along with Tulki start their life as a bonded laborer to return the borrowed money. He builds a small hut and turns into a Haliya. Both of them die passing a difficult life.

Their son Juthe is troubled with life when his parents died. He moves ahead tackling the problems. He marries and had many children. Most of his sons died and daughters were
used as a sex labor in the red light area of Mumbai, India. Juthe starts working in Bistas (landlords) house. He dies from falling through a hill while carrying goods. His wife Kali and son Mane faces with the burden of life. After the death of Kali, son Mane finds his uncle Ramji Nepali as a help. He comes to Kathmandu for higher studies. He changes his name to Manav from Mane. He progresses in the city. He rents a room without letting anyone know about his caste and falls in love with a non dalit girl. At the end, he opens up himself as Dalit. There is a change in his psychology with the political change in the country. Feeling guilty for lying about his caste, he returns to village shouldering responsibility of saving his identity, his communal identity.

Making of Dalan
The making of Dalan wasn't an easy task. It went through difficult times. To finalize the storyline and dialogues, viewers' response from 5 development regions, political scientists, sociologists, film critics, journalists, and Dalit activists' inputs were used and discussions were made in a large scale. A summarized version of report of Nepalese and foreign films and documentaries were prepared. The theme of the report was followed in the film. Storyline was a major success.

Actors/ Actresses were sought as per the role and selected simultaneously. Auditions were done at Kathmandu, Pokhara, Kusma and at the shooting spot. The successful were provided with orientation training on acting to meet with the goal. Bests at the orientation were given with chance to act in Dalan.

To make serial more timely and suitable, costumes, tools and houses were used. Selection of cloths, Nepali-cap style, Khaddar clothing to jeans and polyesters were given much attention. 2 horses from Ghandruk, Golghar, and 2 schools were booked for the film. Almost 150 houses were thatched to give the picture of 1950. Many people were used to make the scenes real. To authorize the facts presented in the serial, some historical monuments were used, like the address of King Mahendra of 1st Poush 2017 has been presented in a short radio version.
Places of shootings:

Khaulalakuri, Durlung, Chuwa VDC's of Parvat, headquarter Kushma and Baglung bazaar were the places used for the shootings. After the completion at western belt, kathmandu valley and the surroundings were used for final shots.
Coming soon
Dalan is in its final stage. Almost 8 episodes, animation, casting, and a title song have already been made. Currently, work is going on for background music. By mixing sounds; and background music. Dalan will be ready for a broadcast at the national television.
Crew members:
Local coordination: Krishna B.K., Nirmal Nepali
Costume: Bodhraj Paudel
Make-up: Pushpan Lama
Light incharge: Babu Shrestha
Production controller: Padam Subba
Production assistant: Rajan Puar, Suraj Thapa
Vocals: Pratima Sunam and Narendra Pyasi
Asst. Director: Rajesh Bishwakarma, Anup Subedi, Diwash Rai
Casting Director: Anup Baral
Editor: Chiringritar Sherpa
Music: Subha Bdr. Sunam
Title song: Shrawan Mukarung
Cameraman: Siddhartha Shakya, Mohan Shah
Writer: Aahuti
Producer: Purna Singh Baraily
Director: Nabin Subba

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Dalan Shooting