What actually is 'Article 15' of Indian Constitution? Based on which incidents the movie Article 15 was directed?

The Bollywood movie 'Article 15' which was released recently has been receiving lots of praises from the movie pandits and has been defined as a 'must watch' movie by movie lovers. However, there is a question which arises to many before watching the movie,  which is "what actually is Article 15?" If you are searching for the same, then you are in the right place.


Ayushmann Khurrana in Article 15;   Image Credits: Jagran.com

Article 15 is a 2019 Indian crime drama film, directed by Anubhav Sinha based on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. It is not based on one specific incident, the film is inspired by multiple true life incidents including 2014 Badaun gang-rape allegations and 2016 Una flogging incident.
It was even selected as the opening film for the 10th edition of London Indian Film Festival which was premiered on 20 June. In India, it was theatrically released on 28 June 2019 and has received positive reviews from the movie critics. The film revolves around a police investigation which is initiated by Ayaan (Ayushmann Khurrana) and his officers after three teenage girls go missing from a small village. 


The movie has created a lot of Buzz in the B-town filled with controversies and they faced few troubles prior to the release as there was a certain section of society that was against the movie's release. Some of the groups protested against its release as they believed it showed them in a bad light. However, before going deep into the movie's story and controversies, let us check in detail, what the Article 15 is about. 
What actually is Article 15?

Article 15 can be found in the Constitution of India under Part III which deals with fundamental rights of the citizens of India. The other Articles from 12 to 18 completely deals with various issues related to 'Right to Equality'. 

Article 15 (1) and (2) prohibits the nation from discriminating any citizen on the ground of any religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth and others. These articles create a room that there will not be any restriction whatsoever to any person on the above grounds in order to access and make the use of public facilities such as shops, restaurants, hotels, restaurants, any places of entertainment and others. No person in the nation can be denied for the use of wells, tanks, roads, bathing ghats and the sites of the public resort which are produced and managed completely or in parts from the state funds or which have been dedicated completely for the use of the public.

From Article 15(3) onwards, the Indian constitution deals with protective discrimination. For instance, it empowers the state to make special provisions for the protection of Women and Children.

Article 15(4) empowers the state to create special provisions for promoting the interests and welfare of the socially and educationally backward classes of the society such as SC and STs.

Article 15(5) goes one step ahead and it empowers the nation to make reservations regarding the admissions into educational institutions which consist of both privately run and other colleges whether or not aided by the government. Only the minority run institutions such as the Madarsas are exempted from this provision.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the articles 15(3) and 15(4) are the foundation stones for making reservations in the country.

Now, coming back to the movie, a certain section of society which is 'Brahmin' community, believed that the movie showed them in a bad light. 

Ayushmann Khurrana in promotions for Article 15; Image credits: Hindustan Times

Talking about it in an interview, the hero of the movie, Ayushmann said: "(Director) Anubhav (Sinha) Sir has issued a statement. It states that we haven't shown any community in a negative light, especially the Brahmin community.

"When people will see the film, they will realise that the film's protagonist belongs to a Brahmin community, so we haven't criticised anyone in the film. I urge people to watch the film then form opinions about it." 

Talking about the issue of the caste system in India, the actor said: "When I used to perform street plays during my college days, we used to deal with social issues through our street plays.
"Apart from that, I have read many books on this issue while shooting for the film, so I have been familiar with casteism in India. It is very rampant in rural areas. In urban areas, you will see inter-caste marriages but you will not see that in rural areas.

"Many people feel that the caste system doesn't exist in our country but through this film, we are showing that the caste system still exists in our country and we need to sort it out."

However, to make the films which contain sensitive and topline subjects will spark a conversation and also can initiate some kind of push-back against injustice, the things which we have severely begun taking for granted. According to the reviews, the movie 'Article 15' may have an unsatisfactory element or two, but as a film, watching it will be an overwhelming emotional experience and is worth our time.

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