Parai, the 45-minute documentary film reveals the status of Dalit population in India with the South Indian village Siruthondamadevi as a classic example. "An injury to one is an injury to all" quoted by Martin Luther King is the baseline of the film explaining the fact that there are number of villages alike Siruthondamadevi but remaining unexpressed.

Siruthondamadevi, the case history dealt in the film is a non descript village situated in Cuddalore district, Tamilnadu, India, continues to give the lie to the official pamphleteering that the atrocities against minorities are a thing of past. Here 600 odd Dalits are under assault everyday by 6000 strong backward caste (Oppressor caste) people. Be it untouchability, sexual harassment, rape, assault, exploitation of labor and like all forms of carnage against the scheduled caste population are shockingly and unlawfully prevalent in this village.

Almost ninety percent of the women in colony making a clean breast on the sexual violence against them and their men helplessly acknowledging the oppressions send a shockwave to the constitution, laws, bureaucracy, and hence all the watch guards of the Indian democracy. With the statistical guideline available from the organs of Government Of India up to date on the status of Dalit population in India, the film throws light on the conflict between real and relevance.

The documentary leaves the question on the country's bearing on the concept of "Justice to All" and the hold of people's democracy. 56 years of self rule and independence in India still having a major slice of society being suppressed and oppressed in the name of caste is painfully revealed in Parai.

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Directed by:
Leena Manimekalai
Cinematography by:
Editing by:
Justin Roi
Sound by:
Music by:
Produced by:
Dr.Ambedkar Centenary Movement & Kanavuppattarai
  • World Social Forum, Mumbai Jan 2004
  • Vikalp Films For Freedom, Mumbai Feb 2004
  • Chicago Women in Director's Chair Film Festival, March 2004
  • US Screening Tour - Tamil Sangams across the US, Columbia University, Pitsburg University, Maryland University, Aid India, AIMS India, Apnaagar, Indian Musilm Council Chapters in US
  • Diaspora Screening Tour - Zurich-Switzerland, Paris-France and London-UK organized by MANITHAM, SALANAM and VIMBAM respectively