The day after the wedding

Despite a strong refutation by the makers of Made in Heaven of Dalit writer Yashica Dutt’s allegations of appropriation, the last shot in this war of words hasn’t been fired. The debate over who first came up with the phrase “coming out” in the context of Dalit identity – used by Dutt for her 2019 memoir Coming Out as Dalit – and whether the character played by Radhika Apte in the show’s episode would have existed without Dutt will continue for a while.

To sum up the controversy: the fifth episode of the Prime Video show’s second season is about Pallavi, a Dalit academic whose decision to have a Buddhist wedding ceremony exposes the caste prejudices of her prospective in-laws. Dutt stated on social media and in interviews that some elements of Pallavi’s story resemble hers, such as the idea of “passing” as upper caste to avoid stigma, the grandmother who worked as a toilet cleaner, a Columbia University degree, and Pallavi’s use of the “coming out” phrase.

The writers of the series – Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti and Alankrita Shrivastava – and the episode director Neeraj Ghaywan (himself a Dalit) denied Dutt’s allegations, stating, among other things, that the “coming out” phrase has been around since 2007 and is now a part of “common parlance”.

Made in Heaven Season 2.

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