Punjab was partitioned on religious lines amidst widespread bloodshed in 1947, and today there are hardly any Punjabi Muslims left in the Indian Punjab. Yet, the Sufi shrines in the Indian part of Punjab continue to thrive, particularly among so-called ‘low’ caste Dalits that constitutes more than 30% of its population.
Kitte Mil Ve Mahi explores for the first time this unique bond between Dalits and Sufism in India. In doing so it unfolds a spiritual universe that is both healing and emancipatory. Journeying through the Doaba region of Punjab dotted with shrines of sufi saints and mystics a window opens onto the aspirations of Dalits to carve out their own space. This quest gives birth to ‘little traditions’ that are deeply spiritual as they are intensely political.
Enter an unacknowledged world of Sufism where Dalits worship and tend to the Sufi Shrines. Listen to B.S. Balli Qawwal Paslewale – a first generation Qawwal from this tradition. Join a fascinating dialogue with Lal Singh Dil – radical poet, Dalit, convert to Islam. A living legend of the Gadar movement, Bhagat Singh Bilga, affirms the new Dalit consciousness.
The interplay of voices mosaic that is Kitte Mil Ver Mahi (where the twain shall meet), while contending the dominant perception of Punjab’s heritage, lyrically hint at the triple marginalisation of Dalits: economic, amidst the agricultural boom that is the modern Punjab; religious, in the contesting ground of its ‘major’ faiths; and ideological, in the intellectual construction of their identity.
Supported by India Foundation For The Arts
Title: Kitte Mil Ve Mahi (Where The Twain Shall Meet)
Duration: 70 Minutes
Language: Punjabi with English Subtitles
Director/ Producer: Ajay Bhardwaj
Camera: Ajay Bhardwaj
Sound Editing and Mixing: Asheesh Pandya
Editor: Shachindra Bisht
National Conference on ”Dalit Art and Visual Imagery” by the The Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, 6th of March 2013 at Convention Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 6-7 November, 2012. Sponsored by the Department of Asian Studies, the Department of Art History and Visual Art, and the Office of the Vice President Research and International.
Screened at Waterman’s Arts Centre, London, on 11 September, 2011, by Pop Samiti.
Screened at the 37th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin Madison Oct 18, 2008, USA http://southasiaconference.wisc.edu/archive/2008/2008-Program_small.pdf
Ghadar Party Martyr Memorial , Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall, Jalandhar, Punjab. Feb 05
Dept of Sociology, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. Feb 05
Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi Feb 2005
India International Centre, New Delhi 30th December 2004
ANHAD, New Delhi 26th Feb 2005
Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi 20th April 05
AMAN Trust, New Delhi 3rd June 2005
Department of History, University of Delhi, Delhi. 31st August 2004
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi: 12th August 2005
INTACH, New Delhi: 23rd Sept 2005
XI-National Conference of India Association of Women Studies, Goa. 2-5th May 2005
National alliance of Peoples Movements, UP Chapter, Lucknow. 27th August 2005
Bharat Scout and Guide Camping Grounds, Nizamuddin, New Delhi On the launch of Delhi to Multan Padyatra, led by Sandeep Pandey, Yatra organised by Indo-Pak People to People Forum, Screening organised by PEACE- Delhi 22March 2005.
Dyal Singh College, University Of Delhi, New Delhi 21st Oct 2005.
XXXI All India Sociological Conference 05, University of Jammu, Jammu. (Prof. TN Madan, eminent sociologist of religion chaired the event and led the discussions afterwards).
Screened at Rochester, Kent as part of Black History Month in the U.K. Every year in October, ethnic communities use Black History Month to promote cultural diversity.
Screened in Nottingham (North of England), as part of a package to promote Dalit’s human rights.
Screened in Dhaka, Bangladesh as part of a ‘ Training workshop on Composite Culture’, conducted by Institute of Social Democracy, New Delhi. !to 6th june 2004. 8th to 12 Sept 2005 , Konark, Orissa, India
Dyal Singh College, Karnal, Haryana . 26th Nov 2005
Ramjas College, Univ of Delhi 6th Dec 2005
SIGNS 2005, the fest of Docu and short films for John Abrahm national awards, Thiruvananthpuram, short listed for screening in the FOCUS section. The fest is from 25- 30th May 2005.
Film South Asia, Kathmandu, 29th – 4th October 2005
Tri continental Film Festival, Alliance Francaise Delhi,22 Jan2006
Tri continental Film Festival, Little Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai 26th Jan 2006
Tri continental Film Festival, Alliance Francaise, Bangalore,.30th Jan2006
18th Feb 2006 Hyderabad Film Society, Hyderabad.
Part of a travelling documentary film festival that will hold screenings in Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala, and is collectively organised by three film clubs from these states.
One World TV has offered to showcase it on its online documentary platform showcasing films from around the world.
Dept of Sociology, Venkatsawar College, University of Delhi
Mumbai International Film Festival 06.
Hyderabad Film Club, Hyderabad 18th Feb 06
CINEMELA, School of Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium, JNU, New Delhi. 14th April 06,
Room no. 229 CIET building, NCERT, New Delhi 20th April 2006
6th May 06, Comics Café, Garage, B-3, Mobike Market, Lajpatnagar – Part I, New Delhi
Film Club, Gallerie Alternatives, DLF Phase II, Gurgaon. 27th May 2006
International Sufi Festival, Tramway, Glasgow, UK, 4-6 August 06
Kala Bhavan, Santi Niketan, Bolpur, West Bengal 11th- Sept 06
3 –Screen documentary film festival, WSF-Asia, New Delhi. 10th Nov 06
One Billion eyes Docu Film Fest, Prakriti foundation, Chennai, 17th August, 2005
International Peace Festival, Bhavan’s College, Andheri(W), Mumbai, Dec 01,2006
150 Years of 1857 celebrations, Allahabad, 12th March 2007.
Eklavya, Pipariya film festival, 12th March 2007.
Prabhat Documentary Film Festival FTII Pune, 11th May 07
Arts Reverie, Ahmedabad, 18th Jan 08
MTB College, Surat, 20th Jan 08
University of Michigan, Marginal Life- South Asian Film Series, 11thMarch 2008
MeTa Movie Club, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
37th Annual Conference on South Asia, South Asia Centre, University of Wisconsin Madison 18th Oct 2008
7th June,2009: 12 a.m. Matinee show-cum-discussions, Kitte Mil Ve Mahi at Kino Traumstern, Lich., Germany
Punjab Research Group, De Montfort University, UK, Oct 31, 09
Religion and Social Identity in Punjab , Chandigarh
Presentation of the documentary Kitte Mil Ve Mahi under the sub theme-Critical response to caste and religious distinctions in Punjab Organised by Dept of Sociology, Punjab University &
University of Manchester UK.
11th- 22th October 2010 Annual Virani Lecture Series on Islam in South Asia. Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Canada
18th Oct 2010, Screening Rabba Hun Kee Kariye and Kitte Mil Ve Mahi. Fredric Lasserre Building, 6333 Memorial Road
Screening of AJAY BHARDWAJ’S Punjabi Films ‘Kitte Mil Ve Mahi’ & ‘Rabba Hun Kee Kariye?’, Surrey Canada, Nov 26/2010
Minorities and the Margins, ( 17-18 Feb 2011), Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, JNU 1
‘Another People‘ by Anupam Kant Verma for Caravan magazine (February 2013).
‘Sufism and the East Punjab Dalit assertion — Part I‘ by Ishtiaq Ahmed for Daily Times (September 2012)
Review by Sundjata Keita after the screening at Waterman Arts Center organized by Pop Samiti (September 2011)
‘Kitte Mil Ve Mahi’ a documentary film review by Virinder S Kalra for Uddari Weblog (May 2011)
Review by Sanjay Kak for the OPEN magazine (August 2009)
Review by Purnima Dhavan for Visual Anthropology (2008).
Review by Arshia Sattar for Infochange Film Forum (June 2005).
‘Holding up the sky with faith’ by Hartosh Singh Bal for Tehelka (April 2005)
Flight of Sufi, History from Below: A Film Review by Yogindra Sikand for Combat Law Journal (April 2004)