In Manjule-rashtra, you don’t ever get to hear an organizing kind of word like Dalit, or indeed Avarna. The films seem to choose a kind of equidistance from government and activist taxonomies. What you get instead is a species of mute irony.
The owner was so taken aback by my father’s presence that he stood up from his chair and placed his plate of Ragi Muddhe with curd and vegetable gravy on the table, almost like a sign of respect to his fellow Kannadiga. While the owner’s glances were shifting repeatedly between my father and I, almost in some desperate bid to find commonness in our physical features, I was fascinated by the ball of Ragi Mudhe on his plate.