Model-actor Lin Lainshram who hails from Manipur has recently opened up about discrimination in the casting process of the 2014 national-award-winning film ‘Mary Kom’. She played the role of Bembem alongside Priyanka Chopra Jonas who essayed the role of the protagonist.
As per a report in HT, Lin said that although Priyanka worked hard to play the role of Indian boxer and five-time world champion Mary Kom, a girl from the Northeast or Manipur could have been cast “to represent us”.
She stated, “I admire Priyanka for her hard work, she really put in a lot of hours in order to look like Mary Kom but I always felt that casting is an important step in film. I believe in authenticity and inclusivity, so a girl from Manipur or the North East could have been surely cast to represent us…When it comes to playing an achiever from the Northeast a non-North Eastern person is chosen as seen in Mary Kom. On the other hand, why not cast people from Northeast also as normal Indians in all walks of life which we are.”
In reference to another show on an OTT platform, she made another point on the importance of inclusivity in the industry. She said, “People are cast from Tamil Nadu and speak Tamil, representing their local culture and ethnicity, and it has been so widely accepted and appreciated. So, if south Indian culture can be accepted then why not North Eastern?”
In a previous interview, she had also opened up about facing racism. She recalled, “It happened in my building in Mumbai. I was in the compound and a middle-aged man walked passed me and called me coronavirus and kept chanting it till I left. I found it very strange because it was around February and by then we weren’t so aware of the situation. I went home, read up and saw what was happening in China Town in the US and it was then that it hit me. It was so unfortunate.”
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