Author Yashica Dutt slams makers of ‘Made In Heaven’ for using her work without consent

Author Yashica Dutt slams makers of 'Made In Heaven' for using her work without consent


There are several reasons why Made in Heaven Season 2 on Amazon Prime Video has captured headlines. However, the fifth episode of the show, The Heart Skipped a Beat, which stars Radhika Apte, has received special recognition from viewers for the way it depicted a Dalit wedding.

BR Ambedkar’s great-grandson Prakash Ambedkar also praised the episode’s director Neeraj Ghaywan and the authors of the show for portraying “the assertion, defiance, and resistance of a Dalit woman’s character” in the episode. However, Yashica Dutt, a graduate of Columbia University and the author of the book “Coming Out As Dalit,” has slammed the show’s creators for not giving her due credit for the project.

Yashica explained in an extended text how Radhika’s character was modelled on her life without her consent and without giving her due credit. In the episode, Radhika Apte plays the bold Dalit author Pallavi Menke, who unabashedly fights for her people. Dutt praised the show for its depiction of a Dalit-Buddhist wedding but expressed her displeasure at not receiving credit for her contributions to the episode’s main ideas.

“The scene where the Dalit author who is from Columbia, has written a book about ‘Coming Out’, and talks about how her grandmother ‘manually cleaned toilets’ (while wearing all blue as an homage to Ambedkar), asserts her selfhood with her life partner to-be, gave me chills. It was surreal to see a version of my life on screen that wasn’t but yet was still me. But soon the heartbreak set in. They were my words but my name was nowhere. What could have been a celebration of our collective ideas was now tinged with sadness. The ideas I cultivated, that are my life’s work, that I continue to receive immense hate still for just speaking, were taken without permission or credit,” she said.

She continued by saying that Dalits have a long history of being excluded, forgotten, neglected, and wiped out of their own stories. Dalit women in particular are the easiest to exploit because their labour is essentially worthless. “Everyone is free to claim it. Only not this time around. I’m fighting the expectations placed on me as a woman who must constantly regulate the “register of her rage” by reclaiming my work, my value, and my contribution to discourse and history. The Made in Heaven episode portrays a Dalit woman and her Buddhist inter-caste wedding in a lovely way. Sadly, it also takes away my contribution to my own ideas,” she added. 

While Yashica’s name was listed among the collaborators thanked by the film’s director Neeraj Ghaywan in his Instagram post, she claims that Neeraj didn’t recognize her until many people questioned why her credits weren’t included. In addition, she criticized Hindi television and film for their “notorious and historic pattern of taking anything from everywhere to create its narrative.”

She asked the writers of Made In Heaven, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti, to give credit to the project in her final post. “I request Neeraj Ghaywan, and the show creators Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti to formally acknowledge my life’s work and ideas that contributed to this episode, which is among the most talked about in the entire series, beyond a post on social media and within the show’s credits. So that the millions of its viewers know one its central ideas was not created out of the ether, but out of the blood, sweat and a lifetime of tears of a Dalit woman that the world had decided to cast aside,” she wrote.

Made In Heaven is an Indian romantic drama web series that premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 8 March 2019. The second season was released on 10 August 2023.


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