Made In Heaven 2 makers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti took to social media to deny all the claims made by author Yashica Dutt. The author accused the creators of using her life’s work without consent credit. On August 15, author Yashica Dutt took to social media and called out the makers of Made In Heaven Season 2 for featuring her life story without crediting her.
The author claimed that Radhika Apte’s character in episode 5 was based on her life. However, today the show’s creators Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti shared a lengthy note on social media refuting Yashic’s claim.
Stating that Radhika Apte’s character is a work of fiction, the makers of the film claimed, “We are deeply concerned about the misleading reports and comments in the context of writer Yashica Dutt claiming formal credit for her contribution to the show Made in Heaven, which is set around a wedding .
planners and remarkable brides who challenge the prejudices deeply rooted in our society. In Episode 5 – ‘The Heart Skips A Beat’ we get a glimpse into the life of Pallavi Menke, a fictional character. Pallavi Menke is a Maharashtrian Ambedkarite from the Vidarbha region who graduated in law from Columbia University.
She grew up with a caste-neutral surname named Pallavi Kumar. She has now reverted to her original surname, Menke, a sign of her true identity as a member of the Dalit community. Pallavi Menke is an academic who teaches at Columbia and is likely to hold a professorship.
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti further commented
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti further elaborated on Radhika’s character and how it differs from Yashica’s life or her book Coming Out as Dalit. Their statement goes on to read: “She is an Amnesty Award recipient. All this earns her the respect of her future in-laws who belong to a different caste. At the same time, her in-laws think that her Dalit identity is better swept under the carpet. The central conflict of the episode is whether or not Pallavi should fight for the wedding rituals that mark her identity. None of the above is from Yashica Dutt’s life or her book ‘Coming Out As Dalit’. We categorically reject any claim that we have appropriated Ms. Dutt’s life or work.”
The statement also took issue with the use of the phrase ‘Coming Out’, saying it originated in the 1950s and was therefore not derived from Yashica’s book. “‘Coming out’ is an academic LGBTQIA term from the 1950s that was first used by Mr. Sumit Baudh in the context of Indian caste identity in 2007. He used it in an article he wrote for Tarshi. Ten years later, Mrs. Dutt used it in her book. The term has since become common parlance for reclaiming caste identity.
As for Radhika Apte’s character’s backstory, which involves her grandmother cleaning toilets, the makers pointed out that it is a shared history among many Dalits. “In the episode, Pallavi Menke’s character simply uses her in this context. The figure does not credit herself, nor has she been credited with coining the term or pioneering its use in the Dalit context.
In the episode, Pallavi Menke mentions her grandmother’s story. This toilet cleaning story was included because it is a common story that came up repeatedly in our community research. Pallavi Menke’s fictional book ‘Denied’ is a nod to several books like Ants Among Elephants by Sujath Gidl, Caste Matters by Suraj Yengde, Coming Out As Dalit by Yashica Dutt and Tarshi by Sumit Baudha,” the makers said.