I've been a part of some interesting discussions on cinema and politics on Chapati Mystery recently: check out this thread, and this one.
On a third thread, in response to Conrad Barwa's comment on Eklavya: "....in this context, since I discussed films at length with Qalander on the previous thread, I must mention the uncomfortable casteist undercurrent to the Hindi film “Ekalayva” where Amitabh Bachchan’s character plays the eponymous hero, who is a loyal and sacrificing bodyguard to a Rajput royal family – the implications of service and sacrifice are clear as is who is meant to be doing the serving and the sacrificing and who benefits from these actions."
I wrote the following:
"Superb example, and completely agree — but, while Vinod Chopra doesn’t execute the film very well, you omitted to mention the subversion here (for those who haven’t seen the film, spoiler alert): by film’s end, the whole symbolism of Rajput patriarchy has been turned on its head, with the royal having been revealed as impotent, and the subservient servant the real father who, by impregnating the queen, continues the royal bloodline. The royal house in this film lives in a ghostly palace that seems like nothing so much as an anachronism, and the message is clear: India after the maharajahs belongs to Eklavya, not to the royals he serves. Lest anyone think I am reading too much into this, consider Sanjay Dutt’s brief cameo in the film: he is the “lower caste” cop who is investigating the murder at the palace, and his sneering demeanor towards the royals, his refusal to give them any deference, is in marked contrast to the attitude of Amitabh’s Eklavya. And his only “hero” at the palace is the lower-caste Eklavya — NOT any of the royals (memorably illustrated by a dialogue that is unusually blunt for a multiplex-friendly Hindi film: “Agar Eklavya-baba nahin hote na, to is haveli ki taraf mooth-ta bhi nahin” (”If it weren’t for Eklavya, I wouldn’t even piss in the direction of this mansion”))."