In the developing countries the poor has become poorer, the rich richer. The tragedy of these people is universal. Even the basic needs could not be met by them. In absence of proper health care, children are dying even from minor diseases. Lack of nutritious meals has stunted the growth of million of children all over the world. Children are leaving primary education incomplete due to extreme poverty. Lack of education in turn has resulted in population explosion. The ladies are giving birth to children one after another without getting the required health sustaining supplements like vitamins, irons and protein. They are not able to bring up their children in a healthy atmosphere. The landless people depend on the only bread earner of the house who works in a completely unorganized sector. If this man is not able to get work even for a day the kitchen fire doesn’t burn at his home not to talk about sending his children to school.
Ila, the protagonist of the film ‘Laaz’(Shame) represents this society. In her extreme poverty she is fighting her best to complete her basic education. Here she is helped by her idealistic teachers as much as they can. But Ila could see the duel character of the religion where it takes the form of exploitation of the ignorance of the people of the society. The treatment of ‘low caste’ Ila by the religious guru is another sad reality of these poor societies. However, the same guru treats Runu, the rich girl, from the same low caste community in a different way. Ila could see even in religion, it is only money that matters.
Ila is representing the poverty, exploitation, the frustration and despair of this fisherman community in a poignant manner. In this fisherman’s village Ila is the symbol of utter helplessness of such communities to fight the hydra-headed monster of social tabooes, religious divides, caste consideration, economic desperation and social ostracism. This young girl’s heart crys out and ask the society why millions like her have to suffer such indignity when the others are progressing in such frantic speed so as to be able to reach the moon.
The ‘shame’ Ila feels for being not able to afford even an undergarment, is not the shame for the entire humanity?
This question must be answered if not to-day, certainly tomorrow.