‘Bheed’ Ending, Explained: Does Surya Help Trivedi Get Away? What Happens To Trivedi?


Anubhav Sinha’s “Bheed” is centered around the exodus of Indian migrant workers witnessed during the COVID-19. The Central Government announced a countrywide lockdown on March 24, 2020, in order to tackle the spread of the virus. But since a massive part of this country’s population relies on daily wages, the shutdown rendered them penniless, and they had no choice but to return to their villages or towns. However, the unavailability of proper transport forced them to walk for thousands of kilometers. When they were stopped on highways and roads, they took to the railway tracks, assuming that the movement of trains had been stopped. “Bheed” opens with the death of those migrating Indians who died on those train tracks while taking a breather from their seemingly endless journey. After that, Sinha chooses to focus on a checkpoint around Tejpura where Surya (Rajkummar Rao), along with Ram Singh (Aditya Srivastava), and many other police officers are supposed to prevent anyone crossing interstate borders.

Major Spoilers Ahead

The Fictional Narrative 

There are multiple fictional narratives that run parallel to each other and eventually converge at that police checkpoint in Tejpura. Surya belongs to a community that’s deemed lower caste in India. He and his family have faced casteism all their lives. So, Surya’s father has removed his last name from his identification documents so that he doesn’t have to face the same going forward. He’s in a relationship with Dr. Renu (Bhumi Pednekar), who belongs to an upper-caste family. Since they want to marry each other, Surya wonders if Renu’s family is ever going to accept him as Renu’s husband. Renu warns him that if Surya doesn’t do anything, then Renu’s father is going to forcefully make her marry someone of his choice. Surya reminds her that people hailing from the lower caste community have always fought for their rights, and even in this scenario, he is expected to get the brickbats, while Renu’s father causes all the chaos, and Renu observes from the sidelines. Although Surya tells Renu to listen to whatever her father wants her to do instead of standing beside Surya, throughout the course of “Bheed,” the couple rebuilds that metaphorical bridge as Renu is called upon to check on symptomatic patients.

Trivedi (Pankaj Kapur) is a security guard who is traveling to his home along with many other people from his village. His brother has been infected with the COVID-19 virus, but he refuses to believe that and assumes that everything will be fixed if he gets to enter his village. This concoction of misinformation from the movie’s version of Facebook and Whatsapp forwards, and Trivedi’s lack of scientific knowledge, causes him to lash out against anyone who is trying to stop him. He begins to discriminate against a bus full of people from the Muslim community as he blames them for being the main reason behind the spreading of the Coronavirus without any rhyme or reason. He even rejects the food packets that one of the Muslim elders was distributing to help the people on Trivedi’s bus. However, upon realizing that religious lines created by human beings don’t matter in a situation like this, he goes back to the Muslim elder and asks for some food. Alas, by then, all the food packets had been distributed. In addition to all that, Trivedi flaunts his Hindu, upper-caste status in front of Surya when he tries to stop Trivedi from entering the nearby mall and stealing food.

Although these two characters command most of the spotlight, there’s a mother (Dia Mirza) who is trying to reach her daughter before her husband does, and her fate is in the hands of her driver, Kanhaiya (Sushil Pandey). There’s a girl (Aditi Subedi) who is trying to get her drunkard father (Omkar Das Manikpuri) and herself to their village by any means possible. There is the journalistic team led by reporter Vidhi Prabhakar (Kritika Kamra), who is interviewing anyone she can get her hands on at the police checkpoint. The girl symbolizes the indomitable spirit of the working class, which is a result of the systemic oppression they face on a daily basis. Although the mother appears to be an empathetic figure, she shows her upper-class opportunistic mindset as she uses the girl’s ability to find a way out of the whole mess at the checkpoint and refuses to help her when she needs it. Thankfully, Kanhaiya is there to remind her that if people don’t help each other during these difficult times, then they are worse than animals. Vidhi is there to show how journalism can be important when it comes to showing government complacency and blatant moments of oppression. But it can also come off as performative as Vidhi and the team spew idealistic, cynical, and eventually patriotic nonsense without having to do anything to bring about change in society.

The Factual Narrative 

As mentioned before, the death on the train tracks is factually correct. According to the Indian Express, around 8700 people returning to their respective homes died on the train tracks. Of course, those are the official numbers. The unreported statistics can be far higher than that. At one point in the film, Trivedi wonders why people are talking about borders between neighboring states. Usually, borders with checkpoints and security are used to differentiate between neighboring countries. But, at least in India, there wasn’t any such thing until the national lockdown in 2020. The Government evidently did it to stop the infections. However, due to the lack of infrastructure or guidelines, or training, in terms of how to handle large amounts of sick and starving crowds, these checkpoints only increased the harassment and anxiety that the people of India were facing. The large crowds that you see leaving Delhi in “Bheed” is probably a fraction of the crowds accumulated at the bus stands in Anand Vihar, Ghazipur, and Ghaziabad. You can check out the images that are available online and see the horror for yourself.

WhatsApp forwards, Facebook posts, and incendiary reporting by the mainstream media in India are prevalent throughout “Bheed” because these three things caused a lot of damage in an already unprecedented situation. As per The Wire, a lot of COVID-19 misinformation was spread through Whatsapp without being fact-checked. The Economic Times reported that Facebook had to team up with eight fact-checking organizations to ensure that their feed wasn’t filled with all kinds of fake news and misinformation. And the less that’s said about the hatred towards people from the Muslim community that was spread by the mainstream media, the better. It all began with the members of the Tablighi Jamaat (something that is brought up in “Bheed”) that got stuck in India due to the COVID-19 lockdown. As per the official page of Human Rights Watch, the Indian media even came up with all kinds of Islamophobic terms to fuel hatred against Muslims. Things got so bad that the World Health Organization had to issue a request not to profile people according to their caste, creed, or religion because the COVID-19 virus clearly doesn’t see such man-made boundaries. Eventually, everyone found out that none of the members of the Tablighi Jamaat were guilty of spreading the COVID-19 virus. However, not a single member of the Indian media or the Indian civil society came forward to apologize for the demonization that they partook in.

The makeshift health wards and the lack of hospital beds shown in “Bheed” is nothing in comparison to the dreadful scenarios that the people of India had to face. According to DW, hospitals faced a shortage of trained medical individuals dealing with the never-ending line of infected people. They were running out of oxygen cylinders. People had to sleep on the floor, in the parking lot, or in the ambulances they were arriving in to avoid crowding the corridors of the hospitals. The lack of sanitary pads is mentioned twice (or maybe more than that) in “Bheed,” which is yet another real crisis that the girls of India had to face. As reported by the BBC, schools were one of the biggest sources of free sanitary napkins for girls. But since they were closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, they had to purchase them, thereby highlighting that something as essential as a sanitary pad isn’t available for free in India. There’s a moment in “Bheed” where migrants are cleansed by spraying a sanitizing liquid on them. That happened in Bareilly, according to the BBC, and sparked such an outrage that India’s Ministry of Health and Welfare had to release an advisory. NDTV reported that 18 migrants were found hiding in a cement mixer truck to get to Lucknow, and that’s a plot point in “Bheed.” In addition to all that, the police brutality displayed in “Bheed” is nothing in comparison to the real thing where, as per QZ, the police used guns, batons, and everything in their arsenal to beat up citizens under the garb of preventing them from flouting COVID-19 norms.

‘Bheed’ Ending Explained: Why Does Surya Help Trivedi Get Away? What Happens To Trivedi?

Seeing that things are taking a turn for the worse, Surya requests his superior, Yadav (Ashutosh Rana), to turn the nearby mall into a refuge for the people to rest up, eat, and freshen up. But Yadav exposes his casteism by saying that people belonging to the lower classes aren’t allowed to enter a mall after it’s built. They are only allowed to enter the premises when they are being built. At the same time, Trivedi gives Surya an ultimatum: if he and his police forces don’t allow him to enter the mall and procure some food items for the people on his bus, he’s going to do the same forcefully. After an hour goes by, all hell breaks loose as Trivedi makes his way to the mall. While the police partake in brutality, Trivedi unleashes his casteism on Surya and even grabs a gun to protect himself while stealing food from the mall. Surya goes after him to calm him down and help him help everyone else. However, since Yadav and Ram Singh escalate things by going after Trivedi with guns, Surya plots Trivedi’s escape by staging a hostage situation, with Surya acting as Trivedi’s hostage.

Surya and Trivedi drive off into the distance on a bike, and the police chase them down. When Surya thinks that the police aren’t nearby anymore, he advises Trivedi to take the bike and run away. Trivedi realizes that that means he won’t be able to help the people on his bus and blames Surya for misleading him. Surya says that he’s helping him get away from a volatile situation, and he should be thankful for that. Trivedi, unable to understand what’s his crime, wonders why he has to run away just because he demanded food, shelter, and water. Although Surya doesn’t give a direct answer, he essentially insinuates that people from lower castes have historically faced oppression for fighting for their basic rights and items that are essential for survival. When Trivedi profiled Surya according to his caste, he didn’t think about the fact that he was unjustly channeling hatred towards Surya for a man-made thing like caste. Yet, when the same thing is happening to him, he can see that treating someone inhumanely for fighting for their food, water, and shelter is wrong. When they part ways, Yadav nabs Surya and Ram Singh nabs Trivedi.

The conclusions of Surya and Trivedi are very telling of the situation in India, though. In the heat of the moment, Surya tells Yadav that he isn’t going to bow down to anyone because of the family he was born into and the caste system that upper-caste people still continue to promote to this day. Although he’s probably going to lose his job, Surya ensures that the checkpost stands till the end of the day. But even if he succeeds in keeping his job, he has to start another fight, which is to make sure that he doesn’t become a victim of caste violence after marrying Renu. On the flip side, Trivedi avoids a police encounter by pouring all the money in his pockets into Ram Singh’s hands. This underscores one of the many messages of “Bheed,” which is that upper caste folk always have a way out because they’ve people in every department to look after their own. Meanwhile, if someone from a lower caste community tries to break the wheel, they’ll probably end up getting hurt, and the proverbial wheel will keep turning. “Bheed” ends with a shot of the field around the checkpoint, which is filled with migrant workers waiting to go home, thereby serving as a stark reminder of a horrific chapter in the history of modern India, as well as a request to not forget what our own citizens went through so that it doesn’t happen again.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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