Actor and Dalit activist Vira Sathidar died of COVID infection on Tuesday. The 62-year-old was undergoing treatment in AIIMS, Nagpur. His role in the national award-winning 'Court,' a movie about undertrial prisoners in which he played the role of the elderly revolutionary poet Narayan Kamble, was well acclaimed.
Vira Sathidar was the founding editor of the Dalit magazine Vidrohi, and a cultural activist who upheld radical Ambedkarite politics.
He was an undertrial prisoner for over four years for alleged electricity theft and selling banned books. He continued his struggles on screen as well.
He started his political activism as a young poet with the Ambedkarite movement and the Dalit Panthers. He was also known for being a poet, writer, singer, lyricist and actor.
Although he acted in a couple of Marathi movies, Court was the most well known. The film was also India's Oscar entry in 2016.