There is a movie by this name though not an adaptation from Taslima Nasreen’s namesake controversial novel. It’s a movie weaving stories of four women in a common thread of societal oppression . All four characters aptly named after ‘sita’ (Maithali,Vaidhehi,Janaki,Ramdulari) the ‘ego ideal’ of Indian women as renowned psychologist Sudhir Kakkar puts it. I have seen the movie once and love the wedding scene where actor Mahima Chaoudhary finally breaks her silence and rescues ‘bechara’ ‘father of the bride’ with lingual whip lashes on the greedy ‘groom clan’ making them run for their ‘dignity’.Can rerun and watch that part umpteen number of times! Madhuri’s portrayal of a progressive theatre actress impressed me and the refusal to do the ‘agni pareeksha’ made me go Bravo!!!... But what I had extreme trouble in watching was the third part of the story played by Rekha. A brave single mother and a mid-wife ,who fights for the progress of the village and is open to new ideas .She is raped and killed just cos her son eloped with a upper caste influential man’s daughter. It was heart breaking and filled me with anger and disgust even though it was fiction .
But is that really fiction? The Hindu newspaper brought to light a shameful incident that made me recapitulate the heinous part of this movie I was never able watch. A dalit woman was beaten up stripped and paraded naked in a village in Maharashtra . What was her crime? Her son eloped with an upper caste girl and since the girl’s family could not trace the ‘lovers’ the boy’s mother had to pay the price . The shocking thing was that it was the women who assaulted her with sticks and chappals for two hours before they stripped her and subjected her to naked humiliation.
The police dismissed her refusing to lodge her FIR saying such things keep happening..!!!! ...pause... a moment of painful silence.... and I thought it was hard for me to watch that part of the movie and a poor woman lived the horror and all she gets instead of protection , reassurance and justice is a smirk and a disgusting phrase “ ye sab to hota rehata hai !!!’
Hota rehata hai !! I ask why????? ‘Cos she a lower caste? ... cos she a powerless woman??... oh no! she is the lowest of all... she is a dalit woman ... so perhaps it’s acceptable to the ‘society’ that she be subjected to the upper caste ‘justice’.....being beaten up and losing her dignity for no fault of hers should be acceptable ...... I do not know what good it is to blog about it... or even feel bad about it . But all I can say when I read such news which perhaps is just the tip of an iceberg it strips my faith and it stands stark naked bleeding and weeping .... where went humanity ... where went shame ..... I feel the ‘Lajja’...I feel the pain.....