Saturday, January 14, 2012


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.....


  1. It's but a sad truth in our democratic caste-based society. I haven't seen the movie, but now I am surely going to see it asap.
    I liked the way you portrayed such a serious issue. :)

  2. Came across a touching poem ...almost capturing the same emotions ..titled "soul"


    The State of My Soul
    One cannot exist without the other
    Eternally bound to one another
    They are interwoven seamlessly-
    Faith and Soul
    Soul and faith.
    Never pushing one ahead of the other
    One never falls behind.
    Working together for a common cause,
    They advance.

    Neither in heaven or hell,
    Rather somewhere in limbo
    Resides all that defines my very existence.
    Faith and soul run,
    Ever steady.
    Weaving in and out of
    Obstacles and rest stops,
    What was once a barely-there
    Now a conscious stream of energy.
    A ribbon along the wind,
    It drifts on
    Sight unseen

    Soul sustains faith
    Or does faith sustain soul?
    One a coursing river of cool, the
    Other a blazing stream of a flame.
    Amazing one never
    Overtakes the other.
    The other never engulfs one;
    A fusion,
    They silently pull
    My centered self
    Into obedience.

    My wildly beating heart
    Knows the path
    My faith-soul
    Will take.
    My brain is the variable-
    Wanting logic,
    Needing it, really
    To plot my course.

    The state of my faith-soul
    Is in limbo.
    Neither here or there, in
    Heaven nor hell,
    Dealing with the limitations
    Of its humanity.


  3. Ramdulari's story in 'Lajja' was based on a true story, and it's a story of many women in India. I remember finding it very, very disturbing. Such crimes are crimes of power and the upper caste is afraid of losing their power.
    The one real way to end caste system would be to make it easier for young adults to marry partners of their own choice (for example by controlling violence by Khap Panchayats and honor killings etc). When they choose their own partners, we would see, not only the influence of caste but even that of dowry, start diminishing.


Would love to have your comments/suggestions....