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The three subjects in the thoughtful film AKAASH VANI : Arranged Marriage, Love Marriage and MARITAL RAPE - An Introspection (Few Life Inspiring Words - 17)

29 Jan, 2013 | FEW LIFE INSPIRING WORDS & POSITIVE SHARES / Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

Akaash VaniDirector Luv Ranjan’s AKAASH VANI is a notable Hindi film which basically talks about the ages old questionable Indian traditions and particularly those regions of the world where women is suppressed and is majorly considered to be the weaker gender by their male counterparts. Plus it also portrays the issue of marriage and family strictly from an Indian & neighbouring nation’s point of view which is to be kept in mind before moving further, without going into any discrimination drawn between the East and the West. And the three major subjects depicted in this thoughtful film are discussed in their respective heads as below:
The subject of Arranged Marriage Vs Love Marriage quietly touched in the film.

We are presently into the second decade of the Twenty First Century but still a developing country like India hasn’t solved its tender issue between Arranged Marriage & Love Marriagewhich has been a part of our culture from centuries.Here in major parts of the country (other than the Metros and developed business centers) still the word ‘Love Marriage’ is whispered into the ears as if its something shameful or disgraceful for the entire family. And on the other hand ‘An Arranged Marriage’ is largely taken as a symbol of right education, right upbringing and obedience in the entire social structure. So despite of becoming a major world power in this jet age, we still remain confused and have not yet understood that how, when and who is supposed to search for our life partner with whom our entire remaining uncertain life of say 40 years is to be lived.

Now as depicted in the film, this whole confusion in the concept of ‘Choosing a Partner’ eventually gives rise to ‘A Blame Game’ as soon as there is some serious problem in that particular marriage of any sort leading to a divorce. At this point of time, if it is a Love Marriage then the Parents starts blaming their son or daughter that, “See it was your choice!” and in case it was an Arranged Marriage then the young ones start blaming their parents that, “See, this was the choice made by you for my life partner”.
So in one way AKAASH VANI forces us to think upon the urgent need to find that much desired BALANCE between these two concepts of marriage in our Indian society. No doubt its hugely difficult and needs a great amount of debate too to find that desirable balance. Yet in my opinion, it can only be discovered when both the parents and youngsters have an open detailed dialogue about marriage within a family mentioning their own views about the same and then taking a mutual step together for a better future.
Besides as shown in the film, in our part of the world, SILENCE opted at the most crucial points of our life in order to respect the elders and maintain the social status of the family intact, creates the major problems ahead which needs to be thought upon intelligently. And this is the BALANCE I am talking about where the younger ones duly express themselves along with respecting the elders showing their right upbringing. And on the other side, the elders too importantly need to hear and respect the viewpoint or choice of their grown-ups in their mature response. Otherwise the confusion & wide difference between the concept of “An Arranged Marriage” and “A Love Marriage” would remain a part of our society forever.
2. About the most significant part of the film i.e. MARITAL RAPE.
(What I am going to express next might be unacceptable and offensive to few. But writing about a sensitive & crucial issue like this I feel helpless in stopping myself from using some bold words and statements. So I would like to apologies in advance if the words hurt anyone’s traditional beliefs unintentionally.)
As a usual practice, I meet many friends or receive many calls on Fridays & Saturdays asking about the latest films and their storylines in routine. But this time the response surprised me a lot as a shock since I never expected this from many well educated and reputed friends of mine living a happy married life with their blessed kids from years. The shock was that when I told them all to watch AKAASH VANI this weekend which talks about MARITAL RAPE, then most of them replied with a question that “What was this Marital Rape?” The response made me silent for many moments and gave me a shivering thought that, If they all don’t even know about the term Marital Rape till now then its quite possible that they themselves may have practiced it sometime in the past unknowingly.
Discarding this scary thought, I explained the term to few and then got disturbed further looking at the expressions on their faces which revealed it all clearly. And this is the reason why I couldn’t write on this subject for 2-3 days since it was not easy for me to accept the blunt truth at my face.
So after going through that personal experience, I strongly believe that this shameless term MARITAL RAPE does strongly exists in our part of the world mainly because of following basic reasons which might be an eye-opener for many:

I) Firstly Marital Rape is there because in reality, deep inside our psyche, we still consider the female a step lower than the male gender unarguably (whether one accepts this harsh brutal truth or not.) Despite of all the educational, spiritual or worldly advancement around us we still don’t accept the concept of equality between the two genders and do believe in the superiority of the males over the females in our dark subconscious minds.
And one primary example of this sick mind-frame of ours is that in India even in the religious places or spiritual discourses, we have a divided sitting arrangement for men and women apart in a funny manner.
II) Secondly, it exists due to the questionable status of marriage in our society which is not planned according to the maturity level of an individual but is fixed hurriedly just looking at a certain age in almost all regions, religions and castes. And as I often quote, Its quite like going for your lunch not because you are ready and feeling hungry but just because the clock is saying 1pm on the wall as a fixed ritual.
In fact this remains an important reason for Marital Rape, because marriage needs a certain level of mental growth which can understand the needs and limitations of the other sex with empathy. And till that level of understating is not there, marriage should not be allowed as then it’s sure going to be a means of suffering for the women in particular and nothing else.
For instance, what would marriage mean to a young individual who has not been taught or doesn’t even know about those special days of month in the routine life cycle of a girl and the precautions needed to be taken in that particular time regarding sex and other things?
III) Thirdly and most importantly Marital Rape is a harsh reality because as per our Indian tradition of marriage, the girl is still considered as a ‘Brought Commodity” from another person’s home into our own. The identity of a girl is evidently considered to be the less important one, since its SHE who is ordered to shift from her father’s home to her husband’s and then start a new life there without asking any questions or making any demands. Moreover, it’s the girl who gets displayed in front of the boy’s family exactly like a commodity in the show-window and then its for them to decide that whether they like the product or not.

Therefore its nothing different than bringing in a new mixer-juicer in our home to make healthy juices for everyone, a machine which can be put to use anytime by only pressing a button without any hassles. And that’s exactly how a girl is used in these marriages planned in the major part of the country just looking at the growing age or to get rid of the family responsibilities without any basic understanding of the concept by the male. As a result, in such marriages the girl is simply taken as a useful commodity brought into the house to serve the whole family and to be used as a body too without any counter questioning or refusal.
A clear example of this is the meaningful name given to this Indian tradition of sending the girl to another house as KANYA DAAN which means GIRL DONATED to another. And as per the traditional ethics, things once donated don’t remain yours and can neither be returned. So now its all upto the new owner that how he wishes to use that donation as per his own understanding and you are not supposed to question that at all. Probably this is why the man considers himself as the owner of this girl for the entire life, which allows him to treat her as an easy facilitator and can use her body anytime he wants without waiting or asking for her consent.
IV) Fourthly, Marital Rape takes place because here the word Marriage is widely considered to be a synonym to the word Sex or a permanent arrangement for your sexual needs in legal social terms without any restrictions. And that’s the reason why instead of knowing more about the beautiful concept of marriage and its sanctity, the immature young ones are keener in enquiring about the ‘First Night’ (Suhag Raat) when there is going to be no stopping to them of any sort. Here it is to be noted that the term Suhag Raat in Hindi also clearly reveals the dominance of male over the female from centuries as Suhag is used for the Husband and together it means ‘The Husband’s Night’ as if the Husband is a King here going to win a game against his own life partner.
In support of the above point, I would like to mention that in India we do have Marriage Councilors to solve the issues between the couple after their marriage. But here we don’t have any such arrangements to explain the would-be couple (especially the man) before their marriage that what it actually means to get married in life. In other words here we have nobody to teach the man that the term Marriage is much more meaningful and deeper than just Sex. Plus its not at all an ownership of the male over the female as still considered or taught in the major part of the country, particularly in the remote areas.
Interestingly, almost all religious traditions in India have their own set of guidelines to be explained to the newly-wed couple by their respective priests at the time of marriage. But this practice is rarely given any importance at present and the tradition is just completed hurriedly as a mere another ritual in marriage ceremonies and nothing more than that.
V) To add more this disgusting term still exists in our modern world because from ages we have been teaching our daughters ‘The so called respectable art of SILENCE’ to be practiced in their new homes. So even if they are not happy or severely suffering there, they don’t complain and choose to remain Silent for the sake of their own family till the things go beyond their control or cross the limit of decency. And this SILENCE gives more power to the suppressor and he continues doing his mental & physical torture every day like a manly beast.

VI) The act also becomes a hidden feature of our society because again from ages we have stopped teaching our young boys/sons the essential lesson of how to respect women in life at all. This important chapter has gone missing from our family traditions from long and it desperately needs to be added again to make a better society for our own kids in the future. Personally I fail to understand the weird psyche in which a man duly finds all the respect in the world for his mother and sister but strangely cannot feel or give the deserved respect to this new women in the house who is supposed to be his life partner.
Also its quite upsetting to see that how the elder women in the house too (the husband’s mother) fails to understand the pain experienced by her new daughter-in-law despite of being a woman herself and having lived the same kind of days when she was brought in the house few decades back. May be the reason for this is that today the daughter-in-law remains a daughter-in-law only and we still find it hard to accept her as our own daughter from heart.
VII) Lastly Marital Rape is right there as a dark secret of the night existing within us because even today we have a sick attitude of considering our SOCIAL IMAGE more important than our daughter’s sufferings in the new house. And as shown in the film, the brutal truth is that even when the daughter reports such thing to her parents (particularly the mother) then at first the mother quietly tries to ignore it and sends her daughter back to the in-laws to save herself & her family from the problems ahead. In fact in only a few months, the daughter simply has no-where to go as she finds herself at the suffering end in both her homes and decides to accept her faith quite helplessly resulting in her Marital Rape being repeated night after night.
So, I am glad that after a long time here is a film AKAASH VANI, which thankfully throws the much needed light on this hidden shameful truth and does give this immensely valuable lesson to all young men of our country that,
       “Your wife is not a commodity brought in as an unconditional facilitator for your timely pleasure, but she in fact is a daughter sent to your house to make it a better home as your beloved life partner!”
To sum it up, we do need visionary directors like Luv Ranjan coming up with many more socially relevant and eye opener films such as AKAASH VANI. And if this long write-up (on the subjects featured in AV) can even change a single male mind reading it, then I would consider myself lucky and the job well done!


Tags : The three subjects in the thoughtful film AKAASH VANI, Arranged Marriage, Love Marriage and MARITAL RAPE, An Introspection by Bobby Sing, Articles on Music, Poetry and Life by Bobby Sing, Few Life Inspiring Words by Bobby Sing,
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