Power of Thoughts

Tale of Two India’s : From celebrating Romance to Killing couples in name of ‘Honour’

Tale of Two India’s: How one India admires cinematic romance and kills people when they are in love

Recently, a video clip of comedian Vir Das’ monologue ‘I come from to India’ at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC went viral, pointing out the contradictions and hypocrisy of Indian politics and society. It received a response from many people for allegedly showing the country in a bad light. When comedian Vir Das articulated his idea of ‘Two India’ – a sketch through which he highlighted the inner contradictions of India’s socio-political landscape – little may he have known about the backlash that would greet his monologue, delivered at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, United States.

The conflict in India lies in the fact that an actress who insults the freedom struggle simply “gets away” but a comedian doesn’t even enjoy the basic freedom of cracking a joke.

Why he is receiving so much hate? Don’t we come from two Indias? Where one India fantasized about love and romance on big cinema bur in reality couple have killed in the name of honor. The marginalized community has been killed in the name of honor and caste. How we can say there is no two Indias? Why people are not accepting that a country is full of flaws and we need to correct these flaws to become a developed nation. We all grew up watching films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota hai, and Dil where we cherish the songs, love, and romance between couples.

Do we always want a happy ending between two couples? Whether hero or heroine get murdered or killed we get upset. Don’t we behave like this? The answer would be yes. 

But films like Sairat have changed the whole scenario. It is based on real locations and reality where love is very difficult to get because your lovers belong to two different castes. The film is based on two lovers who belong to a different case. One belongs to the so-called upper caste and another one is from the lower caste. How did they fall in love but in the end their relatives killed them because how can love be anti-caste? 

In the Bollywood film Ishaqzaade, we end up getting disappointed. The movie is based on one of the most highlighted social topics, Honour Killing. Two lovers from political backgrounds whose families can never peacefully exist. 

If we talk about retro movies then Sujata comes to mind. It is a love story between a Brahmin boy and an untouchable girl. It shows the frailties of our caste system. However, love knows no boundaries; the couple reconciles at the end.

Also, another movie is Ankur. This movie exposes the hypocritical system of caste. A boy from the upper class falls in love with a Dalit girl, and the story revolves around their love affair. 

Also, no one can forget Acchut Kanya. This film was released when the issue of the caste system was at its peak. It shows the miserable life led by an untouchable girl and how they are molested in the name of the caste system.

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In reality, our parents and society don’t allow us to meet our love of life. We often get scolded by our parents and they always say one-word honor. We often get beaten up by our parents. In the case of women this word is even more important and relevant. In some villages, women are not allowed to have cellphones and even our parliamentarians said things that women will be indulge in bad activities and talk to boys and get eloped. 

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Jagisha Arora

MA in History and has worked as a freelance writer. She writes on issues of gender, caste and democracy.
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