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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yeh Main Ghar Ghar Kheli- Chandra Prabha says ‘enough is enough’ to her dominating husband, Thakur Uday Pratap!

The discrimination against women takes on various forms and different perpetrators. Oppression often does not have to be as violent as rape, domestic violence, female infanticide or even dowry death. There are subtler forms of male tyranny-the kind which is not written about in newspapers or discussed during women’s conventions. Thakur Uday Pratap is one such character. He is the decadent Thakur of a huge mansion where he lives with his wife Chandra Prabha and his children- a son (Swarn Prakash) and two daughters (Swarn Abha and Swarn Lata). He lords over his relations like his forefathers would over their subjects.

Thakur Uday Pratap’s pride is his palatial mansion Swarn Bhavan. But soon he is forced to vacate his ancestral property as he is neck deep in debt and his creditors have claimed his property. He moves in with his brother-in-law in to his house. Even though he is forced to leave his house, he is unable to forsake his airs and ways. He moves into a small house but his expectations from his near and dear ones remain the same-he expects total subservience. Untrained in any trade, he has to depend on his only son to bring in the money to run the house. However unbeknownst to everyone concerned, it is his daughter, Swarn Abha who finds a job and helps to burn the kitchen fire.

Thakur Uday Pratap’s notions of gender roles segregate the outer and inner world for the two sexes. Men are meant to work outside and bring in the moolah. Women are meant to stay in and look after the house. While men are meant to uphold family prestige by climbing the stairs of success in the outside world; women are meant to protect the family name and honour by being good wives and daughters. This strict classification of roles based according to gender forces his daughter Abha to lie to him. However Chandra Prabha is aware of Abha’s contributions and she supports her daughter’s efforts.

Soon Uday Pratap comes to know that it is Abha who has become the bread winner for the family. He is further infuriated when he comes to know that his wife had known about this all along and yet kept quiet about it. He spews venom against his wife and his dutiful daughter. It is at this juncture that his wife speaks out and her voice echoes the sentiment of thousands of other women across the country. She lashes out at her insensitive husband accusing him of being bigoted and uncaring. She cries out that she is tired of being the mute spectator to her own life and that of her children. She fights for her daughter and in doing so fights for her own right as an individual who has been forced to live like a subject, denied the right to even say the word “No”.

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