Akshay Kumar’s latest outing, Rakshabandhan has received a wide variety of reviews. While some consider it a film with a much-needed message against the dowry system, many others have criticized it for being regressive. Perhaps the film is caught between our country’s two great divides – one dealing with social evils such as dowry and dowry deaths on a daily basis and another believing that it is all in the past and that Indian society is far beyond such evil. is practices. (Also Read: Aanand L Rai Responds To Raksha Bandhan Being Called Regressive)

Written by Kanika Dhillon and Himanshu SharmaRaksha Bandhan follows the story of a man and his four sisters. He treats them with the greatest love, but also believes that his ultimate goal is to marry them off with a beautiful dowry. Directed by Anand L Rai, the film is certainly not intended to change the mindset of people who already understand that dowry is a bad habit. It is for the families of bride-to-be who see it as a duty and necessity and the families of the groom-to-be who see it as a pride and birthright.

In one of the most melodramatic scenes in Raksha Bandhan, Akshay is awakened by the ‘noise’ of a social worker who speaks of the evil of a dowry and urges the people of Chandni Chowk not to give in to such demands from the groom and his family. . What is our hero doing? He tells her that the men work very hard to ensure their daughters and sisters have a happy life by arranging a huge dowry for them and refuses to take the blame and is ashamed to arrange dowries for the sisters. Some believe it to be one of the most regressive moments in the film, but the hero says what most people in the outback believe.

It is a fact that dowry cases and deceased dowries continue to haunt Indian women, especially in rural and semi-urban areas where many cases go unreported. According to the NCRB report for the year 2019, at least 7,000 women die each year in our country as a result of dowry-related torture and violence. While urban centers and those with an urban mindset understand gender equality and believe that cases of dowry-related torture and dowry deaths are a thing of the past, government figures paint a starkly different picture.

In many regions of India, the dowry is exchanged with pride. The higher a man’s education and salary, the higher the dowry he may demand. A report in The Hindu in April of this year went into great detail about how the dowry system works in the present day. It read: “The groom’s family, fearing anti-dowry laws enacted in 1956, insists on getting the money and other considerations before the wedding.” It may not be labeled a dowry, but the financial and social pressures on the bride’s family remain largely the same.

It is generally accepted that dowry is a bad habit, but providing a “reasonable amount” to the groom’s family ensures that they will not torture the bride. In fact, many families prohibit higher education for girls because the fees can be used to pay for their dowry. Whether it’s a dowry, gifts, or blessings, parents are forced — socially and mentally — to give up huge amounts of money to marry off their daughters.

Aiming for a change of heart in the real world, Raksha Bandhan talk to the target audience in their own language – where marriage is the sole purpose of women’s lives and sanskari men (be it the father or brother) make every effort to secure the highest dowry for them. Only an earth-shattering incident shakes them from the stupor of social evil and realizes that women deserve equal respect and should not be treated like cattle or goods. Ultimately, the film argues in favor of prioritizing women’s education over marriage.

Anand L Rai portrays Akshay as the doting brother who makes her sister fat and works double shifts to earn money for their weddings. However, he is also shown to regret his own mentality and regret not focusing on their education. Lacking such awareness, the film would have been regressive. The film seamlessly enters the world that dowry inhabits, showing the people there with complete authenticity and showing them why the practice is wrong. It speaks the same language and gets where it needs to be faster.


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