Plight of Widows in Hindu Religion (A Social Critique to Deepa Mehata’s Film Water)

Ramesh Prasad Adhikary


This research paper is focused in Deepa Mehta's Film Water to study the plight of Hindu widows. As the tradition of Hindu society, widows are compelled to adopt the widow system. Chuyia, the eight-year-old protagonist is sent to a Bidhuwa Ashram in Benaras because of her widowhood. The exploitation of child-marriage in the grip of patriarchal culture of widowhood, and the rejection of Chuyia to accept her widowhood is presented in the film. Kalyani, the second young widow in the ashram, revolts against such inhuman culture and decides to get married. She is forced to act as a 'prostitute' in the house of bourgeois. Chuyia is also sexually exploited by bourgeois. Through a qualitative work using Feminism framework, I offer a powerful critique on the Hindu Widow System based on Deepa Mehta’s Water, by not only showing its religious, bourgeoisie, and patriarchal underpinnings that treat widows to the level of living deeds, but also shows the possibility of subverting such dogmas by raising the issue of widow marriage. The conclusion is that the film Water by Deepa Mehta presents the predicament of Indian Hindu widows. It shows the inert life of the group of widows obliged to live in a widow house neglected from society because of Hindu widow system



Widow, Patriarchy, Hinduism, prostitution, stereotype, tradition

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