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Balika Vadhu on Colors – more problems

I have serious issues with the serial, Balika Vadhu. The serial takes on a social ill such as child marriage, but somehow does not convey the message that this is wrong. It is more in the nature that there are problems in the life of the girl who is getting married, but the message is very subtle. I recently came across many people who love the program, and it is gaining in popularity (the serial seems fresh, with a decent pace of movement, and the characters seem normal); however, from no one I heard anything to the extent that this serial portrays something that is wrong. This is very worrying, since overall, as the serial progresses, it could make it seem that child marriage is not illegal, and basically requires some adjustment. After all, if the grandmother were better behaved and more understanding, this would be an ideal household and no one even think about whether the child marriage is illegal.

Further, the serial depicts a society that is very tolerant of child marriage, with not even a fig leaf of any opposition by society, government or the police. It would seem like that the Government or the police have nothing to do in this society, and there are no efforts to prevent this display of child marriage. The fear is that this may be taken to mean a social sanction of the concept of child marriage.
The next problem that the serial is showing is the concept of a much elder man marrying a younger bride. The serial shows the elder brother, a widower, getting remarried (nothing wrong in that), except he seems to be marrying a girl who is half his age, and who is marrying him under duress; her parents are deep under debt and they are promised that their debt will be taken care of if they marry off their daughter, equivalent to selling off their daughter.
Now, she is married, and under a lot of stress. The serial also subtly depicts her horror at being forced into sex, where she has been forced to have sex with her much older husband (including where they show a mark on her neck, as well as her repugnance when he touches her). The serial promises to keep on showing more social evils – one can be sure that they will talk more about problems with widow remarriage, with bad treatment of women, and so on. My main issue is that the serial seems to be an effort to cash into an emotional issue, and not an attempt to convey how some of these social ills should be removed.

Videos of the serial Balika Vadhu (on Colors channel) from Youtube.

1 comment to Balika Vadhu on Colors – more problems

  • mrs zameer

    The episode telecasted of Balika Vadhu on the 25th Febuary 2009 was very heart breaking and dissapointing as every one was looking forward for Sugna’s Gauna and its screwed up because of the Dakoos and Pratap is killed. Could’nt it have been done in a nicer manner. Could’nt the Gauna have got was a very dissapointing episode. Please get back Pratap.

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