AHALYA – a rhetorical vengeance against the patriarchy and MCP

Published on Sep 29 2015 // Filmmaking, Guest Articles

I am here to recruit people who are broad minded and have progressive thinking ability. To explore into my new article on Ahalya short film. You must have read the Ramayana, while Lord Ram turning stone to a beautiful woman. Ahalya – a beautiful womans’ liberation from the curse of Gauthama Maharshi.

Long long ago, there lived an old sage – Gautama Maharshi is one of the saptarsis (Seven great sages) of the Vedic times, known to have been the discoverer of Mantra – Drashta. According to Ramayana, Maharshi Gautama went to take bath in the river Ganges early morning. King of devas, the Indra was fascinated with Gauthama’s wife. Indra disguised in the form of Gautama made love to Ahalya. Caught by Maharshi on his way from river, cursed Indra with one thousands of rebirths and Ahalya was cursed to become a stone. Later compelled by their pleadings, got pity and converted curses to boons. Indras’ rebirths were reduced to one. Gautama’s boon to Ahalya is that she will be back again to Human form with a touch of Lord Rama, one of the forms of Lord Vishnu.

What we understand from the above lines is that Ahalya lived in a period of extreme patriarchy and couldn’t resist nor raise voice against the curse. Nevertheless, whether she is aware of the fact of Indra being taken form of Maharshi, both took an advantage of her feminine numbness to patriarchal dominance.

In the present context, Sujoy Ghosh’s short film of 14:09 minutes have portrayed the other side of Ramayana’s version of stone turning to Ahalya. Provided an opportunity to the woman and her man, who were cheated by the outsider. To take revenge against the sexual maniac in the form of Maharshis curse – is what I call it as a Director’s craftsmanship and insightful thinking over script.

Is Ahalya a rhetorical vengeance against the patriarchy and male chauvinist pig milieu? Yes i would say. The moment i completed watching the film. Has this weird question: where does the power concentrated?. A power to turn men into fine curved dolls. Is it with the mysterious stone or with Ahalya. Keeping aside this questioning, started perceiving it from the literatures that handed to us over generations.

As per the available scripts, It is evident that we have fabricated the existence of women to be submissive to the man power. Four ideal virtues of Indian women/wife is one such instance to prove the construction of her existence.

Karyeshu Dasi, Karaneshu Manthri; Bhojeshu Mata, Shayaneshu Rambha, Roopeshu lakshmi, Kshamayeshu Dharitri, Shat dharmayukta, Kuladharma Pathni. Simply stated, the male dominant society has institutionalised her being to be as Servant, Loyal labourer, a typical motherhood and an object for sexual gratification. Female Objectification is obvious in our culture. Post having close reading of the film, i would say that the film made an incredible venture into the deconstruction of the very existence of women by adding another virtue which again handed over from our folk generation.

I feel like emphasizing this virtue in my article Shakti – Samayeshu Shakti, where you will see a drift in the power structures from male to female. A women can be more powerful at times she feels discomfort with the suppressed, repressed and oppressed patriarchal patterns. The power to turn to stones lies with Ahalya, thus able to retaliate against the oppression and curse for many years.

I would like to close this shop for today with a conclusion that Ahalya is another short film that has qualified its position firmly in a Post – Structuralism Films club both by its indigenous form and ingenious content. And acts as a catalyst in the Indian feminist activism for gender equality – which is good for both men and women.


Guest  Article by – Vidya Sagar, Film Activist.

Subscribe to our RSS Feed! Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Visit our LinkedIn Profile!