PresenterREMESH ARUN - THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIVERSITY, CULTURAL STUDIES, HYDERABAD, India
Panel02 – Rewriting Hindu Women within Contemporary Popular Media
The Brahmanical Hindu norms worship women as goddesses- demanding women (mother/sister/wife) to preserve and nourish the patriarchal ideologies and values. This is visible in the family, which is regarded as a primary social institution. While earlier Malayalam* films portrayed women as objects, recent Malayalam movies represent women as individuals rather than objects or types. The films like ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ (Jeo Baby, 2021) and ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey’ (Vipin Das, 2022) represent ‘capable’ women who fight the patriarchal system for justice and representation. These women establish themselves as successful individuals in contrast to the previous generation (the 1990s) of films in which those who question these systems were considered outcastes and removed from society by locking them in prison, sending them away, or killing them. This paper analyses how technology, popular media, education and interaction with modernity define new Hindu women and how they interact and negotiate with family and society, claiming their agency as independent (modern) individuals rather than ‘goddesses’ to nourish and preserve the Brahmanical patriarchal ideologies. This paper analyses how the new films mentioned represent and offer an interpretation of the transformation of Hindu women from the traditional norms of gender, religion and family.
*Malayalam is the language spoken in Kerala, the southern state of India