It has been awhile since the show “Tu Sooraj Main Sanjh Piyaji” has been released for viewers to see. After the ending of one of Star Plus’s beloved shows, “Diya Aur Bati Hum”, the premise of this show seemed exciting. Watching the legacy of Suraj and Sandhya live on through their three children was making fans excited.
But… what is this show really about?
We see the show though the eyes of Kanak Rathi, who has been placed into a forced marriage with Uma Shankar. Realistically, this calls for Kanak to immediately escape and want the law to protect her. India is a democracy after all and everyone is equal under the law. Or so it’s meant to be.
Over a period of time we see ridiculous after ridiculous trials of “religion being above all”: branding wrists once you’re married, having to drink the water of someone else’s feet, a woman needing to follow various trials to prove that she is a good wife, and recently, women being shown that they should only be kept under control and can’t be trusted. Oh, and there’s also Uma Shankar relentlessly telling Kanak and audiences that no one can come between him and his religion.
One might ask: what sort of religious sect of Hinduism is Uma Shankar following? It seems that Uma Shankar only follows the his own misogynistic view of women that he’s created all on his own. But, many epics such as the Ramayan and Mahabharat have shown that many fierce female characters have an important role in the progression of society. Women who have done so much in their mortal lives that it is said reciting the names of the Panchakanya can relieve one of their past sins.
It is no secret that these women: whether they were fierce fighters, rulers, housewives, or queens, had immense pride. Pride for oneself and their determination: whether it was Draupadi constantly living through the misogynistic views up to where she was gambled off, Sita who was determined to be a good mother and always follow the path of being a good wife due to her immense love for Ram; all of these women, some of them devis, are remarkable and their sheer character breaks beyond the labels society has for women.
We hear Uma Shankar constantly utter ridiculous things: “this is against dharam”, “you must be punished”, “you must prove yourself” and this only goes towards women. Kanak is relentlessly tested as a wife and bahu, much more than any other modern woman would tolerate. Again and again she is fed with the fear of religion and these strict, concrete rules that she must follow.
Since when is God someone to have fear of? Uma Shankar likes to think that God is out to get us and he will not be happy if we do something so we must be punished. Quite odd. Gods are nothing to fear of. Whatever you get, you deserve. Shouldn’t we instead offer gratitude, devotion, and love to God? Do we think God is some human that holds grudges? What about if God even exists (taking into account and respect for other views)? Shouldn’t we make sure to be obeying citizens of society? Did Krishna not say that one must follow the rules of the society that they are in? So what rules is Uma Shankar following? Certainly not society’s rules. This would lead us to think he is following the rules of the shastras that he LOVES to quote.
I think we can all agree that some texts are a bit conservative. But various sects of Hinduism that have existed since the time of the vedas have given more importance to women and other sects have given more importance to men. It is completely ridiculous because saying “shastras” can literally mean any set of texts from Hindu writings INCLUDING Hindu communities that don’t believe in the caste system or the worship of murtis. What about the community in South where Devi Parvati herself manifested as Devi Meenaskshi, a Devi who ruled over the lands INDEPENDENTLY. What shastras is Uma Shankar following? Well this can lead us to believe that he follows Brahamachari Ji. But… where does it say to insult the mother that has brought up and given birth to you? In fact some women don’t prostrate themselves out in front of god because their womb should not touch the ground. That’s the importance given to women.
The writers of this show clearly know nothing of the shastras because (1) under the vedas (assuming that Uma has supposedly studied under the vedas) Uma has married Kanak in the “rakshasi form” by going against her will and no god respects that method of marriage and (2) women have actually had important roles in the construct of many Vedic sections and more epics.
So… what is the problem?
The problem is that Uma’s character buildup isn’t reliable. This show would make a lot more sense if Uma was just a conservative man who was misogynistic towards women. Why use religion to back that up? Also even if religion is being used… shouldn’t it be used CORRECTLY instead of things being uncited? Unfortunately there are some Hindu communities that greatly restricts women. Whether it is actually religion or culture, it is hard to say. But back to the shastras: t’s hard to believe texts these days as there have been theories that they were deliberately translated wrong at one time and that the texts lost meaning overall with translation. How do we know if this is true or not?
I think Uma is much like some Brahmin Rishi who wouldn’t forgive their wife even if Gods themselves would advise or ask them to. But somehow Uma believes that every single thing he does is because God is telling him? That makes no sense.
Hopefully this show does a better job with explaining what religious texts or teachings Uma gets his thinking from, because so far these things seemed to have been grabbed from the sky.