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Netizens laud TV show ‘Anupamaa’ for highlighting domestic abuse, consent and mental health

It takes continuous effort to educate people on personal rights and agency, and storytellers, filmmakers and showrunners have a huge role to play when it comes to de-stigmatising such sensitive topics

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
January 11, 2022 7:30:21 pm
Anupamaa, marital rape, domestic abuse, TV show Anupamaa, Star Plus Anupamaa, Anupamaa recent episode, mental health, indian express newsOn Twitter, people lauded the show for attempting to normalise difficult conversations. (Photo: Rupali Ganguly/Instagram)

It is important to have conversations in the mainstream media that are stigmatised and considered ‘taboo talks’. Indian society still finds many things squeamish, and that includes violation of marriage by abuse.

Domestic violence and marital rape are serious topics that majority feel uncomfortable discussing. Call it a generational thing, or the fact that people are rooted to ancient beliefs, it takes a lot of convincing to drive home the point that marriage or marital union does not give either party the right to exercise control over their partner.

A clip — essentially a promo — from one of the recent episodes of Star Plus’ Anupamaa has been doing the rounds on social media. In it, the character of Anupamaa (played by Rupali Ganguly) is seen consoling a visibly-distraught Aneri Vajani, who struggles with her emotions, while her brother (played by actor Gaurav Khanna) attempts to give her a medicine for depression.

From what is understood in the promo, Khanna’s character Anuj says he is to be blamed for getting her married to a man who purportedly abused her both physically as well as sexually — touching upon the issue of domestic abuse and also marital rape.

“He never paid any heed to her ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” he says, while a shocked Anupamaa looks on.

On Twitter, people lauded the show for attempting to normalise difficult conversations and calling out toxic and criminal behaviour in marriages. Take a look at these reactions.

Between January and May in 2021, the National Commission for Women (NCW) received over 2,300 domestic violence complaints. In 2020, which was the year of the first pandemic-induced lockdown, the number of domestic violence complaints that was filed with the NCW rose from 2,960 in 2019 to 5,297, as people were forced to stay at home.

We have had films talking about consent and abuse, but it is not enough. A one-off rousing courtroom drama — Pink (2016) — can emphasise on the meaning of the word ‘no’, but having films and songs perpetuate the twisted idea that for a woman saying ‘no’, she actually means ‘yes’, will defeat the purpose.

It takes continuous effort to educate people on personal rights and agency, and storytellers, filmmakers and showrunners have a huge role to play when it comes to de-stigmatising such sensitive topics.

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