This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Kanika Katyal. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

7 Reasons Why DDLJ Should Be Declared As Our ‘National Film’

More from Kanika Katyal

By Kanika Katyal:

I belong to the generation of girls who worshipped Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengey as their Geeta (not the Bible, mind you). I call it “epic melodrama” (not because it exhibited melodrama in epic proportions) because it brought about a reinscription of traditions in modernity. Apart from the Absolute Gyaan on love, passion, liaisons, friendship, fidelity, idolatry, devotion and piety which I attained from this scripture, which needless to say is totally relevant even in the contemporary scenario and which as divinely ordained, I will ensure to insure in my will so that my grandchildren are bang-on, on their life lessons from the start, this is not just any moral code that we’re talking here. It is the moral code of a perfect Hindustani. The kind of code that Alok Nath himself, despite not being present in form in the movie, consecrated in spirit.

DDLJ

We are all governed by the higher goal to become a true Hindustani. But naïve and credulous souls that we are, we begin to look for answers in a Swades or a Purab aur Paschim. DDLJ is the answer to your prayers. This movie will show you how the bourgeois family orientation serves as charged microcosm to the larger context of nation building, especially in the melodramatic mode. I propose that this treasured doctrine of a movie be declared our National Movie, and there be a marked day to celebrate it each year. Let not the faithless call it regressive. Here are 7 reasons why DDLJ should be our National Film.

1. The London Bridge is clearly going down. Look at how the scenic spaces of London and the Big Ben dissolve into the mustard fields and form forms of his native Punjab.

So even if you inhabit Pardes out of a financial need (because your own country could not provide you with the opportunities, resources, basic facilities or the standard of life that you wished for yourself), there is the nationalist sentiment within you constantly urging you to return to apni mitti to feed apne pigeons. Let’s face it, what use are pigeons if they can’t deliver letters, which the language barrier forbade.

2. One is never to discredit the power of the Hindu Goddesses. “Cuz I knew you were trouble when you walked in”, sings Baldev as Raj breaks the Laxmi idol in his “angrezipana” for a beer, committing blasphemy which brought upon him the wrath of the Gods. It’s not a love story, it’s an epic saga.

3. Hindustanis are big sniffers. Baldev Singh goes frantic and the first thing he does is smell the letter for “Punjab di khushboo”. Hindustanis are also repressed individuals. The only real way to reaffiliate to the motherland is by acting upon the marital pledges forged by ties of friendship. The letter tells you that in patriarchy, women are no more than the goods of exchange between men, also that we now have a real excuse to visit Hindustan.

4. You could be a winner in the game of life, if you just manage to keep Hindustan alive from the impediments of Western Culture, a major concern of which is giving your daughter the agency to choose her husband. But child marriage is our culture. So hey, one small sacrifice is all that it is! Also, it’s not a NO, she’s just acting coy!

Because ideal Hindustani girls do not drink, do not eat chowmein, and do not see the husband’s face until after the wedding.

5. But even though Raj is a callous youth, a spoilt brat of a westernised father, he still becomes the vehicle for the demonstration of the Hindustani identity in matters of morality and in observation of parental desire. There are two moments in the film through which this shift takes place.

a) When Simran gets drunk and imagined making love to Raj. They totally want to do it, “toh phir problem kya hai ?” – Hum Hindustani. The whole point of this scene is that Hindustanifolk cannot do this. Pre-marital sex is the true haw-ji moment of the film.

b) When Simran is betrothed to Kuljeet, he decides to take this as a challenge. He won’t elope because he was a Hindustani! Not to forget how this saves him the horror of honour-killing.

6. The entire action is directed towards the larger aim of marriage. Features of the said marriage: orthodox, legal, endogamous, monogamous, heterosexual alliances and their affirmation are essential to keep all regressions in check. So, let’s all be the upholders of pure 100% Desi-ghee bred Hindustani culture and while we’re at it, celebrate some Patriarchy Day i.e. Karvachauth!

7. The movie concludes with the fulfilment of desire. The tableau is often and mostly marriage, touching the father’s feet, laying on the mother’s lap or the defeat of a villain. Guess what, DDLJ had all of them, and more!

The last fight sequence is of immense importance in the given context because the inclusion of the defeat of the villain signals not so much the end of evil, but a restoration of balance in social and personal relations as well, since the villain is situated within the personal, his defeat is accompanied by the union of families which is indicative of the integration of the nation itself. So having fulfilled the qualifications, Raj emerges as a true Hindustani. After all, apne to apne hote hain.

All the conflicts are now resolved as they are on their way (via rail) to become the family that eats together, prays together, stays together.

There are so many more reasons which make DDLJ eligible to be prescribed in schools. Let’s not slight it. It is in no magnitude inferior to a Greek epic.

The moral of the tale is – it’s all about loving… your nation. Culture. Patriarchy. Family. And definitely each other… in the long run, under the sanctioned framework. Jai Hind!

To know more about what I think of this story, follow me on twitter at @Kanika_Katyal

You must be to comment.
  1. Avinesh Saini

    It is a god awful movie and remains so. New generations need to learn to poke fun at this monstrosity.

More from Kanika Katyal

Similar Posts

By Hemraj P

By Vaishnavi Navalkar

By Divya Chopra

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below