What The ‘Sonam Gupta Bewafa’ Tag Says About Fragile Indian Male Egos

Posted on November 19, 2016 in Masculinity, Sexism And Patriarchy, Society

By Subodh Mishra:

Amidst all the demonetisation mess and the never-ending bank queues, the only person who has supposedly managed to make people smile is Sonam Gupta. Or rather ‘bewafa’ (unfaithful) Sonam Gupta. It doesn’t require any atomic calculation to imagine how this tag would have gotten ‘Kwik Fix’-ed to her name. Either she would have refused a guy’s proposal or at max she would have been going out with someone else at the same time. The most intriguing question doing its rounds on social media platforms is, “Who is the guy?”

Well, I tried to find out the answer to this question and it lead me to Bollywood. Bollywood, as many studies have revealed, inspires too many social trends and this has happened with the much-talked about concept, ‘love’. The trademark Bollywood love story is characterised by the male lead stalking and teasing the female character, without giving her much of a choice. This guy, nourishing the superlative degree of love, desperately wants the lady to revert the same warm feelings and he will not stop until that happens. He is ready for any consequence and informs her as he announces hanging from a crane loudly, “Bhej de chaahe jail mein, pyaar ke is khel mein” (Send me to jail in this game of love).

Love for him is a ‘game’ which he wants to ‘win’ at any cost. He will try to remove all the other choices that she may have and even if she chooses someone else, he will keep following her to parties and will sing in front of the gathering there. “Tu pyaar hai kisi aur ka, tujhe chaahta koi aur hai” (You are somebody else’s love but somebody else loves you). Ironically enough, this male figure in Bollywood is popularly known as the ‘hero’. This ‘hero’ of our movies doesn’t refrain from defaming his ‘lady-love’ if his feelings are not reverted with equal passion. He will publicly say, “Mera dil jis dil pe fida hai, vo bewafa hai” (The one I love is unfaithful). This ‘hero’ is idolised by many in society. So when a guy starts assassinating the character of a girl in reply to her ‘no’ for his proposal, it doesn’t seems unprecedented to me.

As a male dominant society, somehow accepting a rejection in love becomes terribly hard. The very concept of ‘bewafai’ (unfaithfulness), which comes from Urdu poetry, was not this harsh. The term ‘bewafa’ has become more of a defamatory remark against the woman. The Indian male ego need to learn how not to blame the woman if things don’t work out between the two. Not becoming dominating or obsessed is quite important for that ‘love’ to happen. The Indian male needs to take a deep look inside.

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