Trigger warning: Domestic abuse
I couldn’t fairly react to the queries after concluding Pankaj Tripathi and Kirti Kulhari starrer Criminal Justice on Disney Hotstar. How are we to presuppose if domestic abuse has literally taken place? I believe there are no fixed set of standards to define and distinguish a person survivor of domestic abuse. Who knows if the said person in question happens to be a settled and successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. Maybe, we don’t have an answer to it as for our social and cultural settings where rank and privilege come handy with the individual status in society.
The same goes for Bikram Chandra, a noted and fine lawyer known for his legal analysis, articulation and argumentation of his cases. He is at odds with his wife Anuradha Chandra who he thinks is suffering from continued distress, anxiety and depression, taking it as a guarantee of her physical and mental assault, exploitation and harassment. How is she to reconcile with this fact if not for her counsellor Moksh?
Should she accept it, contest it or take steps to calm it down a bit? This is a typical situation in which every Indian woman finds herself in. Forms of abuse might differ but for levels which almost remain the same, as for the background, community and class of the women. Our entrenched hierarchies are different from graded sets of inequalities agreed and endorsed by our puritanical society where, for a woman, internalising unquestioned faith, belief, practice and obedience to social customary is received generously.
I am not pitching in for assessing and evaluating opinions of code and conduct but for developing an understanding if a woman is ever allowed to be her own autonomous and sovereign by taking her own call on rights, responsibilities and duties. Why does she have to be dictated and discoursed on the ethics of morality and rationality? Can’t she pick the one for her own self? Atleast allow her to negotiate for her position of privilege and power as she will be better able to make an informed choice.
Our interference is not going to make them any better. Why does Bikram Chandra want to force upon his wife a set of systematic structures with which Anuradha Chandra was not comfortable? Did he ever bother to speak to her? Why did he often end up being suspicious and doubtful of her motives? How she could have negotiated with Bikram if not for confiding in Moksh? A fact that reflects in Nikhat and Madhav Mishra’s defence of Anuradha’s case in the court of law
There are many households where domestic abuse and violence has become a billboard. Victims don’t report due to fear of shame, satire and embarrassment. Clueless, with their line of thought and action as for this web series which can help to wake them up from their ignorance. Don’t we know ignorance is not a blessing?