Barrister Babu is an Indian soap opera airing on the channel Colors.
The story of this show revolves around a child female lead (played by Aurra Bhatnagar Badoni), who is married to a grown-up boy (played by Pravisht Mishra) in her childhood. But as the show progresses, the boy fights the society for her education and helps to make her a barrister. In a time where the idiot box shows soap operas that are difficult to watch given that they propagate the same shitty stereotypes, we’ve grown up watching, shows like Barrister Babu catch my attention. The serial had just begun when the lockdown was imposed so not much of it aired. However, the trailers for the serial made it sound promising and impactful.
Why I Think Barrister Babu Is Important In Terms Of Feminism:
- It talks about women empowerment back in a very orthodox setting, pre-independence India.
- It touches upon issues still prevalent today.
- It focuses on dowry and the horrors of child marriage that were prevalent in backward India.
- Difficulties faced by a single mother, including societal pressure.
- Bondita, the lead character poses extremely valid and strong questions like – ‘agar maa pehle chali jaati toh kya papa ko bhi aisa karna padta?’ (if my mother would have died before my father then would he have done the same?) (context: after the death of their husbands, wives are supposed to perform sati – a largely historical practice in which a widow sacrifices herself by sitting atop her deceased husband’s funeral pyre.)
‘pooja hum durga mata ki karte hai, par pujari sirf aadmi kyu hote hain?’
(we worship goddess Durga, but why are the priests men?)
‘ladkiyon ko roz subah pehle kyu utha dete hain?’
(‘why are women supposed to wake up early?’)Questions asked by Bondita
Another very striking question she asked was – ‘pati ko bhagwaan maanu, toh bhagwaan ko kya maanu, maa?’ (if my husband is my lord, then who is my lord, mother?)
The idea of the male counterparts being given the position of god is so flawed in itself. How, in a monogamous relationship, can one of the two be kept on a higher pedestal than the other? The basis of a healthy marriage is equality and trust apart from love. Bondita, a small girl, questions this.
Even in 2020, womxn have to face hurdles. Many womxn still do not have the choice to choose who they want to get married to. Or, if they want to. They need to seek permission to even step out of the house. The idea of “honor” and how it keeps so many womxn from actively taking up careers they are interested in.
Don’t we still need the answers to the questions Bondita asked? However far we have come in terms of feminism and progression, the patriarchy still rules. Barrister Babu’s plot is refreshing and has the potential to make all its viewers question the repeated boring internalized misogynistic opinions.