Marriage and Sakharam Binder, The play

"Sakharam Binder" is a very famous play in marathi, and has been translated into other languages. It generated a lot of controversy, when it was first performed on stage in 1972, and was banned later around 1974. It was written by Vijay Tendulkar, who wrote on social issues and was a staunch feminist. The play was criticized, because the central character was a man, who didn't believed in the institution of marriage.

The story Sakharam Binder is about a man, who doesn't believes in marriage. He stays in a live-in relationship with women. Before entering into a relationship, he makes clear to the women, that either party can break the relationship and go on their own separate way.  He tells them upfront, that they have to do the duties of husband and wife. If they separate, he will give her money and new clothes. His life is going on in this way. His neighbour, is very envious of Sakharam. Each of his relationship lasts from a few months, to a few years. He starts living with a women (lets call her Savitri), who is shown to be very obedient and religious. The writer has tried to portray her as a timid, helpless women (abla-naari).  Savitri has a habit of talking with herself. Savitri talks very little with Sakharam. Savitri does has verbal fights with Sakharam sometimes. After some time, Sakharam says that their  personalities don't match, and that they should separate. This supposedly homely women, who used to say him, that I have lots of people to depend on, now tells him, that she would like to stay with him. After some discussion, they decide to separate.

Later Sakharam starts living with another women, lets call her Shurpanakha. Shurpanakha is shown to be very aggressive, bold, beautiful and doesn't listens to Sakharam. Sakharam, tells here, that if she is staying with him, he is providing her with money, and she has to cook and have intercourse with him. Once her ex-husband, comes to their house, and says that he wants Shurpanakha back. Her ex-husband is a police officer. But Shurpanakha doesn't wants to go back, and tells him to get out. Her ex-husband, says he is very fond of her, and even likes the beatings he gets from Shurpanakha. Still Shurpanakha throws him out. The life of this couple is going on. One day, Savitri comes back and pleads Sakharam to take her back. Sakharam doesn't wants her, but Shurpanakha tells him to allow Savitri to stay. Shurpanakha says, Savitri will be of help to her in household chores. Sakharam doesn't likes savitri but obeys Shurpanakha, and Savitri starts staying with them. 
After some time, Savitri observes that Shurpanakha has physical relationship with Sakharam's neighbour. Savitri doesn't likes that and starts poisoning Sakharam's mind about Shurpanakha. Due to this constant poisoning of Sakharam's mind, one day, in a fit of anger, he hits Shurpanakha, and Shurpanakha dies. Sakharam is very stunned, as to what has happened. His limbs become im-mobile, and he is very sorry for what he has done, and gets very scared. However at this moment, Savitri consoles him, and says don't worry. Savitri starts talking about how bad Shurpanakha was, and that Sakharam, has done a good job by killing her. Savitri tells Sakharam not to worry, and be happy that the evil women has died. Savitri tells Sakharam to dispose of Shurpanakha's body and says no one will know. Sakharam follows her advise, and buries Shurpanakha.

This play is hailed by feminists since it highlights male dominance, and how women are always the victim. When I saw this play, I was amused. Since this play in fact, shows how scheming women are. Even the kind, who are shown as timid, and abused by men. It is Savitri who poisons Sakharam's mind and provokes him to murder Shurpankha. And still Savitri is the victim ??? Both the women are evil, but are portrayed as victims.

All such thoughts of women being always the victim no matter what the real facts are, stem from the male-hating environment, which has prevailed from centuries. Real facts do not matter. All facts, are twisted to show, how women is the victim, and men are the perpetrator of evil deeds. Such mindsets has given birth to the current perverted Marriage Amendment Bill, which states that women is always the victim, and every husband has to pay for it. Such laws will be applicable to live-in relationships too. So those who do not marry aren't safe either :)