Swara Bhaskar Is An Inconvenient Woman Who Gets Hate From All Sides For Just ONE Reason

Swara Bhaskar is not the 'good woman' that a patriarchy loves. This ‘disobedient’ woman doesn’t fit into any convenient moulds, and as such is infuriating in the extreme.

She has been an award-winning actor with critically acclaimed films like Nil Battey Sannata. She was also in the news last year, pre-dating her wedding, for wanting to adopt a child as a single woman; something else that was seen as anti-establishment. However, the one thing Swara Bhaskar is never allowed to forget is that she did a masturbation scene in the film Veere Di Wedding (2018). Till date, trolls direct everything from sly, sniggering mockery to outright abuse and threats at her for daring to do this.

And now she has gone and compounded her sins – she has had the temerity to marry a man not of her community. The hate she is subjected to is breath-taking. It comes from either side of the religious divide and there is one single reason for this as I will demonstrate:

Love actually


She announced that she got married – (refreshingly), a celebrity who decided to have a non-destination, non-Swarovski-pastel-designer, picture-perfect wedding. She wore her mother’s sari and they got married in a simple ceremony at the registrar’s office.

She married of her own choice and volition. Haw! Such negation of tradition and the Big Fat Indian wedding! She married Fahad Ahmed – a political activist who, horror of horrors is not even the same faith as her!

The brickbats start


On the one hand we have various self-proclaimed religious ‘leaders’ opining on the marriage, calling it illegitimate since it is not an Islamic Nikah, but a solemnisation under the Special Marriage Act. (Recent legislations have significantly diluted The Special Marriage Act, but that is a rant for another day.)

And the unspeakable hate

Soon filthy, scurrilous ‘memes’ targeting Swara, her character and everything related to her started to circulate on social media. We had some or other self-proclaimed religious ‘mahant’ spew hate – read the article in the link if you must. What the man actually said is too foul to repeat.

Then of course there were the suitcase and fridge references


Various others in the public sphere directed their venom at Swara for her decision to marry (gasp) a Muslim man. These, including a self-proclaimed ‘sadhvi’ who probably decided to jump on to the hate bandwagon for a few minutes of fame. These hateful, frankly Islamophoic and distasteful references to suitcases and fridges that must have hurt the young couple; which however they gracefully seemed to shrug off.

Love troubles people


For some reason love troubles people. A couple that decides to flout convention and makes choices that others fear to make, is seen as not only subversive but actually dangerous. Those in positions of power and privilege typically see such acts as threatening to the status quo and hence to their power and privilege as well.

There is just one reason for all the hate – the fact that she is a woman

This is an independent woman who speaks her own mind and lives life on her own terms. She has never been shy of speaking out against the powers that be and has fearlessly stood up for what she believed in. A man doing all this, may be forgiven, but a woman? How dare she. It is her job to be biddable and pleasant, to smile and agree with what she is told, after all.

Remember the infamous masturbation scene? A man doing it may be tittered at for a while, then forgotten. But a woman? Say it with me – how dare she!

She neither accepted Islam nor did she marry a man of her own community. In that sense she did not give either side the satisfaction of being the woman who was the ‘paraya dhan’ to be ‘given away’ in marriage. In our culture, the ‘good woman’ is one who is content to be bundled away to another family in marriage; her name, identity and aspirations subsumed by those of her ‘new family’ which she will serve docilely till the end of her days.

Swara Bhaskar is not that woman. This ‘disobedient’ woman doesn’t fit into any convenient moulds and as such is infuriating in the extreme.

She has the good fortune of having progressive, supportive parents and appears to have the blessings and support of her husband’s family as well. Is it any wonder that Swara Bhaskar receives hate from both ends of the hate-spectrum? She is vocal, bold and frankly brave to be able to survive with the deluge of hate she is subjected to on a daily basis.

What an inconvenient woman you are Swara Bhaskar… and how inspiring for so many other women.

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About the Author

Reena Daruwalla

A former lawyer, now freelance writer, fauji wife, mother, singer, knitter and lover of my own cooking, I have altogether too many opinions and too few convictions. The more I learn the more I am read more...

38 Posts | 27,381 Views

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