Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Kya Kahenge Char Log?

Last week, IIT Kharagpur in its flagship cultural festival - Spring Fest, showcased Nukkad Nataks, where groups of students have performed on the social issues pertinent in our society. One of them that made a big impression on my mind was entitled, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log'. 

India has a collectivist and high context culture, where people prefer to live in close knit groups, stress on group goals instead of personal goals and give high importance on how the group around sees them, as opposed to the individualistic and low context culture existing in the west.

All cultures have their own traits and characteristics. That is Ok. But the problem occurs when this gives rise to individual depressions, crimes and oppression in the society. Students beautifully demonstrated by acting out four different situations where our collectivist culture had appeared as a bane:
  1. A 12th pass student who has cleared his IIT-JEE entrance but is also brilliant at acting. He wants to pursue his career in acting but his father shots down his idea by saying, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
  2. A young girls is raped. When she tells this to her parents, her parents tell her to keep silence about the incident and not file a complaint giving the same reason as, 'Arre, Kya Kahenge Char Log, agar unhe pata chala to!'.
  3. Husband of a newly married family dies. His parents and society blame the girl for bringing him the death. She lives in despair throughout the life. When someone suggests to remarry the girl, the answer is, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
  4. A couple who is not able to conceive after many attempts when suggested by the wife that her husband should go for a medical check up he responds, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
The above list is not exhaustive. A girl is not allowed to have a boy friend or roam around with her guy friends because - kya kahenge char log. But the same girl is pushed into a stranger's room on the first night of her wedding. Later on if that stranger abuses her, hits her or does any thing else, and if she asks for divorce people will deny her because - kya kahenge char log. If a guy/girl wants to concentrate on their career and delay their wedding plans they are not allowed because - kya kahenge char log. A women wants to work after her wedding or after she has kids, she is not allowed because - kya kahenge char log. A young boy wants to earn some extra pocket money and is willing to work at Pizza Hut or Domino's, he is not allowed because - kya kahenge char log. A girl wants to wear a short skirt, she is not allowed - because kya kahenge char log. Two people from different cast, love each other, but they are not allowed to marry because - kya kahenge char log. 

I have always wondered - kon hain ye char log. Probably, so have you. But at times we are the one's who are included in that 'char' log. Let's be supportive for our friends and family. I just wish that next generation is not raised in the fear of this CHAR log.

1 comment:

  1. Soooo true....have. Enlighten stupid bt reality of our society...ye char log kabhi achhe kaam me. Kaam nai aate bas tokne Baat n badnami me kaam aate hai. And unknowingly we may also included in dat log at. Ttimes