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The Goddess as Role ModelSita and Radha in Scripture and on Screen$
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Heidi R. M. Pauwels

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369908.001.0001

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 In Good Days and Bad Days

 In Good Days and Bad Days

Sītā and Rādhā Leave Purdah to Follow Their Men

Chapter:
(p.243) 4 In Good Days and Bad Days
Source:
The Goddess as Role Model
Author(s):

Heidi R. M. Pauwels (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369908.003.0007

Chapter 4 focuses on how women should cope with a hardship crisis in their marriage. It studies Sita's resolve to leave purdah and follow Rama in his exile, comparing with the Gopis’ leaving their domestic safety to join Krishna in the forest to dance the Rasa‐lila. In both cases, while the men are originally reluctant to let the women join them, the women argue that their love overrides concerns of dharma, and they win the argument. However, the liberating potential of these examples is mitigated by the televised series’ concerns to keep the women within maryada, notwithstanding their rhetoric. Thus, Ramanand Sagar's Sita's choice is portrayed as one of identification with her husband and foregoing the easy option of returning to her paternal home. In Shri Krishna the Gopis undergo a fire‐ordeal (Agnipariksha) to prove their credentials, a scenario that plays out again and again in popular movies. Movies discussed are Yahi hai zindagi, Hum aapke hain koun..!, Meera ka Mohan and Lagaan.

Keywords:   purdah, maryada, dharma, Rasa‐lila, Agnipariksha, Yahi hai zindagi, Hum aapke hain koun, Meera ka Mohan, Lagaan

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