Sītā Abducted and Rādhā Accosted at the Well
Chapter 6 studies how goddesses react when accosted by “the other man.” It compares the sexual harassment scenario of Sita's abduction with the eve‐teasing scenario of the Gopis’ being accosted at the well (panaghata‐lila). Sita's abductor is a villain and she resists him valiantly, but the Gopis fall for their accoster, Krishna. Sita's abduction on television is shown to be partly due to her crossing the Lakshman‐rekha or protective circle drawn by her brother‐in‐law (not mentioned in the earlier sources). Notwithstanding her mistake, even in hardship she remains true to dharma. In the medieval versions, the Gopis are worried about transgressing against dharma, but their love for Krishna ultimately overrides these concerns. The televised version downplays this scandal and popular film shows little sympathy for women once seduced. While the perpetrator of harassment is punished, the eve‐teaser gets off mostly scot‐free, but the victim of either is always blamed. Movie songs discussed are from Mughal‐e‐Azam, Satyam Shivam Sundarama, and Devdas. Movies discussed are Lajja and Mother India.
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