A Critical Lens to Understand Gender and Caste Politics of Rural Maharashtra, India

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Tanuja Harad




'Sairat’, is a highly acclaimed movie and is the highest grossing Marathi film till date. It was one of the biggest hits of the Marathi films industry and screened for many months in theaters after the release. ‘Sairat’, a Marathi romantic drama film portrays the construction of hegemonic masculinity and its relation to the controlling of women’s sexuality. The movie centers around controlling women’s sexuality, portraying dominant masculinity and brutal killing due to transgression of caste (in the form of inter-caste marriage) in rural Maharashtra.

In July 2016, an upper caste girl was raped and murdered by lower castes at Kopardi village soon after the release of the movie. The rape and murder of the girl led to protests all over Maharashtra. The protesters and leaders of the upper caste community alleged that the rape and murder of a girl was provoked by the movie, ‘Sairat’. This article takes the protests as a provocation to take a closer look at Sairat’s gender and caste politics.

This article explores the way hegemonic masculine identity has been manifested through control over women’s sexuality and their mobility, and violence against women. The hegemonic masculinity has been constructed based on unequal gender and power relations between men and women, dominant and lower caste men.

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Harad, T. (2023). A Critical Lens to Understand Gender and Caste Politics of Rural Maharashtra, India. CASTE A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 4(1), 46–53. https://doi.org/10.26812/caste.v4i1.333
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