|Image courtesy: Koimoi|
Cast: Meenu Hooda
(Kajarya), Kuldeep Ruhil (Banwari), Ridhima Sud (Meera Sharma), Shashi Bhushan
(Shambhu), Sudheer Chobessy (Giridhari), Nasir Ali (Sub-Inspector), Manoj
Bakshi (Police Inspector), Sumeet Vyas (Nikhil), Priyanka Tanwar Isha (Lady
Constable), Shakeel Quereshi (Priest), Tanaji Dasgupta (Priest’s assistant), Savita
Rani (Uma), Kamal Vinayak (Meera’s father), Raj Shree (Meera’s mother)
Celine Loop, Quashiq Mukherjee
directed by Madhureeta Anand, which highlights one of the most vital social issues
of saving girl child. This film is
definitely on a depressing note, but covers the truth brutally. The statistics of
the female infanticide and foeticide in India is alarming and shocking. The
film is disturbing, I kept wondering that who ultimately gives the right to
kill the girls. The film ends with the statistics that almost 10 million girls
are killed in our country since 1986, out of which 3 million are killed in the
last decade itself. Kajarya is a film which talks about infanticide as well as
foeticide. Silent slaughters happen and girls are buried deep inside graves. It
raises a vital question that when would our country be a better place for girls
and let them also live their lives which they deserve as a human being. The
film shares the story of two women from different backgrounds, explores the
condition of women both in rural and urban India.
Hooda), the titular character, lives in a village in Haryana, where she ends up
being part of female infanticide. The film begins with Banwari (Kuldeep Ruhil)
waking her up saying that ‘it is time’. Then she is seen taking drugs and further
at the Kali Temple. Kajarya is believed to embody Goddess Kali, who ritually
kills female newborns. Although the slaughtering is not shown through direct
frames, it is shown by dripping of blood on Kajarya’s feet. Oh, what a horrible
scene. Kajarya is shown as a woman who is surviving on drugs, alcohol and is
very abusive. What makes her so abusive, is it her guilt or helplessness?
character of the film is Meera Sharma (Ridhima Sud), a journalist, who is shown
to be casual in the beginning in regard to her job. She does get an assignment
to cover the ‘Puranmashi Pooja’ of the same village where Kajarya stays. When
Meera reaches there, she finds that there is something mysterious about the
Puranmashi pooja. She is not able to gather information in regard to this
Pooja. She wanted to cover the event. She happens to meet Banwari, who somehow
convinces her that there is nothing mysterious about the Pooja. She was about
to return to her city that she comes to know in regard to the graves where girl
children are buried. Developments happen in such a manner that Meera is able to
grab an interview with the very Kajarya.
to Meera about her arrival in this village as a 13-year old bride to an old
man, falling in love with Banwari, and later on getting exploited in the name
of religion, customs and traditions. She treads the path of brutal killings of
girl infanticides. Kajarya asks Meera to keep her name discreet from the media.
But, once Meera reaches back her office, she does reveal the name of Kajarya. A
dig at journalism is taken in the film, where, journalists are just shown to be
interested in stories, which would boost their career. Ethics of the journalists
are also mocked at. Meera preferred to betray Kajarya’s trust and save her job.
is also shown, lifestyle though in contrast to Kajarya, the gender inequality
is shown in her case as well. Meera’s relationship with her fiancée Nikhil
(Sumeet Vyas) does explain the gender diversity issues in urban set up too.
the film once Kajarya’s name is revealed to the media? How does Meera’s career
boost up? What happens when Kajarya and Meera come face to face again? Does
Kajarya get arrested? What happens to those people who were partners in crime? Both
Kajarya and Meera experience the waves of guilt, which hurt their conscience,
but certainly for two different reasons, what are they?
done absolute justice to their characters. Meenu as Kajarya and Ridhima Sud
(Dil Dhadakne Do fame) as Meera Sharma are very good. Kuldeep as Banwari is so
convincing. Rest of the cast have also acted really well. Shashi Bhushan as
Shambhu has portrayed his grief, pain and care for Kajarya so well.
a very strong subject. A few scenes worth mentioning are the relationship
between Kajarya and Shambhu’s daughter. Kajarya who is instrumental in female
infanticide, is very much in love with this girl. A lady who is violent is shown
here in a very innocent love with this girl. Even Shambhu’s pain with Kajarya’s
deformed life is very well portrayed. A scene where Kajarya says about her
killings: “Mere to bas hath hi the, Saza to unke ma-baap ne pahle hi suna di
thi (it was my hands only, but the punishment was declared by parents much
beforehand)’ is very much painful. Opium-induced and guilt stricken Kajarya’s
make up with open hair and that of transformed Kajarya with tied up hais is
very thoughtfully crafted in the film.
screenplay is concerned, I just felt that the transformation of Kajarya is not
justified. Besides, a character like Kajarya agreeing to give the interview and
opening up to a journalist during the first meeting itself is also not very
convincing. The love-hate relationship between Kajarya and Banwari is not very
clearly depicted. But apart from this, the screenplay is very gripping,
disturbing, presents the real issue. Mughal-e-Azam’s song ‘Mohabbat ki Jhuthi
Kahani’ has been recreated and sung by Shusheela Raman for this film; it blends
with the screenplay so well.
|Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Kajarya|
Anand, is to get our attention re-focused on the real issue of female
infanticide and foeticide. ‘Save the girl child’, ‘Well-being of Girls, Well
Being of India’, ‘Girls’ lives matter’, ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, ‘Stop
violence against women’, ‘Realize the girls’ power’ etc. are some of the key
messages of this highly disturbing film Kajarya. Our country needs to get out
of the shackles of gender inequality. Girls have the equal rights to live on
this earth. Preference for male progeny still exists in many parts of our country.
Although, not an easy film to watch, please Watch Kajarya. How appropriate the punchline
of the film is: ‘Let the truth prevail’. Let the guilty be punished.