Man marries son’s wife and a movie called Triyacharitra (1994)

This is what the father in law (Naseeruddin Shah) plans in Triyacharitra (1994), a Hindi movie directed by Basu Chatterjee. The story in the movie seemed to be an example of what was possible (made possible by patriarchy) not something that was happening in real life.

“Wanton woman! She’s tainted. My doors are shut for her, forever.”

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How does a society where the daughters in law are the lowest in the social hierarchy deal with such crimes?

“We must decide this woman’s fate at the soonest.”

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Patriarchy can’t risk losing control over the lives and choices of daughters in law (and future daughters in law), so instead of ensuring that those at risk of abuse have the option of fighting back, seeking justice or just walking out, patriarchal societies ‘solve the problem’ by covering up the provocation, forbidding interactions and silencing potential victims with honor and ghunghat.

“Don’t you dare touch me ever again, I’ll eat you alive!”

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In the movie, Rajeshwari Sachdev plays the young woman whose husband has gone to Kolkata and there is no news of him. Om Puri is a much older married man who (amongst many others) attempts to persuade her parents (with financial benefits for them) to let her ‘marry’ him. Naseeruddin Shah, the father in law and a widower, accuses her parents of not following tradition and brings her to her sasural, with band baja, naach gana and desi liquor. Once home, he tells her it was unlikely that his son would ever come back so she should learn to live with him. 

The movie doesn’t just challenge or question – it leaves the viewer in no doubt about the kind of mindset that created misogynistic gender stereotypes like triyacharitra

The movie can be watched here:

What do you think happened in this case?

Man marries son’s wife

… a 72-year-old widower married his 24-year-old daughter-in-law …

On Saturday, some villagers of Bagada also opposed to their staying in the village and informed police. Cops went to the village and lodged Renuka in a short-stay home at Kendrapada and detained Harihar. “We are investigating the case,” said IIC of Kendrapada Sadar police station T Pradhan.

While Harihar’s wife died five years ago, there is no news about his son Bichitra Mallick after he went to Bangalore to work as a mason four years ago.


Man gets 10 years jail for molesting daughter-in-law.

The victim committed suicide by hanging herself in 2008, within two years of her marriage. In her suicide note, she had accused her father-in-law of sexually abusing her and blamed him for her step, police said. Rawat would molest her in the absence of her husband, who was in Mumbai. A case of abetment of suicide was lodged against him. Rawat sought leniency saying he was a senior citizen but the court turned down his plea and awarded him the maximum punishment of 10 years.

“Girls nowadays won’t wait! As soon as they’re born…  they want a lover.”

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Related Posts:

Triya charitram, Purushasya bhagyam, Devo Na Janati, Kuto Manushya…

She started a fight between two men?

What makes someone find the concept of ghunghat appreciable?


12 thoughts on “Man marries son’s wife and a movie called Triyacharitra (1994)

  1. what made the villagers and police take notice and act in these cases? was it because a ‘father-in-law’ is supposed to be socially responsible for a daughter-in-law as a surrogate father? did they perceive it as ‘incest’ and so it ‘hurt’ their sensibilities? would they have reacted if any other man had done the same thing to these women; someone not related to her by blood or marriage?


  2. Disgusting!!!! This whole nonsensical culture of getting the victim married to the rapist to save her honor has given rise to such atrocities.

    I am reminded of a Telugu movie in which the heroine is deserted by the groom and she sits in the ‘mandap’ with onlookers worrying about how her ‘honor’ is at stake, ‘who will marry her’? No one talks about the groom who deserts her due to dowry reasons. Then a 6 yr old comes forward and marries her to ‘save her honor’. Why does everything and anything related to women begin and end with ‘saving her honor’?


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