When India was a colony of the British in the 16th century, the law went against sexual expressions of out of the ordinary kind. Cut to the 21st century, questions of its validity are being thrown open rampantly. In this regard, Aishwarya Hasija, the Assistant Director of the play The White Saree, uses the potential of her best known medium to reflect on the ambiguity surrounding sexual discourse in this country. It shows how the state and society tag things as morally and socially appropriate and anything outside of its purview, is sacrilegious.
The play speaks of sexuality as a need of the human body that longs for companionship. The fact that sexuality has been scrutinised, thrown behind locked doors, and has long since laid there as a taboo, she feels the status quo needs to immediately change.
“Ours is an attempt to redefine sex and sexuality as bonds between individuals that are expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of love, trust, and care, regardless of the preset notions of gender. Cultural, political, legal, philosophical, moral, ethical and religious aspects of life have long confined such bonds to solely between a man and a woman,” says Hasija. These same aspects have contributed towards making women objects or victims of someone else’s desire, and not as someone with sexual feelings of her own.
From Modi to actor Reese Witherspoon, from talk show host Oprah Winfrey to poet Maya Angelou, each one has referred to the way in which women are under represented and underpaid across the board. “Women often face a systematic denial of rights and legal discrimination. Also, on their part, they lack a full realisation of their fundamental rights which according to me, is at the core of the problem,” she says.
To open up a dialogue, here is The White Saree that tells the story like its meant to be. The White Saree: January 14, 4.30 pm and 7 pm, LTG Auditorium, Mandi House.
The White Saree
The White Saree shows how the state and society tag things as morally and socially appropriate and anything outside of that box is sacrilegious. It speaks of sexuality as a need of the human body that longs for companionship. The fact that sexuality has been scrutinized as taboo needs to immediately change.