A suitable boy is a novel by Vikram Seth based on which a web series has been released recently. It deals with the issues that people faced in post-independent India.
It was set in 1951. Clearly, the audience is familiar yet unfamiliar with the issues being discussed in the web series. Familiar because who hasn’t read about them in their history books? And unfamiliar because accepting an unpleasant past is easier than reliving it sometimes.
An FIR has been registered against the makers of the web series due to controversies that followed. There are claims of religious and social sentiments being hurt through the intimate and violent scenes respectively. Social unrest was quite common post-independence because the wounds were fresh. But today, the scenarios are different.
“The diversity of India is such that no nation can beat! Every religion has sentiments associated with it and one must not try to challenge them.”
A Suitable Boy: Was the FIR necessary?
When religion and society come into the picture, everything is looked at with absolute seriousness. A Suitable Boy as we know takes us back to one of the most sensitive situations in India as a diverse nation.
Look at this tweet from Gaurav Tiwari against Netflix.
Finally My FIR against Netflix has been filed under section 295 (A) on Monica Shergill (VP Content) & Ambika Khurana (DPR, Netflix) over shooting kissing scenes under temple premises in ‘A Suitable Boy’ series.
— Gaurav Tiwari (@adolitics) November 23, 2020
Certain stereotypes however prevail even today in our society due to which the issues become relevant. Even Swara Bhaskar speaks to Boycott A Suitable Boy.
— The Second Angle (@TheSecondAngle) November 26, 2020
Relationships and politics of the post-independent India occupy the central positions in the plot. Interfaith marriage has remained rare and is often frowned upon in India. However, in the last few years, couples in such marriages have spoken of facing unprecedented social, legal, and familial persecution. They have reported intimidation and violence from extremist Hindu groups, who can target their homes, send threats over WhatsApp, and publish their details on social media.
Kissing scenes in temple: MP Police to book Netflix officials for ‘A Suitable Boy’ after home minister’s orderhttps://t.co/tHDekDUo5R
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) November 23, 2020
Although it is not about who is right and who isn’t. It is also not about prioritizing entertainment over religious and social sentiments. It is about what holds a prior position in society.
Whatever the end result might be we must follow our instincts.