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SATYAJIT RAY’S ARS EROTICA
AT THE TIME OF HINDUTVA
Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay ⤡
Rupa Sanyal ⤡
Akhar Bandyopadhyay ⤡
This paper-letter aims to sarcastically subvert the Hindutva
perception of sexuality (act-pleasure-desire) in the context of
Satyajit Ray’s depiction of the art of human intimacy. Though
Hindutvavadins, the other Victorians, use the name of Ray for a
film award, they even do not know the creative subtlety of Ray’s
gaze. It is also to be noted that Ray himself had to change his
representation of sexuality to accommodate the community
standards of the Indian audience (Ray mentioned this type of
constraint in many of his interviews). The colonized
Hindutvavadins, are aping the Victorian standard of morality
without keeping in mind the explicitly erotic temple architectures
as well as sculptures spread throughout the South-Asian
The Honourable President,
Republic of India,
New Delhi- 110004
Sub: Satyajit Ray’s name should be banned for showing sexually
In continuation of our letter⤡ to you, we are again requesting your
kind self to remove the name of Satyajit Ray from the prestigious film
It is surprising and shocking for us, the ardent supporters of Sangh
Parivār ideology, to find that a prestigious film award was declared on
the name of Satyajit Ray, who showed not only anti-Hindu false
ideology, but also the explicit and illicit sexual relationships that are
prohibited in the sanātana dharma.
We think that it goes against the ethos of our Parivār’s ideology for
the following reasons:
Devi (The Goddess, 1960): An intimate scene (in a silhouette med-
long-shot) between Umaprasad (a westernized elite youth) and
Doyamoyee (incarnation the Mother Kali) profaned the mother
Not only that, Ray also portrayed that Khoka (a boy) has died due to
non-implementation of western medicines, the supposed
Kali’s Charanamrito did not work and the divine belief, as depicted by
Ray, at the cost of the kid’s life. It also happened in the case of Pather
Panchali (Song of the Little Road, 1955), when Durga, an adolescent
girl died due to fever, even though Lord Ganesa’s idol was there. In
Ray’s gaze, Hindu idol-worship is always condemned.
Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964): An intimate and adulterous
relationship develops between Charulata and Amal, who is Charu’s
brother-in-law. Even Charu embraced Amal in one sequence of the
film. Later on, Amal left the house, leaving behind a letter to Charu.
Charu is heartbroken due to illicit love relationship, but tries to hide
Kapurush (The Coward, 1965): Karuna, a married woman, meets
Amitabha, her ex-lover. Extra-marital relationship is being encouraged
In all the movies, Ray portrayed Hindu women as provocative and
seductive that goes against our sanātana culture of satī and sāvitri.
Only in Kapurush, the female character is reluctant to participate in
the proposal of eloping.
Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1970): Hari takes
Duli, a tribal girl, into the forest and makes love to her.
On the other hand, Sanjoy is unable to respond to the seductive
provocations of Jaya, a Hindu widow, when she dresses herself with
ethnic ornaments. It is an unlikely incidence for a pious Hindu widow.
[a] Ghatashraddha (The Ritual, 1977 Indian Kannada language film
directed by Girish Kasaravalli;
[b] the 2005 movie Water, written and directed by Deepa Mehta. In
the both films, sacredness Hindu widows are profaned. These
directors are negatively influenced and inspired by Ray’s anti-Hindu
mindset. Even Deepa Mehta went to the extent to make a
documentary on the widows in India: The Forgotten Woman, 2008.
All these urban naxals should be banned. They all are the “fruits of the
Macaulay’s poison tree”—as mentioned by a decadent poet Samar
Sen, another urban naxal!)
Pratidwandi (The Adversary, 1970): Siddhartha’s friend Adinath takes
him to a nurse, who works as a part-time prostitute. Siddhartha
hurriedly leaves the room when the nurse cum prostitute requests
Adinath to open the bra-strap.
Jana Aranya (The Middle Man, 1975): One day, Somnath finds that in
order to land a big order, he must propitiate a client by supplying him
with a prostitute. Despite his hesitation and after trying several
brothels, Somnath, with the help of a more experienced operator,
finds a girl for the purpose. However, she turns out to be his friend
Sukumar’s sister. Embarrassed and at a loss, Somnath offers her
money and requests her to leave, but the girl refuses. Her purpose is
to earn money, not beg, she tells him. Somnath delivers her to his
client and lands the contract but is remorseful at the end.
Shatranj Ke Khilari (English: The Chess Players, 1977): In this
Premchand-story as adopted by Ray, an adulterous relationship is
again foregrounded. And Mirza’s sexually deprived Muslim wife
forced his husband to make love with her. Subsequently, viparita
ratikriya (Cowgirl position) is vividly shown in the film.
Premchand is considered the first Hindi author whose writings
prominently featured “socialist realism”. His writings reflect the
problems of the poor masses. His works depict a so-called rationalistic
outlook, which views religious values as mere tools of the exploiters.
I am again mentioning here another film by
Ray, Sadgati (Salvation/Deliverance, 1981 Hindi television film) based
on Premchand’s story. This film defeats the divine testimony of
Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa as we have found in the Bhagavad Gitā, ( ):
: : |
(O son of Pārtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of sinful
lower birth —women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras
[workers]-can approach the supreme destination.)
Thus, one of the : (persons with sinful lower birth) is the
woman. They should take recourse to polygamous Bhagavān
Kṛṣṇa instead of getting involved in adulterous relationships.
Pikoo (1980): The film showcases a day in the life of a six-year-old kid,
Pikoo, in the backdrop of his mother, Seema, who is having an
extramarital affair with Hitesh, Seema’s boyfriend. As it was
sponsored by the French television channel, France 3, Ray overtly put
an adulterous intercourse scene here. This again proves his alienation
from the svabhūmi’s ideology.
Ghare Baire (1984): It is also based on the anti-national novel of
Rabindranath Thakur, a so-called “internationalist” by heart. We do
not like it when our supreme leaders cite Thakur’s poems or songs,
since it is against the ideology of our sangh. In this Thakur-narrative,
Ray portrays Vimala, wife of Nikhilesh, having an affair with her
husband’s friend, Sandeep. Even here, adultery is being encouraged.
Sandeep is also depicted as kissing Vimala or “Makkhirani” (a nasty
word, Queen of Bees), as he used to call her, in the film.
What have we seen in the Mahabharat (1988-90) produced by B. R.
Chopra and directed by his son, Ravi Chopra? Without any sort of
physical intercourse, reproduction of towel-clad children can be
possible by the divine “rays” (it is not anti-Hindu Satyajit “Ray”)
emitted from the hands of revered gods. However, it is a matter of
regret that Ray’s protagonist alter-ego private detective Feluda was
also reluctant to view the Chopra-version of The Mahabharata as he
did ignore other episodes of the series after viewing only two episodes
(as depicted in one of Ray’s novels).
Saṁyama and brahmacarya are the key terms in the
Hindu yoga tradition. Adulterous relationships are forbidden in
the sanātana dharma. Ṛṣi Bharata prohibited to show sexual acts in
the Sanskrit plays. Vātsyāyana’s Kāmasūtra did not teach us such
violation of the sanātana dharma.
Therefore, we prefer Ramayan (1987-1988) directed by Ramanand
Sagar and Mahabharat (1988-90) of B. R. Chopra, Ravi Chopra rather
than that of
(a) Le Mahabharata (1989) ⤡, by Jean-Claude Carrière and directed
by the English director Peter Brook.
(b) Bharat Ek Khoj
(1988-89; based on the book The Discovery of
India by anti-national Jawaharlal Nehru) directed by Shyam Benegal.
(c) Tamas(1988) ⤡,written by Bhisam Sahni and directed by Govind
Nihalani, is against our hindutva politics.
Cf. Indoctrinating Saffron Violence ⤡
The End of Humans⤡
Searching for Syncretism⤡
(d) Raam ke Naam (In the Name of God) ⤡ (1992), a documentary by
Anand Patwardhan is a truncated documentation of our
great dharmika deed of demolishing the nasty foreigners’ Babri masjid
Why are they (Sagar and Chopra et al.) neglected in this Hindu
regime? All of them helped us to initiate the Ram Mandir movement.
On the other hand, Ray, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Adoor
Gopalakrishnan, Peter Brook, Girish Kasaravalli, Deepa Mehta, Aparna
Sen et al. should be banned. Gajendra Chauhan, B. P. Singh et al. were
the right choices for the directorship of the Films and Television
Institute of India (FTII).
We must follow the ex-US President Donald Trump in this context. He
found “genius” in the Indian film industry and recalled two all-time
favourites, Sholay (1975)and Dilwale Dulhania Le
Jayenge (1995). These two movies are truly representing Indian
We are also appealing to you for dismantling the abandoned temples
(of Konark and Khajuraho) with erotic sculptures and orgies for saving
our dharma (Originally proposed by Mahatma Gandhi when he said
“dismantle them and cover them with mud” in the 1930s, though we,
the followers of the great Godse, are not supporting him except this
cause. These very views of Gandhi were again opposed by the great
anti-national womanizer Rabindranath Thakur). We are happy to note
that the ruling party has already started it. Please see the following
small documentary, shot in the October, 2019 at Benaras:
Strange Destruction of Self: Hindus ⤡
The Sanskrit play Prabodha Chandrodaya
by Krishna Mishra
condemned the cārvākas for performing such sexual acts for crude
pleasure and desires.
We are writing this letter from our family as these types of films have
contaminated the ethos of our Hindu United Family (HUF, we are
getting IT benefits for HUF PAN cards. HUF is also a proof for uniform
civil code though the antagonism between Hindu dayabhaga and
Mitaksara⤡ must be resolved to preserve homogeneity of the Hindus
and for maintaining uniform civil code. Article 370⤡ must be
eradicated, but not the Article 371⤡!). Please ban all these naxalite
sexually explicit movies as a part of your mission: Swachh Bharat