Reaction for Movie "Water"

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Susan McClung
Hyosoon kwak

A Movie about Widowed Children in India

I recently watched a shocking movie in class about an eight-year-old widow that never got to meet her husband, and she is deposited in an institution for widows called a widow’s ashram to spend the rest of her life. According to Indian tradition, these widows must remain in seclusion, apart from the rest of the world, until the end of their lives and are forbidden of ever re-marrying. An impressive story is about the sad fate of widows in India during the past century, before Ghadi’s ideas started changing India’s traditions.

First of all, water is also the story of a people trapped in a hidebound culture that values tradition above basic rights and dignity for women. I was unaware of this issue, but this movie harshly questions a religion that imposed such a level of degradation upon women. The movie emotionally deals with women’s rights, to this day, are still influenced by the ‘traditional’ marriage. Following Hindu tradition during that period, the marriage of young girls to older men was commonplace in certain parts of India. When a man from an orthodox Hindu family died, his young widow would be forced to spend the rest of her life in a widow’s ashram in order to make amends for the sins from her previous life which supposedly caused her husband’s death. Even though a law which widows can remarriage was passed, many people tried to ignore the true in public. Tradition imposes inhumane rules and only a strong will for freedom can break this impulse to preserve conservative and incomprehensible customs.

In addition, widows have a very low social status in the Hindu system and their sight considered an ill-omen. Often blamed unfairly for their husbands’ deaths and exploited in every way by both relatives and outsiders, widows are expected to devote their lives to God and lead a life of renunciation. Sometime family members abandon widows in holy cities...
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