Sakharam Binder – A Critical Review

Sakharam Binder is a Marathi drama. If this is a unpirated link, you can watch it here.

This is the link for Hindi version:

If possible, please watch the drama end to end. It’s English version also might be available. If possible, read a  couple of reviews. Here is one Review.

There are is a reason why I am writing this review of my own. When I search “Marathi Drama” on the Youtube, this drama which is watched maximum number of times turns out to be the first result. And it shouldn’t have. Yes, that is why I am reviewing it.

Some authors try to bring out the dark shades of human mind to fore and that is their forte. There is nothing wrong in that. But the number of people who are interested in the pervert side of mind, at least openly or more than in the other shades, should be less. There are plenty of Marathi Dramas and great ones too. Katyar Kaljaat Ghusali, the second ranker, is such a classic piece of work. Then why is this drama so famous, so acclaimed? The opponents (not critiques) will say that it is all about successful advertising. Some would say, it is all about creating a controversy and then reaping money out of it. But I am taking whatever the makers of this drama want to say on face value. I don’t want to allege something they won’t accept. I am not among those who fought to ban this drama to protect Indian culture or the caste of men or marriage system or the concept of God or anything like that. My simple contention is that this drama should be liked by a very few people – who are consumers of exploring the dark side of human mind, etc. It unnerves me that MORE people have liked it. And my opposition is only to that effect.

Why would have people watched it? Is it because the drama is very bold? But none of the thoughts in the drama are novel. No human perversion shown in the drama is new!!! This kind of perversion is all pervasive in many art forms as a subject matter. Generally in an art form, there is at least one hero. Here, in this drama, everybody without exception is pervert. May be, that could be the novel angle. But still, it didn’t impress me. The drama reveals perversions of each character one by one. It tends give an impression that the first woman on the screen/stage is religious, pious, virtuous, poor, ethical, hardworking, victimized in prior life as well as from her entry on the stage, etc. But she turns out to be the most pervert, to the shock of audience as well as that of Sakharam binder who is shown father of arrogant, oppressive, suppressive, torturous, lecherous, inhuman god (in the sense the drama shows that he is the only person who can earn on the planet Earth where people have have only two options – tolerate this god Sakharam or die.)

Note that I am not doing art side criticism of this drama. I am completely incompetent for that. I have no issues in agreeing that this drama is a great piece of art so far acting, lights, music, etc is concerned. However, a drama is not all about art. It is about an objective of the makers of it. Looking at the original release time, it doesn’t appear that objective was entirely money making. There was a much bigger objective in earnest. Let me guess what it could be. It could be to give this “artistic shock” in the end to the audience – just like the masseur twists a particular muscle which pains but is considered to be a great massage. I have no issues with this either. The other objective could be to give a message to the society. And this is where I feel there is a deficiency in the drama. The drama should precede or end with a disclaimer that this drama is not representative of any society. Because the drama doesn’t objectively state exactly what message it wants to send. So what is the message that reaches the audience?

The message that reaches an individual is what he wants to draw. And  what inference one draws first of all? The inference is, well, that the drama is depiction of social truth.  Tauba. Tauba. This drama has following people in it – Sakharam, a pious keep, a bold keep, a muslim friend, the bold keep’s (previous) husband. All of them are 100% pervert on overall basis. It doesn’t stop there. None of them thinks that there is anything wrong with himself or herself. None has any remorse of any kind throughout the drama.  Everyone has many criminal tendencies. There is no limit to which the criminal tendency can reach for each of them.

The question is – is the real society like this? Of course not!!! There is dark side to every MIND but when it comes to actual living, civilization ( or naturality) plays its forces.  The makers or watchers of this drama have failed to understand that the dark of of the MIND is not equal the dark side of the REALITY. People behave much better than what worst they can think about. Can a representation of the society of the worsts send a useful message? Giving complete benefit of doubt to the makers, let me explore what are the takeaways for me in this drama. Does the drama talk anything of human nature, attitude of men or women, man-woman relationship or anything like that at universal level? Does the drama talk of any Indian value? I don’t think so.

If the makers imply that they have depicted anything belonging to the real society, they have fooled themselves. Yes, Vijay Tendulkar has befooled himself if he thinks this is the Indian society. But the default audience of this drama is likely to return home thinking that the drama is all about reality of the society. Various comments on the Youtube link as well as discussions in the social forums have revealed to me that audience takes this as real social life which Vijay Tendulkar has intelligently found out and presented. For most, this is not a artistic presentation or the twitch by the masseuse but an excursion in the safari of Mr. Tendulkar in the dark alleys of internally pervert but visibly decent society. Mr. tendulkar is basically lauded for that. And that is a big cheating with the society and media. People may see a Sakharam in every Indian chauvinistic male, people may see a pervert pious keep in every religious woman, people may see a unfaithful and liar keep in every bold Indian wife, people may see a betrayer in every friend like that Muslim character.

Excessive dose of artistic perversion to masses is not desirable. It has two effects:

  1. When you are exposed to excessive badness as an observer, you rate your own goodness on a higher plane than it deserves. You may just forget that you have things to improve about. You may forget that there is scope to improve your moral character. Every coming day we complain of falling human values. That is because if an ordinary person is told that his values are far superior than the wicked society, the only side he would look forward to is downwards. That has happened to the current society by the grace of the great intelligent artists.
  2. When you are exposed to excessive badness, you tend to be suspicious about the character of the others. Because according to you excessive badness means hidden wickedness and false exhibition of goodness by the others to you. So you start doubting. You think that a there could be a lot of bad hidden agenda of a person. So your love for him doesn’t show up voluntarily but it takes pauses. Suppose you watch a movie in which wife cheats on the husband and keeps relations with his very close friend. For a fleeting moment you think in a particular direction about YOUR OWN LIFE (as the context applies, depending upon age, maturity, closeness, etc).

I become sad when people start calling this reality. There were so many people who stood for the Indian culture, who stood for Indian males, who stood for Indian value system, who stood for Indian marriage system and opposed this drama but no one stood for a default decent member of Indian society. I didn’t read even one vehement comment that the drama was classic but the real world is very beautiful.

I think the makers should dissociate this piece of art from social reality through a disclaimer. If the drama was less popular (or even most popular but only as an art), it was not an issue. But it is a hallmark of Marathi and Hindi drama industry and the viewers are made to digest a falsity as a reality of the society under the pretence of tour of unknown corners real life with intelligent guides.

Take it from me, there is more probability of parallel evolution of life on the Moon in a decade than of five perverts of Tendulkar coming together on the planet Earth.