She wants to play a sport but you limit her to singing and dancing. She wants to write about revolutions and shifting economies but you tell her that her world is not beyond the moons and stars. She wants to ask the right questions and reason the norms but you advise her to not look out for logic and rather find peace in adjustment and settlement. These rules of patriarchy are often unsaid but their roots in Indian culture are almost as deep as the stories about chudails and daayans that we have been hearing since time immemorial. Combining these rules and stories to make a feminist film was just the best idea that could come out from the brains of two women behind Netflix‘s new film Bulbbul. Also Read - Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan is Gold in This Lacklustre Story

Producer Anushka Sharma and director Anvita Dutt serve the old wine of folk tales in an old bottle of traditions and cultures but the flavour is new. The same stories no longer talk about superstitions or exorcism but a general idea that women who can’t be ‘tamed’ by men or the sexist society are best deemed witches. The ghost in the film doesn’t fear the idea of visiting temples or attending religious ceremonies. What troubles the chudail of Bulbbul is having another wronged woman who’s either a victim of domestic violence, sexual oppression, or an unchallenged chauvinism. Also Read - Paatal Lok: Reality Check For Patriarchy And Gender Abuse in Our Society

At one point, the story equals her with ‘devi‘ in a scene where a little girl tells all that she was saved by ‘kaali maa‘ when a middle-aged man tried to abuse her sexually. That’s probably the smartest thing that Bulbbul does. It puts the two famous portrayals of women considered most powerful in our culture – devi and daayan – on the same pedestal, to prove that there exist no chudails or daayans but only persecuted devis in the world. It shows that a woman fighting the patriarchal vendetta for herself is dangerous but a woman who’s fighting the same for other women as well is far more dangerous. To label such women as chudails is the only thing left with vile societies that thrive on discrimination, feed witch persecution, and create the chaos of gender-based stereotypes. More power to these chudails then! Also Read - Exclusive: Rahul Bose on Misogyny in Movies, Marital Rape, Domestic Abuse And His Fight For a More Gender-Inclusive World