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The Goddess as Role ModelSita and Radha in Scripture and on Screen$
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Heidi R. M. Pauwels

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369908.001.0001

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 Arranging a Love Marriage

 Arranging a Love Marriage

Sītā's “Self‐Choice” and Rukmiṇī's Elopement

(p.95) 2 Arranging a Love Marriage
The Goddess as Role Model

Heidi R. M. Pauwels (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 traces how divine marriages are arranged in classical, medieval and televised versions of the stories, and how such scenarios are echoed in popular movies. Sītā's Svayamvara is contrasted with Krishna's first consort, Rukmini's elopement. Notwithstanding the name, Sītā's Svayamvara is not really a self‐choice marriage in any of the sources. The television version is most emphatic in stressing that it is not personal feelings but rather considerations of family that should prevail in arranging a marriage. The movies nearly unequivocally follow suit. Rukmini's elopement scenario seems viable to some extent in the classical version, though it comes at a substantial cost for the woman who has to break all bonds with her parental kin. The medieval version downplays that cost. The televised version does not dwell on this either, and it pays lip service to the priority of women's choice in arranging the marriage, but gives her little voice. By contrast, the films of the nineties are emphatic in denying the validity of elopement. Whatever the divine models may say, in films parental authority keeps love in check. Movies discussed are Hum aapke hain koun..!, Maine Pyar kiya, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dulhan hum le jayenge, Pardes, and Ram teri Ganga maili.

Keywords:   Arranged marriage, Svayamvara, Rukmini, Elopement, Hum aapke hain koun, Maine Pyar kiya, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Pardes, Ram teri Ganga maili, Dulhan hum le jayenge

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