Rasode Mein Kaun Tha Rap Shows How The Saas-Bahu Rivalry Is A Trend Even Today

Kokilaben Rashi, Rasode Mein Kaun Tha rap

‘Rasode Mein Kaun Tha?’ the recent rap based on a scene of a popular daily soap Saath Nibhana Saathiya by Yashraj Mukhate has gone viral on social media. As soon as you scroll down your social media feeds, memes on Rasode mein kaun tha, Kokilaben and Rashi just pop up back to back. Keeping aside the music and rap beats that keeps many people hooked to it, it cannot be ignored that the rap video is just another representation of saas-bahu domestic rivalry that daily soaps have been serving us always. What is it that makes the video hilarious? Is it the empty cooker on the gas or the alleged foolishness of Rashi because it is assumed that all the daughters-in-law should be perfect at the household chores? Doesn’t the video normalise the dominance of Kokilaben on the daughters-in-law by making it sound hilarious? Why even today are many of us entertained by the saas-bahu conflicts on TV, the internet or in the society?

The daily soap Saath Nibhana Saathiya was aired in 2010 on Star Plus. Almost a decade has passed, but even today the conflict between Kokilaben and her two daughters-in-law is keeping us entertained. The glaring, kohl-rimmed eyes of Kokilaben and the aggressive tone in which she scolds the timid Gopi and Rashi has become a trend today. But why aren’t we able to see the darker side of the hilarious rap that is reinforcing the dominance of mothers-in-law over their bahus and shaming of the bahu who is not perfect in the household works. The video which is attracting so many views and shares is becoming a medium of perpetuating patriarchy that uses saas-bahu conflicts to oppress women and restrict them in the domesticity, isn’t it?

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It is just not funny to see Gopi at the verge of crying as she is terrified by the anger of her mother-in-law. She has internalised that the mothers-in-law have the full right to dominate and dictate a bahu’s life. It is her responsibility to be perfect at the housework and if she fails, she has to be guilty and bear the brunt of her mother in-law‘s anger. While on the other hand, Rashi ben, who doesn’t wear a ghoonghat or know the skills that will make her an obedient bahu, is the evil or bad woman. And the scoldings of mothers-in-law are important to bring her on the right path.

This plot hooked the viewers a decade ago. But even today, the daily soaps continue to conform to the same idea and the large viewership is acting as an encouragement. The saas-bahu conflict which is otherwise a very dark, regressive and patriarchal idea, becomes interesting in the soaps by added dramatic effects, background music, glamour and sometimes comic tones also. But does the real problem of mothers-in-law exercising control on women and shaming those who are progressive change?

Something similar is happening with the Rasode Mein Kaun Tha video also. With the rap, music and effects, certainly, the video sounds hilarious. But the eerie scene and its regressive idea that it is making fun of is only being re-emphasised, reminding us that even though decades have passed, revolutionary ideas are being preached through web series and movies, saas-bahu rivalry continues to be the most trending topic. And if something is trending, then it is certainly a part of our reality too.

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We still watch these saas-bahu conflicts because we all have been a part of it directly or indirectly. It is a reminder that despite all the dialogues and fights for equality and empowerment, patriarchy manages to enforce itself, either as grim reality or a funny episode.

The only way out is to stop propagating these ideas as a subject of drama and comedy. To some extent, adding dramatic and comic tone does question and defy the seriousness of the idea. But, is that enough? We need to move towards eliminating the saas-bahu conflict and oppression from roots. And that is possible only when we realise how problematic it is and, rather than laughing it away, we need to question each time we come across such ideas, in viral videos, TVs or in the society. Rather than asking Rasode Mein Kaun Tha we need to question why should that become a reason of conflict between Rashi and Kokilaben.

Picture Credit: Yashraj Mukhate Instagram

Also Read: Rasode Mein Kaun Tha: How A Rap Turned Kokilaben And Her Bahus Into Internet Sensations