Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dahaad (2023): A Review

Shubhi Agrawal

The Whydunnit Chronicles: Depths of Religious Manipulation

Everyone is roaring for this web series – “Dahaad”. It premiered on May 12, 2023, on Amazon Prime with 8 episodes and immediately captured widespread acclamation from audiences with its enthralling representation of Indian society, highlighting issues such as religious polarisation, caste oppression, patriarchy, and the struggles faced by women. The series follows Senior Inspector Anjali Bhaati, played by Sonakshi Sinha, as she investigates a serial killer who exploits the shield of orthodoxy provided by society to commit heinous crimes. By cleverly incorporating elements from Indian religions and the caste system, “Dahaad” presents a nuanced and thought-provoking depiction of contemporary India.

Religious Polarisation and the Shield of Orthodoxy

“Dahaad” masterfully explores the controversial theme of religious polarisation, shattering perceptions and bringing to light the reality of present-day India. The series deftly adopts and illustrates the reality of how people manipulate religion and religious beliefs in Indian society to further their own agendas of hate and fear. The story presents a clear antagonist from the start, a clever serial killer always one step ahead of the authorities and the investigation. Vijay Verma supposedly exudes reptilian energy in the role of the antagonist. The antagonist exploits the shield of orthodoxy to justify his actions and find refuge in a divided society. This analogy draws attention to the dangers associated with extremism and how easily those with malicious intentions can take advantage of them.

The Whydunnit Aspect and Indian Religions

“Dahaad” is a breath of fresh air and miles apart from its comparative crime investigation series as it focuses on the why instead of the who. “Dahaad” places a strong emphasis on the whydunnit aspect, delving into the motivations and psyche of the antagonist. This unique approach allows the series to intertwine themes from Hinduism and Islam, providing insights into how religious ideologies can be misconstrued and manipulated to justify violence. By exploring the religious convictions of the antagonist, “Dahaad” encourages viewers to question the true essence of their faith and its impact on society as a whole.

Caste Oppression and Multifaceted Characters

“Dahaad” explores the still-existing shameful trenches of oppression persisting in Indian society. The series is a masterpiece that artistically brings the challenges faced by marginalised communities to everyone’s living rooms, busting the bubble of equality that society has created. Through its richly developed characters, “Dahaad” effectively demonstrates how the caste system influences individuals’ identities, beliefs, and behaviours, often perpetuating cycles of oppression and violence. The series challenges viewers to confront the uncomfortable realities of caste-based discrimination and question their own complicity in upholding such systems.

Patriarchy and Women’s Struggles

“Dahaad” as a series seems determined to explore more controversial themes. In addition to religious and caste-based themes, “Dahaad” fearlessly takes on itself to showcase the impediments that women face in Indian society. The series portrays the relentless struggles women endure within patriarchal structures, effectively highlighting the urgent need for gender equality and empowerment. By intimately showcasing the experiences of female characters, “Dahaad” encourages viewers to critically examine societal norms and challenge the prevailing power dynamics that hinder progress. It sparks conversations about the importance of dismantling patriarchal structures and fostering an environment that values and respects women’s rights

Politics, Hatred, and Economic Disparity

The different facets of the Indian community face disparities, and through its narrative, “Dahaad” explores the intricate interplay between politics, hatred, and economic disparities, which is another one of those tough topics that perpetuate social inequalities. The series vividly illustrates how political opportunists exploit societal fault lines to further their own agendas. By juxtaposing privileged and marginalised sections of society, it reveals the complex relationship between power, politics, and social divisions, prompting viewers to critically evaluate the systems that perpetuate injustice and inequality.

Intersectionality and Social Change

“Dahaad” skillfully weaves together the interconnected themes of religious polarisation, emphasising caste oppression, patriarchy, and economic disparity, creating a multifaceted exploration of Indian society. It highlights how these issues are interconnected, emphasising how they mutually reinforce and perpetuate each other. The series serves as a powerful catalyst for social change by challenging viewers to confront their own biases and complicity in these systems of oppression. By fostering empathy and understanding, “Dahaad” encourages individuals to actively participate in dismantling these oppressive structures and building a more inclusive and equitable society.

The Final Word

“Dahaad” is a work of art that artistically weaves together the controversial themes of religious polarisation, caste oppression, patriarchy, and economic disparity and mirrors modern-day India, creating a captivating and thought-provoking portrayal. By weaving the threads of Hinduism, Islam, and the caste system into the tapestry of its narrative, the series forces the viewers to reflect on the complexities of Indian society and question the societal norms that perpetuate injustice. “Dahaad” serves as a heart-rendering reminder of the prominence of dialogue, empathy, and comprehension in building a more inclusive and equitable society. It calls upon viewers to recognise their individual roles in effecting positive change and encourages collective action towards a better future.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

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