Amazon Prime’s web series Rasbhari directed by Nikhil Bhat premiered last week. The series has Swara Bhasker as its lead protagonist, who through the trope of a hot teacher, explores our prurient society and its need to suppress the sexuality of women.
English teacher Shanu (Swara) comes to live in Meerut with her husband and overnight becomes the fantasy of her students and neighbours. The plot mainly revolves around how young men of the town, lead by teenage student Nand Kishore (Ayushmaan Saxena), cannot stop dreaming about her, and neither can their fathers. Comfortable with her beauty and sexuality, she is branded a ‘husband snatcher’ by the women of the town while the men cannot stop thinking about her.
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While social media has been slamming Bhasker over her act for maligning a noble profession like teaching, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Prasoon Joshi, pointed out a scene in the web series calling it “irresponsible content.” He wrote,
Saddened by Webseries #Rasbhari’s irresponsible content portraying a little girl child dancing provocatively in front of men drinking. Creators and audience need to seriously rethink Freedom of expression or freedom of exploitation? Let’s spare children in the desperate need for entertainment.
Expectedly, Swara took to Twitter to explain the purpose of the scene to the CBFC Chief and pointing out that maybe he misunderstood it. Quoting in Hindi, Swara replied,
Respected sir, maybe you are misunderstanding the scene. The way you are describing the scene, it is just the opposite. The child is dancing at her own will. Her father feels embarrassed after seeing this. The dance is not provocative. She is simply dancing and has no idea about how society will sexualise her too. This is what the scene shows. #Rashbhari.
In a recent interview to Akash Banerjee, The Desh Bhakt fame, Swara also justifies how a minor boy fantasising a female adult teacher is sexual liberation of women, however, when genders are reversed, the same can be a problem. In both scenarios, she holds the boy/man guilty since according to her they are in position of power.
So effectively, Swara implies an adult woman can never be wrong and despite her ill intentions, a minor boy must be apprehended.
— Men’s Day Out (@MensDayOutIndia) July 15, 2020
Many netizens feel it is high time that web series content should be regulated by the censor board, while some who have seen Rasbhari are also calling it mere “soft porn”. Here are some of the comments on twitter:
To destroy a Generation, shortest route is defaming Teachers
Teaching is a noble profession#Rashbhari is an insult to every teacher& the entire education system. I teach in a college, it’s embarrassing
High time Govt starts controlling webseries.#BoycottRasbhari #BoycottSwara https://t.co/9OpFuPbD8J
— AAdhira ? (@Aadhiraspeaks) June 26, 2020
Sorry for my opinion, but I have to say this.
In the name of freedom of expression ,boldness, versatility whatever, promoting cheap /vulgarity is not acceptable.
Showing relationship between a Teacher &student in such a bad way -A big NO ?#Rashbhari is worsttttt series.
— SirishaRao (@SirishaRao17) June 26, 2020
— Sminu Suresh (@SminuSuresh) June 26, 2020
Series like #Rashbhari are spoiling the minds of the young generation of our country.
Gurus are Parabrahma and they should be respected but people like #SwaraBhaskar will never ever understand Indian Culture
— Dwaipayan Ghosh (@Dghosh171180) June 27, 2020
Bollywood is Fake people.
In Twitter @ReallySwara concerned about Teenagers problem.
Same #SwaraBhaskar teaching them regarding orgasms.
— ???? (@HinduLiveMatter) June 27, 2020
Watched #Rashbhari accidentally for half n hour. I think Amazon has acquired its streaming rights for free. C grade web series . TERRIBLE to say the least.
— Sumit kadel (@SumitkadeI) June 27, 2020
“Saddened by web series”#Rashbhari
Seriously Immature and irresponsible content,
Teacher is not only a job it an responsibility of future generations in this series ur telling students to see hotness of a teacher it will have a negative impact on children’s #disappointed https://t.co/EGsEwbHep8
— alpana sharma (@to_alpana) June 27, 2020
Lacking words to describe that the film industry has now totally lost sense on producing good contents #Rashbhari which is streaming on #AmazonPrime. This series have shown the amount of dirtness which is all enough to influence the youth in wrong direction. #SwaraBhasker pic.twitter.com/zdtrPR5NhI
— Srija (@srijeeta_kundu) June 27, 2020
— That Crazy Dude (@thatcrazydude07) June 27, 2020
Ram Ram ji ? Orgy was only left out from introducing on Indian Silver Screen which this vermin who calls a 4 year old child #Chu…. just fulfilled. Afterall it’s time of great #Joblessness that u end up doing this kinda shit ? #PayalRohatgi pic.twitter.com/kwiuZxmRNf
— PAYAL ROHATGI & Team- Bhagwan Ram Bhakts (@Payal_Rohatgi) June 28, 2020
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