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Article: Why the Bhabhi-Devar relationship has changed today

1.9K views
asked 6 days ago in Articles by longhands1 (83,745 points)

Article: Why the Bhabhi-Devar relationship has changed today

Today, we trace the origin of the sensitive relationship between a bhabhi and her devar, and its transformation into a sexual relationship in the current times.

 

I am no fan of Indian soaps, but one show that firmly held my interest was Ajai Sinha’s Aadhe Adhoore on Zindagi. It touched upon the sexual relationship between a bhabhi and her devar (husband’s younger brother). Unapologetic in its attitude, sensitive and gentle in its treatment, even though the series won applause for its brave content, the naysayers were not far behind, and it was taken off air in four months.

Bhabhi and devar relationship in India

The bhabhidevar relationship in India has been fodder for many a spicy tale. It’s ever-changing, intriguing matrix has added to the fascination: from being a mother figure, to playing confidante, to, in some instances, the first female stranger to ever live in the family, making her an object of latent desire for the devar.

In a critically acclaimed feature film of the eighties called Ek Chaadar Maili Si, a bhabhi is forced to marry her devar. Adapted from Rajinder Singh Bedi’s Urdu novella by the same name, the film was set in a small village in Punjab with Rishi Kapoor playing brother-in-law to Hema Malini, married to his older brother. The film takes a dramatic turn when the older brother is murdered, and the young Rishi is asked to marry the decade older Hema, mother to two young children.

Bhabhi-devar relationship over the years

The tradition of chaadar daalna involves a widowed woman literally placing a sheet over a devar’s head, implying marriage, so that the widow and her children would be taken care of. It also helps that her deceased husband’s property is passed on to his younger brother and stays within the family.

The practice of chaadar daalna owes its origin to the custom of niyoga, first mentioned in the Rig Vedas. Back then, women practiced sati, taking their lives by jumping into the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. Niyoga, meaning delegation, allowed the widow to be remarried, usually to the husband’s brother. In the Rig Veda, there is mention of the widow being taken away from the funeral pyre by the brother-in-law, in all probability to marry her.

Another reason it was practiced in the olden days was so that a childless widow could produce an heir for the family – and who better than the husband’s brother to do the needful. It was not seen as adultery.

In The Evolution and the Basic Concept of Niyoga, Karan Kumar the author says that niyoga was more the dharma, or duty, of the brother (or any male relative) to ensure that the family’s legacy is carried forward, rather than as a means of carnal pleasure.

Bhabhi-devar relationships in Indian epics and pop-culture

In the Mahabharata, when queen Satyavati’s son Vichitravirya dies, leaving behind two widows, Ambika and Ambalika, Satyavati asks her other son, the sage Vyasa (brother-in-law to the ladies), to perform niyoga with them. It was this that resulted in the birth of Dhritarashtra and Pandu (who went on to father the Kauravas and the Pandavas respectively).

But in the other older epic Ramayana, prince Lakshman looked upon Sita, his older brother Ram’s wife, as a mother figure. “I do not know her bracelets or earrings; every day I bowed to her feet and so I know her anklets,” he is supposed to have said when Ram identifies pieces of Sita’s jewellery left behind in the forest after her abduction by Ravana. Implying that other than her feet, he never looked at any part of her body, presumably out of respect.

 

Closer, in the 20th century, the great poet, author, artist and Nobel prize-winner Rabindranath Tagore was said to have considered his bhabhi, Kadambari Devi his muse. She inspired many of his masterpieces – from poems to artworks.

In her paper titled ‘(Im) possible Love and Sexual Pleasure in Late-Colonial North India’, published in the journal Modern Asian Studies, Charu Gupta, associate professor of history at Delhi University writes, “More than anything else, in the relationship between devar and bhabhi, there was an element of light-hearted exchange and fun, an exhilarated and unrestrained sense of joy and a certain emotional dependence. This was different from the restrained relationship the woman shared with her husband.”

How sex and adultery entered the bhabhi-devar relationship and made it dirty

Over the next few decades, industrialisation changed the concept of niyoga. As young men across the country started migrating to cities to earn a living, they left behind lonely wives, who ended up turning to the young brother-in-law for solace; the devar, only too eager to replace the husband in their affections. Many an affair followed. Devars are still fantasising about their bhabhis; especially in small town India, where millions of men are in love with the voluptuous, pornographic, animated character Savita bhabhi.

Needless to say that not all bhabhi-devar relationships are about adultery or having a mother-son like bond. Like all relationships, they come in various shades and it is about time, a TV serial doesn’t get pulled off air for showing one of these shades.




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5 Answers

0 like 0 dislike
Very good research!can anyone extend it and take further to write a thesis on this subject?
This is worthy of it!
I am sure most of the devars start taking their bhabhis granted for sexual favours!
But what today's newly married girls think about their devers if they happen to have one? I really would like the opinions of these young girls?
Means do they also see this as  an easy opportunity to have it with relatively safely within the four walls of the home?
answered 6 days ago by prashant69 (7,135 points)
0 like 0 dislike
due to safety ,secracy and fun. its safe and also a source of net practice
answered 6 days ago by delhi1221 (240 points)
0 like 0 dislike
Devar Bhabhi relationship is much publicized in society.One of my friends told me that they are three brothers....exchanging wives among themselves.He is eldest.Eldest brother is enjoying sex with two younger brothers wife.My friend is most sexy  among three brothers.
answered 6 days ago by Motilal (7,740 points)
commented 3 days ago by myselfarun (1,685 points)
This is the first time i am hearing something like that how can they share and exchange them how thier wives even agreed?
0 like 0 dislike
When incest is so rampant and people don't think of it as a sin then Devar-bhabhi relation in comparison is not even blood related. And finally, whether someone likes it or not but we Indians are basically copycat who drools over western culture and look at our own culture with a gaze of contempt and hatred to some extent.

The Britishers did a good thing by abolishing Sati system but they never encouraged Devar bhabhi romance.I mean how does it feel as a woman when you call your brother in Law 'Bhaiyaa' or 'bhaisaab' and then you sleep with him ? same goes for guys who don't feel any shame in deceiving their own brothers and cousins.
answered 5 days ago by gr8gaur (2,280 points)
0 like 0 dislike
LH
In my opinion, Devar- Bhabhi adultery would have been less now, considering most of them are having one or two children and only few have both boys. It would have been less in comparison with 30 years before.

I remember - in 1981 -there was an Indian Tamil language film "Kadal Meengal" starring Kamal Haasan, Sujatha which was loosely based on the Hindi movie Trishul. The movie was a Superhit at the box office. One song sequence is based on Madhini (Bhabhi) and Kolundha (Devar) relation - you may watch it in you tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmz-oGNC81U

There was a large scale protest after the release of the film. It was banned for 2 days after 15 dys and finally the words in the song were changed from Kolundha to Kumara and Madhini to Mayilae.
answered 5 days ago by solliadi (2,645 points)

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