The #MeToo movement has sure gained traction in India with several women and men narrating their harrowing experiences of sexual harassment. Several popular names have come in the forefront in the face of sexual harassment. The latest to join the bandwagon is popular Marathi film director Nagraj Manjule. He is popularly known for his debut Marathi film 'Sairat', which was a super hit in 2016.
In an interview with a web portal, Nagraj Manule's former wife, Sunita Manjule narrated her story of an abusive marriage .Nagraj Manjule got married in the year 1997 to Sunita Manjule. Sunita was 18-19 years old, while Nagraj was in class 12th.Sunita said that since Nagraj was the eldest brother she in turn became the eldest daughter-in-law and had to take care of the entire family.Day in and day out she used to be busy with the household work.
On the other hand, Nagraj was busy in his studies. While Sunita took care of his parents in his village, he lived in the city. Sunita said that her husband was so engrossed in his studies and dreams of becoming a filmmaker that he hardly had time for her. She said that it was her who was toiling 24 X 7 for 365 days so that his family can be fed and taken care of. Sunita said that he had promised to take her out of the village after he becomes a filmmaker.
However, she said that the dreams he showed her came crashing as soon as his filmmaking career started to bloom. She said that his short film, 'Pistulya', was highly praised by everyone and it was chosen for the National Awards. However, she recalled that the entire family chose to go to Delhi without her and even locked her inside the house, while they were away.
She further said that the husband she knew vanished into the filmmaker. After the National award, their marriage started falling apart, with her husband not acknowledging her presence. Sunita suspected that her husband was seeing someone else or was unhappy with her. She said that there came point when she begged him to let her stay in his family and he could do whatever he wanted.
However, later on Sunita said that her family came to take her back. She said that she was taken to the Manjule family as the daughter-in-law, but in practice, she was their housemaid.
A divorce case was filed in 2014 and she sad she was made to sign a paper which she could barely understands and a demand draft of Rs 7 lakhs was given as the settlement sum. Later, she came to know that she would have no right on his property, alimony or his life.
Despite being married for 15 years, she said that she regrets not having a child of her own. She said that every time she would ask him about having a child, he would scold her that it would not be possible because he cannot afford to get bogged down by familial ties, when he has filmy dreams to chase.
And for this reason, Sunita said that she was made to undergo 2-3 abortions, and whenever she would raise her voice for keeping the child, she said that he would thrash her with his bare hands, leather belt and sometimes, a log of wood.
Currently, Sunita is living with her parents and siblings who are married. She works as a maid for a living, unaware of what the future has in store for her.
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