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Is 2021 the new dystopian society?

Is 2021 the new dystopian society?

Dystopia is imagining a society which is unfortunate and horrifying. A world where everything is imperfect and everything goes terribly wrong. A dystopian society is something where life passed under virtual eye of the state. Dystopian literature is characterized by brutalize negative impact of government, ecological disaster happening in decline of society. It is inherently socio-political.

India�s first dystopian series, Leila, set in the 2040s which is based in a fictional country, when a powerful man, Joshi rules the entire country named as Aryavarta where country is divided into various religion, caste and minorities. Aryavarta, in ancient Indian myths mentioned as, the place where Indo-Aryans lived. It predominantly uses folklore to achieve the country in future becomes a �Hindu Rashtra�.

Plot Of The Series

Leila is a story of a mother who is searching for her missing daughter. Shalini as Huma Qureshi has married her college boyfriend Rizwan as Rahul Khanna and they have a daughter together named as Leila. The family lives in danger, as inter-faith marriages are disapproved upon by the committee. The conflict for water is one of them who was accused for illicit storage of water, for marrying a Muslim and raising a Mishrit (Impure blood) child. A Secular liberal Elite couple along the daughter Leila was attacked by Some-Saffron gangsters who assassinate Shalini�s husband. Shalini was arrested and sent to Reprimand�s House. She anyhow explores the hideous world with a start, searching for her daughter.

In the starting two episodes, Shalini struggles to make the honest belief, however it is shown that she endures frequently in silence with the sporadic emotional lability. Flashbacks in between the distressed episodes, gives us a sense of how far she has come from being rich, arrogant and unaware to the everyday opprobrium suffered by her own housemaid. The series escalate at pitch in the third episode, where the character Shalini is shown walking a tightrope, stabilize her regret with boldness to track and seek out her daughter.

Leila is set in fictional society, Aryavarta, where purity is a constitution and the aphorism is peace from separation of syncretic religion. Cities are divided into regions with skyscraper walls. Each region has one society and they are free to follow their religion. Slum dwellers are beyond the ramparts where there is dirty water and unhygienic circumstances. Aryavarta's ultimate citizen is an individual who can sacrifice everything for the welfare of society. A nation where there is lot of grief, severe and totalitarian behavioral rules and fascination with morality and society.

The nation is divided into regions based on castes like dwikarmi, panchkarmi are a terrifying souvenir of how religious belief might actually alienate us in the dreadful way. In Leila's modern world even essential things like water and air shall be relished by particular castes. A vendor suppressing Mahatma Gandhi's picture in the presence of a government agent. The country evolved modern technologies though. Children in school reciting 'Aryavarta is my mother' and hybrid children being abducted from their family. It allows us the reflection that the difficulties of the modern life may turn into trouble if you don�t tackle well (Uniyal, 2019).

Dialogue Analysis

They do talk about doosh � a group of individuals living wretchedly and poverty, rejected by the state, who has commenced mutiny but doesn�t submerged behind the mechanics of Aryavarta itself. This merely wouldn�t have been possible in a society regulated by sectorial borders and repeaters� vigil, hawk-like presence. The series, disrupt certain critical rules of the novel instead of easy melodramatic range.

Further there are dialogues that influence people with forced and disgust reality. Shudhi pariksha kyun? Kyunki pariksha humein shudh karti hai (Why is there a purification exam? Because the exam purifies us (Thakur, 2019). Leila has also shown children are praising Aryavarta. They are being brainwashed. Brainwashing children are used to gain votes in the future together in real life. In this series, children are taught to not ask any questions and oblige their government in any situations. They are not supposed to ask any questions, they only do those things what their chief say. It also mentions that whoever reads banned books on politics and government and asks questions to them can be imprisoned or lynched by the government.

Just like Safoora Zargar, a student activist from Jamia Millia Islamia University who was arrested for the alleged involvement in CAA protests. She was charged in non-bailable offence. In India, students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, who raised their voice against the government, they are considered as anti-nationals.
Project Bali Operation is scripted in Leila. Similarly, Beti Uthao Operation was scripted by Neha Dixit, where Sangh Parivar trafficked tribal 31 girls from Assam to Gujarat to launch them into Hindu religion (Das, 2019).

The series designed elements into caste and religion. Religious and spiritual fundamentalists have overtaken. There is constant state control, global warming and scarcity of water, the class separation has taken on dimensions, and women are degenerated and compelled to work, all for ambitious goal and to prove their purity and dedication to the nation. It is a story of a woman searching for her lost daughter. The series address excessive themes � surveillance, hyper-organization, social hierarchies, totalitarianism, contamination, a water supply shortage without examining any one thought with depth.

Here the series is often impelled by appropriate literary work, indicate Shalini seemly allies, at various points in her search, just to take the edges off for a totalitarian government. When she got into some trouble, she drops something- either fishbowl or a tea to divert her alienation, securing critical information (Thakur, 2019).

Psychological Perspective

Shalini�s character experiences psychological fragmentation and fading carnality. She gets weak and gloomy as the series progresses. It is the journey of a women, seeking for her daughter Leila, but also in seeking of identity. That said, the series has emphasized the distressed voice of secular psyche. Shalini�s psychological state is mostly represented by unnatural talks with her dead husband (Rizwan). This series shows orthodoxy and dictatorship.

Shalini was forced into the Aryavarta sect system. She was forced to take pills that may probably affect her mental state, whereas she�s forced to sustain religious inculcation (Arora, 2019). The town, which looks like a Delhi, also appeared as pollution abatement forcing the ordinary people to wear mask that are more in these areas which contains toxic substances.

Economic Methodology

The proselytize of children as shown in one episode, the humiliating treatment across social and economic category, or demonstrate the dynamics of power that strikes profound at inherent discrimination in India (Arora, 2019). The modern world highlights gated communities, staggering inequality, roads with grime, scarcity of water, air-pollution, and tons of trash dumps burst into flames frequently. In the whole world on the brim of environmental disaster - a main theme that might unfortunately be drained out by the show�s political implications.

It depicts in the series that how upper-class rich people lives in the city of advancement and lower-class people lives in the slums beyond the walls. This segregation can be seen in various cities like Mumbai where segregation can be seen between slums and posh-societies which co-exists side by side.

In the series Leila, Joshi gives the enterprise of Skydome to Dixit to manage with air pollution. Dixit was an engineer who came to Aryavarta from America for his country. In India, RBI governors like Arvind Subramanyam, Raghuram Rajan quit their occupation in protest with the government policies.

The Water Shortage Shown In Series

The people of Aryavarta are isolated and sheltered based on socio-economic state, religion, caste and, most importantly, accessibility to water. The Privileged have access to clean, drinkable water from ATM-like machines. However, the ones sheltered to the slums have to quench their thirst with a thick, blackish water that resembles tar. Even the irregular rainfall rarely provides any relief. People run to find safe shelter to rescue themselves from the acidic rainwater.

India is currently facing the biggest crisis in its history. More than 50% of the population has no access to safe drinking water and about 200,000 people die every year for lack of access to safe water. Over 75% of households do not have clean drinking water, whereas 40% of the population will have no access to drinking water by 2030 (Hota, 2020).

The Degradation Of Women (Oppressed Gender)

While Leila is absolutely political, the most dominant theme in it is capturing the humiliation of women. After being kidnapped from her own home, Shalini is imprisoned in a Reprimand�s house for secular women. The female prisoners whose babies are taken away or aborted, are required to redeem for their sins � getting married to someone outside of their caste or religion.

In one scene, these women are forced to roll over half-eaten meal, and were demanded to wipe the floors. While another scene represents, woman is punished to be married to a dog. These disturbances are not a product of creative imagination. The inhumane ritual of Dalits rolling over Brahmin�s leftover food was just recently prohibited. Apparently, it increases the rate of violence against women and girl�s despite of recent and former government�s additional charge on advertising its successed imaginary norms.

This type of casteist rituals exists in real life too. In Karnataka, lower class people roll over Brahmin�s leftover food. Devotees believe that this practice can cure and protect them from skin disease. And also, girls in India are made to marry a dog. Just like, an 18-year-old girl was married off to a stray dog in order to ward off evil. Apparently, in Jharkhand a community married off a teenager name Mangli Munda to a dog, since she was believed to bring bad luck to the community (Prakashan, 2014).

Apocalpse On Social World Happening In Covid-19

It took more than a year to see the current situation of barbarity, disaster, disease awaiting, lack of authorities. The rising insanity in people. 2020 has been a tough year, as a consequence of obnoxious of some new dilemma. We have been choked ourselves back and forth between buoyancy and pain. We have been quarantined for over a month, watching the world in television. We have been trying to control our fear. Last year commence with devastating fires in Australia. Then the pandemic began. Later the dilemma begins.

Moreover, the economy overlapped. At that time, the west coast of the United States was on fire, cloud of smoke into the ocean while some of the strongest tornadoes in history were occurred. Technologies are unequally distributed. People with money can get away into virtual paradises now. They can stay online and have provisions delivered right to their doorstep, without interacting with another person. Technology isn�t used to advance civilization. It is used to break people�s isolation and destroy their freedoms, in swapping for wild entertainment. With the rising use of technologies, the necessity for a human labor force decreases, abandoning them with a large amount of depression.

The Dystopian Protagonist

The pandemic forced us to face the fact, the �natural� world was abnormal, somewhat dystopias have been telling us from the very beginning.

In today�s dystopian fiction consider increasing anxiety about the discrimination, global warming, power of the state and global pandemics. Usually, dystopian works as rebellion, tyranny, revolution, warfare, over-population, and disasters. It is also serving as warnings about the current situation of a government, or of those in power. In dystopic writings, authors point out the misbehaviors in a society. Citizens lived in dehumanized state. They often feel trapped and are struggling to escape. Louis Lowry�s The Giver stated that, A society has eliminated pain in return for Sameness, but in so doing has also eliminated emotion, color and personal individuality.

The symbolism in the Leila is sufficient to conclude it's significantly a Hindu Rashtra. The geographical area of the country is not revealed, but it's definitely not as big as India of today. Water is scarce and too tall to climb the walls segregate the rich and the poor. Those living in slums are called Doosh reasonable to say that they are the lower caste. The rich and the greedy are upper caste Hindus. The series depicts the harm done on secular minds. You can�t deny the truth it shows in the series, the truth of our country which included our future and our present.

Leila is not Anti-Hindu. Hinduism teaches us benevolence, forgiveness and togetherness. It is the toxic Hindutva that spreads antagonism and Leila has also flagged that point. Segregation, rivalry, brutality are the real opponents of any nation. Leila is all about emphasizing the present evilness of our society which may conduct a dark future.

The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. - Chernobyl

  • Arora, A. (2019, June). Leila Review: Netflix�s Indian Series Does What Dystopian Fiction Should. Retrieved from
  • Das, T. (2019, August). Leila: A �possible� dystopia. Retrieved from
  • Hota, M. R. (2020, September). India�s water crisis: Is there a solution? Retrieved from
  • Prakashan, P. (2014, September). 18-year-old girl marries a stray dog in Jharkhand! (Watch marriage ceremony). Retrieved from,a%20prospective%20groom%20for%20Mangli.
  • Thakur, T. (2019, June). Netflix's 'Leila' Is a Dystopian Drama About Disappearances and Regret. Retrieved from
  • Uniyal, P. (2019, June). Leila review: Netflix dystopian drama is gritty, powerful and brave. Retrieved from

Award Winning Article Is Written By:
  1. Ms.Dalima Poojari from National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India and
  2. Krupa Nisha from National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AP111517888752-25-0421

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