I don’t remember the last time I was quite so gobsmacked after watching a trailer.
The trailer for Sindoor/Pehredaar Piya Ki begins with Diya, an 18-year-old woman, dressing up in a palace. She packs a gun into her purse and then calls out to her husband, Ratan Singh, whom Sony describes as “charming”.
Except Ratan Singh is nine years old.
She bends down and applies a teekha on his forehead, he runs away and returns with a stool and applies a teekha on her forehead, and then tells her she looks perfect, causing her to get romantically teary-eyed. A voice-over announces, “Sony lekar aa raha hain ek anokhi kahaani”. But why? Why is Sony romanticising the marriage of a nine-year-old boy to an 18-year-old woman, and bringing this romantic tale to anyone? Why would anyone in their right mind want to follow the video’s caption and “Come step into a world of unparalleled romance in an aristocratic setup when a charming 9 year old boy, Afaan aka Ratan Singh, of a royal household gets married to a beautiful and lively 18 year old girl, Tejaswi aka Diya”?
They’ve also released a similarly alarming Karwachauth promo that features more bending to see eye-to-eye.
The promo’s disclaimer says “This show doesn’t endorse child marriage in any way”, but displaying the marriage of a nine-year-old to an 18-year-old accompanied by warm, romantic music and happy smiles all around does feel like a bit of an endorsement, no?