Saturday, July 13, 2019


Aukaat (Hindi / Urdu)
Worth : اوقات - قدر : (noun) the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful.

Aukaat is a word you hear quite often in North India. A dictionary might tell you that the word simply means 'worth', but it is much more than that. It encompasses 'standing', 'repute', 'value' and is most often used to remind people of where they stand in the social hierarchy. Now add the caste dimension to social hierarchy and you begin to understand how this word is used to insult, intimidate, bully and to 'put people in their place'.

The recently released film "Article 15" is all about Aukaat.

A young idealistic police officer is posted to a remote district of Uttar Pradesh, and on his very first day confronts the sight of two teenaged girls dangling from a gnarled old tree. His police station is staffed by mostly upper caste Hindu's who claim that this is a case of 'honour killing' - rebellious lower-caste girls killed by their own families.

Gradually the real story emerges. The girls had been working at a tannery for a daily wage of INR 24. Since this hardly amounts to anything they had asked for a raise of INR 3. The upper caste factory owner takes this as impertinence and decides to show them their aukaat. To make an example of them so that their community never ever dares to raise their voice again. The girls are abducted, raped for three days by upper caste men, and then hanged from a tree on a village crossing.


Etymology - 
With usage examples -

Wiki on the movie Article 15 -

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