Women-based Indian TV serials


Nuzhat Rifa Ehsan

Clad in extravagant sarees and sported in heavy make-up and crafty jewelries, women-based Indian serials are being cast in a more than conventional way. They are being cast as an innocent, emotional housewife who have to solve several problems of the family, then there is a vamp who creates conflict in the family. These types of roles are being created and it is also creating hullabaloo in the society as well. Till then, Hindi soaps became a common phenomenon for Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people.

Women are hatching conspiracy against another woman while the male members are being overshadowed. They project women as the source of good and evil. Neither it empowered nor did it support women’s mentality.

Recently, in Kolkata where they used to produce illustrious literature which was a source of knowledge, inspiration and motivation has mimicked the Hindi serials. These hyper scenes and overdramatic conflicts are manifesting in the society and creating division among the family members. This is a huge detriment to India herself and the rest of South Asia. People from outside India would think that Indians never practice virtues at home rather conspiracy, separation and suspicion reign supreme.

In Indian serials, there are some follies and loopholes which the audience had been bemused for over decades. From the very beginning of the drama serials, series after series, their characters remain almost steady which ultimately become unenjoyable for the audience. Thus the eternal appeal of a good literature is naturally reduced and frustrated. The director willingly makes the story longer diminishing its literary momentum; such as one character remains alive not only years after years but generation after generation.

In Indian soaps, a character can be revived or reappeared many times as the playwright desires. Sometimes the main character of the drama serial suddenly disappeared and in next phase he or she would be replaced by a new face or a person. Thus, the sequence of the drama serial is seriously hampered and the mood of the drama is considerably destroyed turning it into a half-witted and a sarcastic play act. In modern days wonderfully an excessive large family is accommodated in these serials. It is more surprising; they accommodated more guests and other family members at the same house-as if all Indian middle-class families were living in a King’s palace. Women wears heavy jewelry and costly sarees while going to sleep and while working in the kitchen which is the traditional center point of all family intrigues. Suppression on women and limitation on their free movement- all are detrimental to South Asian social and family values.

Few years before, the renowned French writer Dominique Lapiere wrote his famous novel ‘The City of Joy’ based on shanties life of Kolkata. One critic commented that when writers are in scarcity of plot for their stories, Lapiere has discovered ‘love, heroism and spirit of life ‘in the city of Calcutta in its distress realm. In India, the past Bengali literature overpassed all literary works written in many regional languages in this vast land but at present, Indian serials and drama series have become boring, dull, ordinary and as if threaded in the same string. It is not based on facts, experience, intelligence, humanity rather it is full of tenacity in overdramatic conflicts. It is hoped that the appropriate thoughtfulness of the writers will make Bengali, Urdu, Hindi Literature along with all Indian- books and novels full of ‘happiness, heroism, joyous, sorrows, love, lust and hatred’ facilitating audience to a conclusion that human life is full of hope, not solely on despair.

This type of serial will not go on days after days, years after years. Let us hope, in the land of the Ramayan and the Mahabharat, a new sun will shine again removing the present dark carnage of Indian Literature and the future will pave its way for a better and brighter days for its reader and audience around the world.

Nuzhat Rifa Ehsan is a freelance columnist


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