Women’s rights and issues have led to raging debates across the globe let alone India about depiction of women in serials. Women’s organizations often argue that although huge economic, political and social opportunities are extended to women, there are certain sections of women who are still living in darkness. Bringing about improvement in the condition of all women irrespective of their race, class, and caste is a complicated affair. Nonetheless one cannot stop trying.
Interestingly, Television in India has played a big role in forwarding a woman’s cause in recent times. Many Indian tv series have female actresses in the main roles. The obvious consequence is that a majority of viewers of daily soaps are women. Let us take a quick look at some of these serials:
Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke
Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke is a television serial telecast on Zee TV. It is a linear story about two adolescent girls who despite coming from diametrically opposite family backgrounds get raised together and become soul sisters. The story further unfolds the usual issues faced by teenagers today like exams, career, love etc.
Sasural Simar Ka
Sasural Simar Ka is a popular daily soap telecast on Colors TV. It is about a middle class girl called Simar who struggles hard to continue her fervor for dance after marriage. The story also features Simar’s sister who happens to be a part of the same family where Simar is the daughter-in-law.
Saath Nibhana Saathiya
Saath Nibhana Saathiya aired on Star Plus is a narrative of the devil and the angel. It is about two cousins Gopi, the illiterate but virtuous daughter and wife and Rashi, the evil sister whose ultimate aim is to bring harm to Gopi.
Madhubala- Ek Ishq Ek Junoon
Madhubala- Ek Ishq Ek Junoon is shown regularly on Colors. It is undoubtedly one of the most watched soaps on Indian television. It is a stereotypical tale of the love-hate relationship between the rough guy, Risabh Mohan Kundra (RK) and the simple girl who is a budding actress, Madhubala. Initially both the characters hated each other and Madhubala was engaged to someone else but her engagement was called off because of RK’s rumours. Although RK does all this for vengeance ultimately he falls for Madhubala.
Balika Vadhu is supposedly one of the longest running TV shows in India aired on Colors. It is set against the backdrop of Rajasthan and gives an insight into the chauvinistic, patriarchal Rajasthani family. Anandi is the central character that is married off to Jagdish at a tender age. Although Anandi is forbidden to study further after marriage, Jagdish, who is a pathetic student, is allowed to study. The story progresses as Anandi flees to her home after being assaulted by her in-law family and what happens after that.
Qubool Hai shown on Zee TV is the favorite of many young Indian women as it focuses on a modern-day independent woman Zoya.
Diya Aur Baati Hum
Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus is by far the serial with the highest TRP. It is a portrayal of an upright ambitious girl Sandhya who is duped by her brother into marrying an uneducated sweet-maker Suraj.
Except for these TV dramas, there are also quite a few other serials, which have received rave reviews.