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The Regressive Daily Soaps On Indian Television Need A Creative Renaissance, Like Now!

Posted: August 29, 2017

The dearth of quality programs on the Indian television, clearly calls for a creative renaissance. Yes, like now! #WomenOnTheMove

I rarely watch any Indian TV series nowadays; it is now a thing of the past. But this wasn’t the scenario always.

I still remember in the nineties, when Indian television industry wasn’t swamped by the cable TV network, there were many of us who used to rush home to watch ‘Shanti’, a series that revolved around an illegitimate girl child and her struggle to get justice for herself and her mother who was raped by two powerful businessmen. It was a series whose story was much ahead of its times and the credit goes to the makers for dealing with a sensitive subject with compassion and empathy. There was no high drama, the plot was mature and not stereotyped and the actors did a fantabulous job in enacting the characters down to perfection. Shanti played by Mandira Bedi was a strong, independent, working woman who knew her mind, knew what she wanted in life and of course knew how to get work done.

Fast forward today and a cursory glance at the television serials will give you an idea how Indian television has lost its mojo. The stories are jaded and stereotyped and the role of women are regressive. Women in the modern day Indian television mostly carry out the household chores festooned in blingy, ethnic outfits, and bedecked in heavy, ornamental jewellery. There are few working women and of course the overdose of conning and scheming vamps.

In our weekly #WomenOnTheMove chat over at Twitter, we discussed why despite a regressive story line these TV series are so popular among the Indian audience, what baffles us the most about these series, and the better TV series that we grew up watching and loved. This is what #WomenOnTheMove said. (If you’re not yet following Women’s Web on Twitter, do now, and you can come over for the chat too, every Wednesday 6-7 pm IST).

From Dekh Bhai Dekh to Surabhi, the nineties had many popular TV serials that were way ahead of their times. The jokes were genuinely funny, unlike the crass ones from Comedy Night With Kapil Sharma. Here are some of our loved shows in different category:

Comedy

Social lens

Feminist

Crime/thriller

After Indian television was revolutionized by the 24×7 cable TV and Dish TV networks, there has been a deluge of TV series for the Indian audience. But in the race for maximum TRPs, the quality of these daily soaps has massively degenerated. But despite the low quality of content, Indian audience continues to love these regressive shows. Why?

Although everything about these daily shows is baffling, here are few that take away the cake:

#WomenOnTheMove want the golden days of television back. And here’s what the makers should take note of:

Image: screengrab from here

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