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Over the years, Indian television has been portraying women in different roles- mother, daughter, sister and wife. Coming of age are woman characters in Indian serials displaying TODAY’S ‘strong woman’. No longer are they just following their husband’s orders, following the whims of their ‘Saas’, and shedding copious tears of glycerine! Move over feeble Indian women and welcome the strong, educated and socially aware women characters set to strengthen women.
One popular serial ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ shows woman in the correct and inspiring light. The protagonist Sandhya is encouraged by her in-laws and especially her husband to pursue her dreams. Not only does she fare well in her IPS exams but is presently showing balancing her house and job as an IPS officer! Indian serials presently depict Indian women in a tougher form. Take the case of Anandi in ‘Balika Vadhu’. The serial started addressing issue of child marriage and problems associated with it. Anandi breaks the barriers of marriage and leaves her husband; even re-marries when she is more mature. She is shown as bold and courageous to speak her heart out, even in front of her in-laws.
A serial like ‘Pratigya’ showing the protagonist Pratigya fighting common issues related to women like eve-teasing and harassment. On the other hand, ‘Hitler Didi’ was path-breaking; showing the lady as the leader of the house! One serial which is gaining huge popularity is ZINDAGI’s ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’. The protagonist Kashaf Murtaza’s story is based on a novel and is hugely raved of. It addresses issues of girl child equality and the importance of career for women!
Bidding goodbye to serials which display ill-treatment to women, comes a great initiative by Doordarshan’s ‘Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hun’. Another inspiring serial, it revolves around a woman doctor who faces different challenges. The main idea behind the serial is to address various issues women face today like delayed pregnancy, equality, delayed marriage which will lead to an undeterred, brave woman. Strong woman characters have shown to inspire Indian women in some way or the other and such series are a welcome change.