Have you noticed the portrayal of women in the current crop of serials on major Hindi channels? A ridiculous sense of sacrifice is what must have drawn your attention. In one serial, a woman serves a long jail term to save from punishment her step-daughter who has committed a murder. She is kicked, abused, slapped and tormented in every possible manner, but shamelessly goes on tolerating everything to bring happiness to about half a dozen step-children and other members of her husband’s family.
In another serial, a young girl lets her fiance marry her benefactor’s daughter who has taken fancy for him. The poor fellow discovers only after the marriage that the girl he married was not the one he loved.
In yet another serial, a young widow is tortured and abused by her husband’s family which holds her responsible for her husband’s death.She is ready to suffer all humiliation including getting her hand burnt and pretends to marry a person twice her age just to please her husband’s family.
Such characters do not inspire anyone. They invite ridicule and not respect. These are not the characters today’s women will like to emulate or should emulate. The kind of sacrifice these characters propagate compromises women’s dignity and self-respect.
In serials, we want to see women who will do no injustice and tolerate no injustice, women who have the courage to stand up for their rights and fight against odds to get what is rightfully theirs, women who have the resolve to get their tormentors punished so that no one would ever take them for granted.
When will our writers come up with central women characters that act like normal human beings? When will they stop drawing up characters that insult the intelligence of the viewers and reflect their own bankruptcy as writers? Can we hope to see women characters that we can admire and look up to?