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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009

    Default Women slapped, kicked and raped on TV !

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    Women-centric shows, really?

    Women are slapped, kicked, abused and raped in popular shows like 'Naa Aana Iss Des Laado', 'Balika Vadhu' and 'Pratigya', which reach over 130 million households, but hardly show how Indian women are fighting back or need to be empowered. These supposedly socially relevant shows started as attempts to break away from the cliché of kitchen politics and tackle themes like female infanticide, child marriage and discrimination.

    Husband rapes wife!

    But soon, they turned out to be half-hearted efforts, showing violence towards women rather than creating awareness against such atrocities. Of late, these shows have been depicting scenes where a husband rapes his wife only because she stands up against him, or in another show, the husband slaps his wife hard for arguing with him. How do these shows talk about women's empowerment then, many viewers are asking.

    'It's intolerable'

    Such depiction of subjugation is "intolerable", according to noted actress and social activist Shabana Azmi. "It is extremely important to have positive role models for women. And it's sad that on television, we usually don't see that, even when so many writers are women themselves. I do think that the only way we can counter the image of a girl is by making available as many positive images of empowered women as possible," Shabana said.

    Man vs woman

    Alas, that is not happening – even though these shows are a staple for most Indian women. STAR Plus has started 'Kaali – Ek Agnipariksha' to show how independent girls become soft targets for sexual harassment. So, while on one hand the channel claims to depict the improving social standing of women, on the other, it shows how men have an upper hand in sabotaging women's lives through 'Pratigya'.

    'People must be aware of such issues'

    Filmmaker Govind Nihalani, known for making socially relevant movies like 'Aakrosh' and 'Ardh Satya', said such themes should only provoke debate. "Somewhere these issues have to be brought into the open so that people are aware of it. Especially for those who want to change and for those who have to be changed. Both have to be exposed to these problems. Whatever regressive things that TV shows convey, they ultimately pretend to have a progressive outlook," he said.
    ...being a human...



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