The word ‘patriarchy‘ itself offends a certain section of the Indian society and some how even today in 2020 a lot of us are struggling to free ourselves from the “shackles of patriarchy”. Do you know anything about the origins of patriarchy? A lot of us living patriarchal society believes in smashing the patriarchy because it has indeed done enough wrong to the society. The patriarchal ideology is so widespread that it can be seen everywhere. Patriarchy in India society is so Indian daily soaps too play an explicitly dominant role in exhibiting and promoting the systematic patriarchy.
These shows have a daughter-in-law who has to be “ideal”. She has to get up in the morning before everyone wakes up, do the ‘puja'(offering to God) in a manner that is unquestionable after this she prepares breakfast for everyone, nobody is bothered about her whereabouts in fact she is being scolded by her stern mother-in-law “if” she commits a mistake. Sometimes these poor ladies even have stern husbands and rude children who taunts her and mocks her. Only after feeding the entire family the ladies eat. The daughters-in-law even sing morning prayers in the sweetest voice ever and some are even masters in playing ‘sitar’ and ‘veena’. Of course you do not see them playing drums and saxophone because that is beyond the imagination of a meek, soft spoken woman.
These women in the serials greet their mother-in-law with a humble tone and smiling face while in return they receive a frown because their mothers-in-law are never satisfied with them. Basically these women live in the worst ever possible conditions still they do not wish to raise their voice because doing so would tarnish their image. Some of these women are showcased to be so submissive that whatever wrong they are done, they accept it to be their fate.
On the other hand the male members, unaware of anything happening at home visit their office wearing blazer and shoes. They are always depicted sitting in the air-conditioned rooms with files around them. No women of the house ever visits office or has any role in the economic contribution to the family. The sons of the family are expected to join the family business and the daughters are expected to get themselves groomed for their wedding. The men are served dinner on the dining table with precision and are regularly asked what they wanted to have for their meal. These shows shows finely explains how patriarchal family and patriarchal system works.
A working women is portrayed in a very negative manner in these daily soaps. A working lady is depicted to be disrespectful and abusive. In fact by looking up to these characters of working women in the serial one can know what an embittered and nihilistic individual actually looks like. Unfortunately the difference between the gender roles depicted in these serials are so staunch that somehow it seems to be so normal for some women in real life.
The over dramatized Indian daily soaps are viewed in a lot of Indian families especially by the women and these TV serials create a very negative impact especially on the minds of the Indian mother-in-laws. Not all Indian daily soaps are this over dramatized or spiced with such extent of gender biased roles but a lot of the serials are filled with such negativity. And I really don’t understand what makes the directors of such serials provide such an awful content to the society. What wonders me more is the huge viewership, such stoicism is so easily accepted?
Why can’t we have more shows which concern problems prevailing in the society? Or simply shows which leaves the viewers with some positive energy. These serials are being directed and produced because the makers get the desired TRP with the help of such shows and this is preposterous because this reflects the sick mentality of our society which definitely needs to change!
Now the question is, as an individual what can we do to change this culture of regressive daily soaps?
The first and foremost thing that has to be done is, we need to stop watching these shows “if” we have been watching these. Secondly, we need to be cognizant of our surrounding and if we get to know that any of our family members indulges themselves in watching such shows then we need to aware them about the ramifications of these shows. We can let them know about other daily shows which carries certain message with them or certain shows which have fruitful sessions. Everything is in the hands of the viewers, we are just one click away. Once the taste of audience shifts from such shows to more rational shows then automatically things will start to change because the show makers produce things according to the interest of viewers.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”― Mahatma Gandhi