Changing face of women on TV

Rajini to Balika Vadhu

Changing face of women on TV

But does the 21st century woman today relate to the larger-than-life saintly creature with impossible ideals or the conniving vamps shown on the small screen?
TV Actress Shruti Ulfat, who is back on the small screen after a hiatus, with “Sasural Genda Phool”, a lighthearted comedy series, feels daily soaps mock women and society.

During the time of Doordarshan, the focus of the media was on elevating the woman’s status in the society. In the 90s focus was more on the urban woman who wanted to step out of the house and work.


With the start of the millennium, came the glitz and glamour of cable TV allowing space for competition and newer concepts. Star India, which started the whole era of soaps with “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” and “Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki”, believes that the women audience today are not interested in watching the ‘rebels’ like “Rajini” and “Shanti”.

However, Colours’ EVP Ashvini Yardi, says, “Today every woman in urban India is a Rajni or a Shanti. For a woman, working outside the house is of utmost importance in order to run a household as a single income isn’t enough.”

As television reached the interiors of the country a new group of audience emerged giving way to issue-based serials like “Balika Vadhu”, “Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo”, “Naa Ana Iss Des Lado”, “Uttaran” centering the woman in the village grappling with issues from female foeticide to child marriage.

While the issue-based serials have indeed been thought-provoking, some complain that they soon lose their track after few episodes. Which is why the female characters on the small screen are not inspirational anymore as women always look upto strong characters, who fight for a change and bring a reform, states clinical psychologist Dr Aruna Broota.

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