In India, where women work as a selfless women whose only responsibility is to take care of her family selflessly and to serve her husband and children is known as the “idol bahu” or “sanskaari bahu” (the ideal woman of the house/daughter-in-law), when a woman stands for herself, she is ultimately presented in a bad light. The same is shown in Indian television: a selfless woman who surrenders herself to her father and husband is shown as a “sanskari bahu,” and the woman who independently stands for herself is shown as the vamp of the serial.
Perhaps this is what gives rise to the popularity of Indian TV serials among housewives. Maybe the makers of the show feel that their viewers connect themselves emotionally to the “sanskari bahu” image and keep their mothers-in-law in the place of vamp of the serial!
Still, in 2019, TV serials follow the age-old concepts about Indian women. And these types of saas-bahu dramas earn high TRPs. For example, Kasauti Zindagi Ki aired in 2001 and still had higher TRPs than shows like Patiala Babes and Ladies Special (where the female characters are strong). Because of watching the same content for so long, Indian women are accustomed to this mentality and as a result, rarely want to watch serials where women are shown as strong as men.
Indian youth are parting from TV serials because of this poor mentality about women. They are moving towards platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Women are emotional targets in India, especially Indian housewives because she connects herself emotionally to serials. That’s why such shows are often aimed at women.
According to me, Indian TV serials need to bring new ideas about women where they are shown as more independent and bold. It is not the most terrible thing for a woman to be shown as selfish and not selfless.