Another daily soap and the same old justification for violence. In a Gujarati drama on Star Plus, violence is justified in the name of concern for a woman. Despite giving hundreds of advisory notes in between the show, daily soaps fail to follow what they claim. One can clearly spot the double standards of these television shows wherein they deliver long speeches on women’s dignity in one episode and violates what they establish in the other.
This is not something new but it’s 2021 and we are not entertaining these immoral justifications anymore. Now that our society has evolved in terms of rejecting patriarchy, daily soaps are still not convinced by the change. Despite the “Rishta Vahi Soch Nayi” tagline, there are few efforts by Star Plus and its likes to stream progressive and unorthodox content.
There is some sense of responsibility on their part to cease streaming what’s unprincipled. Indian society has undergone several changes over the years encompassing taste, traditions and cultural beliefs. Many people are still struggling to transform their conservative ideologies. A television channel is a medium of spreading information/entertainment, for the same reason it is accountable for the ideas its shows endorse.
The show I am talking about has a male character who’s dominating and violent. His wife has died earlier and he has been looking after his daughter since then. The daughter has some lover who is supposedly not good for her. In an episode of this show, that male character got to know his daughter met her lover. In a fury, he took his daughter inside the house asking everyone else to stay away. The scene cuts here and then it was brought into action in the next episode. In the following episode that male character asked his mother, “Muje uspe haath uthana accha lagta hai kya?”(Do I like lifting my hand at her?) In the justification of his action, he said, “kya karu, baap hu uska”(What do I do? I’m her master)
The violence is very subtly veiled as if it was the only option. It is validated in the name of concern and love of a father for his daughter. Is it really the appropriate way to show concern? Or is it just another example of patriarchy? The viewers can easily differentiate and understand. But the problem is, these are family shows and Indian families watch such shows religiously. Particularly, in times of pandemic when people only have this single source of entertainment i.e. electronic media. Television tremendously influences human behaviour and somehow it shapes one’s thought process. It is high time to stop fostering this abusive behaviour as well as irrational ideas.
The domestic violence cases in India spiked during the lockdown. According to the National Commission for Women, the number of domestic violence complaints rose from 2960 in 2019 to 5297 in 2020. It is but a disgrace for human civilization to not respect women. It has been a long wait to witness an egalitarian society and we are still waiting for some radical changes. Not to make the situation worse, television should vouch for a positive change in the near future.