Women through the medium of TV

By S.Ganesh, @infodeaofficial, INN Chennai;

S. Ganesh – Faculty – Electronic Media & Visual Communication, HCAS

Women are strength of a nation and are from time immemorial have played a great role in nation building process of India, even the PM of India speaks regularly on women empowerment and has launched series of programmes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padao for the betterment of women folk.

One of the important vehicles of women empowerment is mass media in general and the TV in particular, TV serials in the past such as Udaan in the Doordarshan  was a great impetus for women empowerment and has inspired many a girl to don the hat of a police officer, and has helped in the breaking up of the feudal structure of women slavery in a systematic manner..

With the explosion of the TV broadcasts in the early 80’s with serials such as Mahabharatha, Ramayana etc, the Indian audiences were exposed to the greatness of the Indian women of the past through characters such as Sita, Draupadi, Kunti etc and has helped in moulding the Indian feminine aesthetics in ways hitherto unknown..

Contemporary serials such as Hum Log, Wale Ke Duniya, showed the immense struggles of middle class women and has made many a man be more sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the household women, channels such as Sun Tv has become quite popular with middle class women.

Unfortunately Indian TV shows of late contain graphic violence with copious amounts of vulgarity thrown in, as is the case with the western TV shows and the trend seems to be continuing unabated, the Broadcasting Council of India in an effort to address the issue has added a disclaimer at the bottom of some of the shows in order to mitigate the crisis.

The movie business is here to stay for some more time with the availability of DVD’s of old movies and also the showing of these movies inside flights.

The Indian TV isn’t as bad as one thinks it to be with regards to so called vulgarity thanks to ads such as lyril soap where a women in a swimsuit is seen to sashay to a raunchy tone or the Katrina Kaif ad for a shampoo may border on the obscene level.

The Indian TV is not as bad as someone think when it comes to vulgarity and the like as TV presents women in attractive or glamorous models.  Many advts as Liril soap advertising featuring a women taking bath, Katarina Kaif in some similar shampoo or other commercials may border on obscenity but the situation is not as bad as one thinks as.  Women are more presented in traditional models and as housewives or women competing with men in corporate corridor but a more balanced approach is needed as well.

The western model of showcasing women in sexist forms may not be appealing to the Indian viewers as the average Indian viewer is still seeped in traditions and customs.

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