Life ... it is complex to define but simpler to enjoy! I started this blog with the aim to give a platform to my views about life and its nitty-gritties. I hope that through this blog I shall be able to interact with like-minded people who will identify with my way of life and thinking. Often we are short of words to have our feelings be expressed. Through the medium of this blog, I want to let off all my feelings and opinions out for a healthy and interactive debate.
Absent - The working woman in Indian media
Why not the working woman!!!
The media presents a very skewed picture of women in India. Take the case of the portrayal of women in serials which is strongly and evidently worthy of condemnation. My question to the makers, producers and creative brains behind these productions is: Where is the working woman in the media? If we take the case of serials/daily soaps on major TV channels, most women characters are portrayed as housewives. An upcoming serial on Zee TV is titled "Aaj ki Housewife hai ...sab jaanti hai'. Though, I am not familiar with the plot of this particular soap opera, my disagreement is with the very unidimensional depiction of women, be it in soaps, advertisements, cinema or any other medium for that matter. The traditional Indian society has been such that it places prominence on the role of women in the household. It is a woman who nurtures the house and transforms it into a home. However, with globalization and the advent of modernization, women have been bold enough to not restrict themselves to household chores and venture out in the society to occupy professional roles. But is this reality being depicted by the media, falsely claiming to be the mirror/reflection of the society. From what we see in these daily soaps and mainstream movies, I gather that only a 'housewife' is a good woman whereas a 'working woman' is shown to be evil and one who has malicious intentions. Of course, I do not blame the media in entirety. In the so called traditional values of our country, a woman's place was seen to be in the household and not in the public domain. She was though of as a being who has no dreams and ambitions of her own, who is not an individual in the first place. This is reflected even in our family systems, wherein till date, it is the woman who is expected to make sacrifices after marriage ... more so in terms of her profession. So, in a serial on Sony entertainment TV, 'Love marriage vs Arranged marriage', Shivani, who is a successful wedding planner by profession is expected to leave her job, if she wants to get married to the love of her life. Her future mother-in-law places this condition upon her and absurdly enough the girl obliges by leaving her job, which is supposed to bail her parents out of a financial crisis. Every time she thinks of resuming it, her mother-in-law is upset and pronounces in the most archaic of manner: "Hamare ghar ki bahuein bahar kaam nahi karti". This is so silly and demonizes the working woman. This is something that Indian houses still believe in .... that the housewife is superior and the working woman is an evil lady who does not care for her family! I ask why?????? Of course my purpose is not to demean the housewife but we have to admit that the amount of work and effort that the Indian working woman puts in is far more superior than the housewife.... she manages both fronts ....the home and the work front .... so why not give her the due credit ... why be ashamed of being a working woman. Proclaim it proudly! If you see the kind of films that we make or the kind of advertisements that are shown on TV, most depict women in the role of housewives/home-makers. Why? Can't women be both? Are they not equipped to handle both domains efficiently? We have to give due credit to the working woman and the media ought to take the lead in this by showing woman in more productive roles and not just as 'item girls' or perfect home-makers'. There is more to women than such stereotypical presentation. Also, this portrayal will not be achieved until and unless, the Indian society learns to respect the working, professional woman who works hard to make ends meet for her family. The working woman is an epitome of independence and decision making which we need to accept. Many a times, on social networking websites, I have seen posts and messages praising the housewife, calling her selfless and virtuous and sacrificing ... why are such messages not posted for working woman, are they any less?? The working woman is completely absent from media space, give her a voice at least!!!
How often do you get to watch a movie that is not just a three hour entertainment package delivered to you on screen, but more than that? A movie that is a lived experience for its audience. I watched one such movie recently. Of late, the Marathi movie industry has been producing some excellent stuff, with innovative story lines and bold characters. Director Mahesh Manjrekar has been at the forefront of this cinematic revolution. Anytime, I venture in to watch a Marathi movie, my expectations automatically turn sky high because Marathi cinema, over the past few years has actually spoilt its viewers for choice. Last week I watched the Nana Patekar starrer Natasamrat which means 'King of the theatre scene'. Through its trailers and subject, one feels that Natsamrat is a typically serious, art-oriented movie. And that it is. But deep inside, the movie offers a very enchanting story of an old man who once reigned the theatre scene in Maharashtra. With this, it offers ample life le…
Cast:Urmila Matondkar (Puro/Hamida), Manoj Bajpai
(Rashid), Sanjay Suri (Ramchand), Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Mohanlal), Lillete
Dubey (Mrs. Mohanlal), Sandali Sinha (Lajjo), Isha Koppikar (Rajjo), Priyanshu
Chatterjee (Trilok) Based
on Amrita Pritam’s Punjabi novel “PINJAR” Violent
bloodbath, massacres of scores of human beings and refugee exodus were the most
powerful symbols of the partition of the Indian sub-continent. Chandra
Prakash Dwivedi’s film Pinjar
represents the pain of the partition which engulfed three communities of India
– the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The film is also the story of a family,
essentially the journey of the daughter of the family – Puro (UrmilaMatondkar
in a major role) and her transformation to Hamida, her loss of identity and her
agony. Pinjar is set in 1946 which
marked the pre-partition era. Even before the country was divided into two
parts, communal rage had spread all over an…
Over the years, female characters in popular soaps on Indian television have been portrayed regressively; as housewives engaged in domestic chores, as scheming experts playing kitchen politics or as sacrificial goddesses wanting to please their husband and family. The absence of dignified, real and ambitious working women in these soap operas successfully creates and reinforces misleading images of Indian women. It also deepens existing gender stereotypes that prevail in Indian society. Even as traditional realities are glamourized, the distortion of the working woman‟s image is apparent. The article examines popular serials and the portrayal of working women professionals in the light of television as a mass medium thriving on "infotainment".
Keywords: working women, television, gender stereotypes, Indian society, distortion, portrayal Television soaps go Traditional
The advent o…