Kasauti Hindi GEC Ki: Why do Hindi TV shows remain stuck in a time warp of mediocrity?

Written by Saraswati Datar

Updated: October 16, 2020 6:04:33 pm

Stills from Kasautii Zindagii Kay and Saath Nibhaana Saathiya 2. (Photos: Express Archive and PR Handout)

I felt immediately historical after I realised that a present I watched as a teenager, Kasautii Zindagii Kay was being rebooted with a new set of actors enjoying star-crossed lovers Anurag and Prerna. Kasautii Zindagii Kay, version 1, was a very profitable present which ran for seven years and noticed each protagonists marry one another and different folks a number of instances as they performed a sport of select the proper partner whereas nonetheless pining for one another.

As I caught up with clips from the final episode of the Kasautii Zindagii Kay reboot, a scary thought struck me. If a present I watched nearly 20 years in the past is being remade right this moment with nearly no adjustments to the characters, storyline or the central battle of the story, does that imply content material on Hindi GEC channels is stuck in a time warp? Are we merely regurgitating concepts from a decade in the past and calling it creativity?

If I had gone into a coma in the yr 2000 and even 2010, woken up alone in a room with a TV in 2020 (like poor wanton consuming Sanjay Dutt) and turned it on, I wouldn’t realise that any time had handed in any respect. Schemes, sadism, sindoor and sanskaar, it’s all nonetheless in place. How did we permit the constraints of day by day leisure to compromise the standard of content material?

Take the brand new season of Bigg Boss for instance. To be honest that is a world format that has been recreated now in tons of of languages world wide, however in India, it has at all times seen a number of cases of bodily assault, physique shaming, slut-shaming and even threats like #Metoo kar dungi (I’ll put a #Metoo accusation towards you) which lowered a highly effective international motion to threatening a man with a probably false cost of sexual assault. Yet the present is again for the 14th season, and the identical tropes of poisonous masculinity, aggression and passive harassment proceed to play out, singlehandedly dragging the IQ of audiences decrease every day.

A couple of days in the past, actors Sidharth Shukla and Gauahar Khan, who’re ‘Toofani Seniors’ on Bigg Boss 14, had been heard discussing how his mom went into denial when he informed her about his girlfriend. “I used to repeatedly tell her that she is my girlfriend, but my mom was just not ready to accept that hua chokra jawaan re (the boy has come of age).” Is it simply me or did anybody else have a déjà vu to Hardik Pandya’s notorious feedback on Koffee with Karan? This is similar Siddharth who had final season referred to as his fellow contestants naukrani (maid), and even shamed Rashami Desai by saying none of the ladies in his household had been like her. Yet he has been introduced again as a result of good wanting sexist dangerous boy means nice rankings.

On the brand-new fiction present Shaadi Mubarak, a lady declares proudly she is a housewife, solely so as to add that she didn’t must work as a result of she was revered by her children for being a homemaker. Is that basically the one motive girls are in search of employment or demanding equal pay and alternatives for many years now? Because they raised shitty children? Or take the case of Saath Nibhaana Saathiya which impressed a number of cooker and chana associated memes not too long ago. The second season of the present is right here, and in response to the promos, the male employer takes his feminine home employee’s haath (hand in marriage) to present her saath (assist). Why does this lady want – A) A person to save lots of her and B) marriage to enhance her lot in life? At what level are we going to cease creating these girls with Cinderella syndrome who’re simply ready to be rescued or emancipated by matrimony?

But whereas we will criticise and chortle at content material on tv, this seeming stagnation in content material can be reflective of a society that has been unable to beat its biases and regressive attitudes. The latest controversy over a Tanishq advert being compelled to go off air is a obtrusive reminder of our persevering with non secular divide. A equity cream being rebranded as ‘glow and lovely’ as a substitute of being taken off the market speaks to the truth that we could by no means recover from our desire for a honest complexion.

While nobody expects tv shows to be preachy, there must be a center floor between leisure and sermonising to audiences. Why is it not possible to think about a present that may be partaking with out pandering to the identical sexist stereotypes or glorifying struggling as a means of ennoblement for girls? Shows that don’t create binaries of sanskaari and scum girls, or don’t go off sexism and poisonous masculinity as humour or ‘men are like that only’.

I solely hope that 20 years from now when my daughter activates the tv, she isn’t ambushed by yards of chiffon, patriarchal girls, gallons of tears and chauvinistic males. I hope she doesn’t encounter tales and individuals who have willingly suspended creativity and organised a number of halwa consuming get-togethers whereas they distribute certificates of home proficiency to the ladies in their houses. That is Kasauti Hindi GEC Ki.

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