The new channel Star Bharat recently started with the reality show on Baba Ramdev promising to bring back the ‘culture’ missing from TV by showing ‘true’ Bharat.
The channel’s slogan is- ‘Bhulade Darr, Kuch Alag Kar’ essentially meaning- forget your fears and do something different. Till now, they have a show where a man has 5 wives, a show about reincarnation/revenge, a typical saas-bahu show, and the one that takes the cake, Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki.
This show in question is the Hindi adaptation of a Bengali show ‘Bhojo Gobindo’ along with heavy hints of the Rajesh Khanna hit movie ‘Bawarchi’ and seems to be based on the storyline of ‘Taming The Shrew’ play by Shakespeare.
The thing that prompted this article would be the promo clip of this particular show that I had the misfortune of seeing on television, wherein the very fact that such a show is live and that too on a channel that aims to be different makes me wonder where all the progress is going.
What Was The Clip?
The clip shows the female protagonist go out with her friends for a Valentine’s Day event while her grandfather asks her to instead stay at home and fast for Mahashivratri so she could find a good groom.
Very progressive start, have to say.
The girl then went off in rage, claiming how she never wants to get married, and then resolutely states that she will not do the puja for the festival.
The male lead then appears and assures that he will get the girl to do the puja for Mahashivratri, no matter what. You can take a look at the clip here:
There are at least a couple of other things extremely wrong with this promo, let us take a look at what those are:
1. Forcing religion on a person
There is nothing wrong with being religious, but it should also not come as a life-ending shock if a family member does not believe in such stuff or at least not want to do all the pujas and fasts that several Indian festivals require.
There are other ways to show one’s faith and the clip seems to be forcing on the girl how she should be showing her faith in her religion. Why is it such a given fact that every girl is religious?
2. Marriage is the only thing that matters
The girl merely said that she did not want to get married, not that she was taking drugs or planning suicide, so don’t really understand the exaggerated reaction of the family members that is shown, as if the girl had uttered the dirtiest thing possible.
3. The same nonsense of Ekta Kapoor serials
The closed in zoom shots of each separate family member when the girl utters that she will not do the puja is extremely reminiscent of Ekta Kapoor serials.
I thought we were at least over the bad cinematography, if nothing else, and that those days were long gone. But no, we still have to deal with terrible over acting and over exaggerated emotions.
4. The male knows the right way
The fact that we are still stuck with the mindset that the male knows the best and has to be the one to bring wayward females back on track is quite sad and disturbing to see.
In a time when there is an intense need to not just empower women but also deal with the ego issue of men, such kind of promos and serials only cement the mentality that men are superior and need to be the ones to save females from taking wrong decisions.
There is nothing wrong with trying to make a person better, if they are too spoilt and don’t value or respect family and elders, there is nothing wrong with trying to get them onto the correct path.
However, the manner it is done in is also important, this way of enforcing stereotypes and encouraging regressive mindsets will not only affect sensible television but also not let the audience progress to more open-minded thinking.
In fact, when the masses see this type of nonsensical stuff, then we better be ready for more patriarchy coming our way since it justifies very backward thinking.
And thanks to such promos that clearly put Valentine’s Day in the negative space and portray it as something wrong, we will find even more support for anti-Valentine’s Day protests and couples being beaten up especially in the metro cities of India.
Image Credits: Google Images