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Friday, August 10, 2007

Standard stereotypes in popular Zee serial

That is a question I got after watching the latest (9th August) episode of the serial, Ghar Ki Laxmi Betiyaan, coming at 10 PM on Zee. The fight is between the daughters of the first wife, Savitri, and the second wife, Menaka (along with her son and daughter-in-law), with the fight being over the property allocation of the father's property. In this, the daughters get to know that the daughter-in-law (Kajri / Pavitra), who wants to get the entire property, is actually a former nautch girl, a kothe ki ladki. They are horrified about this and are trying to get a way that the entire family will get to know this, so that their battle will be won.
Now, in the serial, these daughters are seen as the heroines, and the daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law being the arrogant and scheming self. They believe that the son of the house is the prime and only inheritor; and while Menaka is shown as being ignorant of Pavitra;s true identify as Kajri, her son, Yuvraj, is seen as being complicit in the knowledge of Kajri's background, but he is also being fooled to some extent. It is only Kajri who knows her true intention, which is to get the property for herself and her fictional unborn child.
So, in today's episode, the daughters manage to get the reality of Kavitra's identity unmasked by tricking her to dance for money in a party where the entire household is present, and then unmasking her. So, now things are better, with Kajri getting a resounding slap from her father-in-law who cannot take this blot on the honour of the family. And he does this even without knowing the full extent of her intentions, just because she is from a 'suspect' or non-clean background.
This was what troubled me. If it was just that the lady wanted to get out of her background, and marry into a respectable family, the reaction of the head of the family would have been the same, seeing it as a blot on the family name. This goes against the concept whereby we argue that ladies in this trade are mainly there due to circumstances and should be given every chance to leave. If Kajri had been shown to have a heart of gold, even then she would not have been welcome, which is something that is worrying. And the serial has packaged this as a right thing, which in my opinion is not handling this issue correctly.

1 comment:

shvetal said...

I agree... her background is not sufficient reason for them to treat her badly.

Enjoy Nautanki TV