Yes, the din you're being treated to today is called International Women's Day.
|WOMAN POWER: Prerna of Kasautii Zindagi Kay, Parvati of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Tulsi and Kashish of Kahiin To Hoga|
Pic Courtesy/ STAR PLUS
The direct implication of which, presumably, is that every other day must be men's days, internationally.
Be that as it may, the ones who most vehemently disagree with that notion are folks on television.
Unlike the exact opposite scenario in Bollywood, on TV (or at least aspects of it that commercially matter most), the only heroes are heroines. Men are mostly sidetracked, lampooned denizens, say some critics and observers.
Shailaja Bajpai, prominent television critic says, "In all the prime time soaps, barring Ayushman and Kkavyanjali, the chief protagonist is a female — albeit in her in-law's family. Jassi and Ye Meri Life Hai are aberrations.
From 7.30 pm, whether you take the K-serials, Ye Meri Life Hai, Kareena Kareena…. women occupy far more space and time than men. Men are absolutely secondary."
Even when it comes to bagging appreciation and awards, men are relatively beggars on the tube front.
Says Shashi Ranjan, convenor of the annual Indian Television Academy Awards, "Though I haven't thought of it through a gender angle, the reigning queen on television Smriti Z Irani has been getting the best actor award for the past three years. Jassi (Mona Singh) was the winner last year. If you average it out, surely, women are the definitive TV stars."
While there is no evidence of men getting second-class status on their salary slips as well, actor Ronit Roy (Mr Bajaj in Kasautii Zindagi Kay) says, "Payments are made according to an individual's brand equity. I am not aware of any gender biases. If a male character is as popular as a female character, he'll surely get paid as much."
However, as Bajpai puts it, "Men usually never get an equal footing or footage on small screen. So they're obviously less popular.
They are meant to be ineffectual and weak. In fact, if the hero is the woman, the villain is a woman too, since women viewers cannot identify with strong male characters."
While Bajpai would like to see "male characters with more dimensions and voice on the telly," this is unlikely to happen across-the-board — at least not in the near future.
For Bajpai adds, "The most popular programming on TV in India, unlike the rest of the world, are daily dramas watched primarily by women. Crime and detective shows, news or sitcoms don't enjoy high ratings at all."
No wonder, Sakshi Tanwar's Women's Day message to her viewers reads, "I want to tell all the women, why only this day, make everyday your day!"
Certainly, just as everyday is Parvati's (Tanwar's character) day on
Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Prerna's day on Kasautii Zindagi Kay, Tulsi's day on Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kashish's day on Kahiin To Hoga….