Remember the days when women were portrayed in just two shades of characters — the positive and the negative. While the positive heroines were mostly shown crying, or repressed, the negative ones were known for their manipulative 'style'! However, over the past few years, it all seems to have been changing. Today's fiction shows have their lead protagonists play zara hatke roles. Sometimes bordering on the grey, or having connotations of the negative roles, they are strong, independent and modern women, who are not just pretty faces, but dare to go beyond the stereotypical too like Hitler Didi, Pratigya, Phulwa, and many more. After Hrs speaks to experts on this progressive trend.
Actor Rati Pandey aka Hitler Didi of Zee TV feels that today, shows are trying to project women as fighters, rather than show them as the usual silent against all evils sort of characters. "Earlier, there were shows like Rajni, Shanti which initiated a trend that is taken ahead by today's shows," says Rati. "Audiences don't want to see saas-bahu sagas. Women have progressed and they are independent, strong and stand for their rights. My show too talks about a young girl who is the sole breadwinner of the family. She takes on her family's responsibility from a young age and soon she realises that to make ends meet in today's world, besides being hardworking, women need to be a bit brute to rise. Due to all this she tends to become very strict with everyone around. So at times she may look gray but she's just fighting for existence," she adds.
Actor Riddhi Dogra from Maryada echoes similar feelings and says, "A typical sweet girl kind of role or a vamp's role doesn't have scope that heroines with grey shades have. In my show, my character not just stands up for her beliefs, but also supports those who believe in themselves and helps them fight for their rights."
Producer Siddharth Tewary of Phulwa — in which the lead protagonist plays a dacoit — explains that the realistic genre is here to stay. "Women with strong characters do have tinge of gray shades to them because these characters are realistic. They are modern and are ready to go that extra mile, but without compromising on values and principles. Challenging the orthodox set up they fight all odds to prove the right and expose the wrong. This progression is here to stay and it reflects the change in not in TV shows but also our society," explains Tewary.
No one is perfect and this fact is highlighted in shows too. Producer Raakesh Paswan says, "TV shows and women pratogonists both have progressed over last few years. And since viewers are accepting and appreciating roles that showcase women as educated, strong and someone who stands strongly by her loved ones in their right doings at the same time doesn't hesitate from criticising them for their wrongs."