This is a fantastic topic, but the fact remains that we have to find a way to share this beyond our niche in India-Forums. However, since we are discussing this, let's not only look at the world beyond Punar Vivaah.
From the time that I have been watching Indian television content, it has portrayed more wrongs against females than the other material I've viewed. (Now believe me when I say that I have been through content from English culture, Chinese culture, African culture, etc. so I am not speaking simply for the sake of speaking.) There were often times when I wondered what in God's name I was watching, for I would be at my wits end staring at yet another woman crying her heart out at her state of helplessness because it was in her "destiny" and the "right" thing to do. Now, I agree, not all Indian/Asian television content is like this, but like I said, I am going to examine our Punar Vivaah.
In a show which was considered a strong advocate for bringing societal injustices back into active discussions, there are a few things that have not been addressed still. For example, the entire phase of Aarti's post-Mumbai life, not the PPM (Post post Mumbai where Yash is an angel turn god).
Now like any other viewer, I do not expect perfection in my television content, but I could not believe that some viewers were actually alright with the maltreatment Aarti had received from Yash. I agree that as a wife, a woman should stand beside her husband and help him through the various situations in his life. However, can anyone here really say that they would have allowed their sister, daughter, mother or friend to remain in that situation if it were in the real world? If the answer is yes, then surely we need to re-examine our standpoint on what a woman should or should not accept from her male counterpart, isn't that so?
Now let's say that I choose to overlook that which has occurred in the journey that led to Yash becoming his PPM self. I am still unsure of how I feel about him hurting his wife because he thought that she had committed infidelity. I'm referring to the armband moment. As a viewer, I agree, Gurmeet did come across as attractive in the darker avatar, but is that really something that any parent or sister would want her son or brother idolising?
"When I grow up I want to be just like Yash!"
Alrighty then, so say I ignore all of that for the sake of love, and I glance around India-Forums, not PV only but other forums and enter into the world of fan fictions. Everyone's "favourite" reading material. The "angry young man" concept. Compare these FFs to the viewer content. Believe it or not, most of them are actually different! And not in a good way. In the television shows, these "angry young men" who manhandle, mistreat and fling their lady loves around all in the name of the classic love/hate relationship do not do so simply for the sake of it. There is usually some deep rooted problem stemming from years of some crap not worked out nicely in a gym or therapy room. Now in the case of the FFs, some writers have missed this concept altogether and are simply spawning angry young men, whose jealousies, mistreatment of their female counterpart, and insulting words are the epitome of romance. Meri Bhagwan ki kasamh! Do you REALLY want a man who flings you against the wall because you forgot to iron his socks precisely at 9.46 p.m.? Sure, that is a hyperbole, but it just looks that way to me in terms of the content being spewed. At first, things like that can be over looked, but then we get the "rape" FFs, shows, etc. My turn to say "what the rumplefunk is that?!" How is it entertaining to see or read that some woman falls in love with a man who brutally raped her? Or how is it "love" when an angry husband forces himself on his wife? Errmmm...W*F?! Simply, reading such things tells me that the material being shown on television is being internalised, but not correctly. It's changing the compass's distinction between acceptable, and good versus dangerous and unhealthy. If that's what is being revealed by the young, impressionable writers and some not so young writers, then it makes it appear that we have become so numb to these events they now look "cool", "hot", and "romantic". Yeah...that's really what I want in my life, some angry idiot who barely misses punching my face by smashing the mirror instead...of course I then lovingly wrap his hurt fist up with a piece of my expensive, hard to come by clothing so that he can then push me away in "angst".
All of these things have become such a norm in entertainment content geared toward female viewers, that one has to wonder what information is being absorbed. How can we talk about males needing to respect us, as human beings and females when some of us have ceased to do so? Shouldn't it be troubling that we have rallies and protests demanding people not to abort girl babies, but we don't mind watching someone constantly yap on about males carrying on the family line and name? How is it that we can become upset by a television character being thrown around the room, but if a daughter or niece shows even the slightest indignation at her brother slapping his wife, or some other unfortunate female, she too receives reprimands and silence?
It is scary that any woman stands the chance of being mistreated by the males in her life, but it is even worse when other women become enablers in the situation. I'm fed up of viewing depictions of helpless women "shuttering" their eyes and conscience by lifting the edges of their pallu. How can we expect sons, and brothers and nephews to grow into decent individuals when double standards exist all around unchecked? Like other posters have mentioned so far in this discussion, women themselves advocate the "male is better than female" perspective. Sure, in all religions, there comes a point where it is stated that the man is the head of the woman. However, where in any of these religious texts, etc does it say to disrespect your wife or mother? How can there be a religion where men worship GODDESSES and still think it's fair to eat in comfort, while their wives stand behind them to serve them after hours of chores before they can also eat?
All in all, I guess what I'm saying is that Gender Bias has become such a norm in our respective societies that sometimes we don't even notice these things. And that is where the darkness slips in and destroys our various generations, giving us beasts and demons for future husbands, mother in laws, sons, brothers, and other poor misguided, uninformed, ignorant souls.
(Sorry for the rant you guys, but this is something I feel strongly about. Don't even get me started on my views about marriage and my perceptions of the Hindu wedding vows.)
Edited by Kittya_Cullen - 08 February 2013 at 3:10am