I have tried to be objective and put both sides of the issue. So please read and give your views without getting mad at one another.
It’s a never ending debate like egg came first or hen. There is this super divisive character of UmaShankar.
Some viewers are looking at him from front, some from back. The ones at back cannot see what ones in front see and ones in front can’t see what ones at back see. Or you can think of it as viewing his character from two sides right and left. Each view has some common ground but there some things that only get seen from one side.
One section of viewers have not lost focus of the fact that he forcibly lifted this girl and married her, when she ran she was chased like an animal and brought home, all gentleness was under the blanket of strict s*xist rules and at beginning it was quite threatening as if they were keeping an eye on her so she could not run away. She would be punished each time she broke a house rule. Very prisoner like in an ultra regressive environment. What UmaShankar did was definitely a crime by law and that set of viewers waited to see how he would get some lawful sentencing and punishment. Later after Kanak returned to Pushkar he still kept stalking her and was made a hero by showing that public shame and what society thinks is more important than the fact that the girl is not in love or attached with the man. Out of guilt, ( irrespective of Bhabho seeing love? in her eyes), Kanak came back with Uma amid promises of utmost care and what followed was her getting scolded for drinking tea and she vowing never to drink it. Some viewers were already unhappy with her coming back. This hurt them even more. But more torture followed with bal brahmachari and comparison to animal. This set of Viewers were set in the hate of Uma and when Kanak suddenly showed giggly love for Uma without any proper trigger viewers lost patience and hated Kanak too.
Now the other side of the story. The other set of viewers saw that Uma showed a helping, patient attitude to Kanak. He tried to care for her in spite of rigid rules. Learned to laugh with her. Even tried to pamper her and was always polite. In times when most tv male leads are super arrogant to female leads this soft spoken character was very appealing, at least before the Bal brahmachari track. Even through that time he tried to keep her out of trouble. This set of viewers desperately wanted the love story to start and were ecstatic when Kanak showed realization of love. Because this was a sweet fairytale romance for them. And they are happy that the two have left the past behind, learned to value the good part in each other, and are joined in a mission. This set is able to ignore the inconsistencies of storyline and characterization as it is just a few moments of relief and pleasant viewing.
No wonder such strong opinions on this show. It’s like east and west. The two opinions will always clash. They can never agree.
The question is, is forcing into marriage and relationship be forgiven if there is gentleness shown afterwards. Is it ok to show anything on TV because it is just entertainment? Is it necessary to take tv characters so Seriously and start connecting them with social issues? Or does tv affect the moral climate of a nation and the sensibilities of its public? What if Uma had forcibly consummated marriage? Is forced physical intimacy the only crime? And many other questions. Feel free to raise them in comments. Please try to keep it free of offensive language if possible.
My concerns: are days of HumLog, Buniyaad, Farmaan, Choti SI Aasha, Rajni, in more recent times Shanti, Zindagi Gulzaar Hai and other such content that showed variety, forever gone? Can a show that doesn’t have minor s*xual titillation of audience, that doesnt trap them in a constant whirlpool of supremely negative female characters, bizzarre Outlandish situations, over the top romantic gestures; and saas bahu drama, that doesn’t have naagin, chudail, evil makkhii(?) tracks, that doesn’t show stereotypical outdated portrayals of unconventional characters like effeminate, homos*xual men, can such shows survive the trp charts? If not, why? Why do we as audience reject such shows? Why does anything that is not romance bore us so much now? How come shows from 80s and 90s have more variety and depth than shows now. Should not the art of Television show making have gotten more uplifted and sophisticated with time? At least 50:50 ratio of light hearted romance and some serious, in depth exploration of relationships and societal issues? Can’t both survive side by side? Why do current shows depend on constant portrayal of women in the worst light?
Somehow the trend of tv shows shifted to saas bahu and romance format in the mid 90s. How will it shift to a different era again?
Where I stand on this show, I won’t say as enough is being said already. I am glad they are not showing western clothes wearing woman as evil and sari clad woman as picture of virtue. I am sad they showed wine drinking female as evil. I am baffled by story development in this show but I accept that I am completely wrong in thinking like that and I should rethink my own opinions on TV shows. I will question my opinion. Will you question yours?