Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Soap Opera Fails to Do Justice

If you ask the viewers of Nepal Television which programme they like the most, you may get a quick reply from the majority of people - 'Tito Satya' (Bitter Reality). Doubtlessly the humour and satire soap opera has been able to win many people's heart, but this widely watched TV drama has not done a complete justice to its female characters and has undermined the feelings of the female viewers.

The main female character in 'Tito Satya,' Deepa Shree Niraula as Deepa, is presented as a beautiful woman from a middle class family. She looks modern and resides in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, but the problem with her is that she is entirely dependent on her husband. She is extremely conscious about her beauty: she wears attractive modern clothes, applies full make-up and highlights her hair. I wonder how can't a woman like Deepa be equally aware of being independent and think of earning herself to fulfill her demands as well as to support the family? She is there simply to serve her husband water, tea or three times meal. Her dependence leads Deepak, her husband, to a suspicion that if she robs his money. Poor Deepa cannot do anything except for stepping back and throwing angry looks along with some defensive words.

Whether she is Deepa, Bijuli or Sweetie, they are portrayed as a commodity. Any man can consider her as his possession. Sweetie is a 'thing' to be possessed by all lecherous male staff in her office. They are free to flirt with her any time they like. They can take her for a date, although they all are married men. Sweetie is merely a 'time pass' for them. What is unconvincing is that she does not have any objection whatever those cunning men do with her. Similarly, neither Suku shows any gentlemanly decency while pampering Deepa in Deepak's absence; nor Deepak misses a chance to approach Bijuli, Suku's wife in the soap opera with his unfair intentions when Suku is not around.

Are these women that much idiot that they do not know about such silly men's vulgar intentions? Why can't they warn or oppose them? After all, they are not deaf, dumb, blind or brainless objects.

There is also a big question mark in the relationship between neighbours. In our society the neighbourly bond  is considered to be the strongest one. Usually no man should throw his dirty looks towards his neighbour's wife, especially when the neighbour is out of the house.

One of the objectives of such TV shows is to raise awareness among general public on different issues. Sadly, Tito Satya is unable to present its female characters in powerful roles. As a result, it fails to inspire women or to strengthen the concept of women empowerment - currently a burning issue. They are revealed as stereotyped traditional women. They are less powerful and less witty than their male counterparts. They are presented as narrow-minded, superstitious, jealous, weak and suspicious lot. They have to tolerate all the foolish activities done by the men, and pathetically they cannot raise a voice for their existence.

In reality, the situation of women has been  improved much in comparison to the past days. They have started to explore their identity and existence in the society. They do not like to waste their time staying idly at home. They have understood the importance of self-earning. They have proved themselves as wise, competent or strong as men.

Therefore, the main reason for depicting women as having less significant roles may lie in the deeply injected male chauvinism of the director cum story writer of Tito satya, Deepak Raj Giri. He may not want to see a woman at the same level as of a man, but what would he do if all female viewers started to switch into some other channels where women are presented as an agent of social change?

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Sunday, February 12, 2006)  

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]


  1. Marie-Therese Jensen8/06/2014 2:52 am

    This is a particularly interesting blog, as you critique a TV show that most readers must have seen. I wonder if there was support for your critique? Letters to the editor of The Rising Nepal, for example.
    TV soap operas are entertainment rather than educational vehicles... the writers want an audience. Arguably they will lose their audience if the characters are too challenging of everyday culture.

  2. Thank you very much for reading the article and appreciating my blog, Marie. It was just my fleeting thought of the particular moment while watching the show. However I completely agree with you except for the point that the TV soap operas should include some education along with entertainment as their characters play the role of role models in people's lives. I really appreciate your time and interest.


I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).