From Anupamaa To Imlie, Female Characters That Are Weaving A Wave Of Change In Indian Television


There’s no doubt about the fact that women have ruled Indian television for years now. Be it the Neena Gupta led show Saans, or my favourite Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, also because I’ve been addressed by that name almost half of my life, women have been the architects of narrative on the small screen. But it is only now that we see portrayals that are not as white as soap detergent and let women embrace their being. I mean, there has to be some serious change, because Gopi Bahu certainly changed in her 2.0 version and damn, we love it. Breaking the shackles of saas-bahu drama, that slyly enters as a plot hole, women in television are at least on their way in the right direction, although ‘Delhi abhi bohot door hai.’ And as we celebrate Women’s Day this year, let’s talk about strong female characters in the world of Indian television, who have been the new faces of change that we’d like to see more often.

Anupamaa- Anupamaa

The poster child of female-led television shows, Anupamaa‘s growing popularity amongst the TV audience is proof of the content that it serves them with. Airing on the channel Star Plus, Anupamaa breaks the stereotypes that fence a woman, as it touches upon topics like ageist society, divorce, deeply rooted patriarchy and more. Plus a feminist male character like Anuj adds more chaar-chaand to the script.


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Dr. Deepika- Dhadkan Zindaggi Kii

Making a place for herself in a man’s world, Sony TV’s Dhadkan Zindaggi Kii led by a female protagonist–Dr Deepika aims to bring about a change. Projecting the gender-biased prejudice at workspace, Dr Deepika’s character believes in her dreams and their importance. While the show couldn’t serve to the drama-seeking, larger section of the viewership leading to it going off-air, Dr Deepika’s character left an impactful impression on the audience and its approach to shift from saas-bahu catfights to touching the world of reality, added a fresh narrative to the TV duniya.

Sai-Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin

Unapologetic and fierce, Sai from the television show Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin has become an audience favourite character and why not, its got all the things bang on right. Exhibiting the many qualities of a woman, which is not the ideal, godly kind as at times is projected on the small screen, Sai’s compassionate and fearless nature, drew audience towards the show. So much so that, some fans argued against the script when Sai was projected in contrast with her character traits, tagging it as weak, which was something the fans didn’t agree to watch, (its okay fans, let’s not box women).


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Also Read: Team Hauterrfly Presents A Women’s Day Playlist To Set Your Inner Patakha Guddi Free

Garima and Susheela- Kaatelal & Sons

While Sab TV channel is known for its thought-provoking and at most times light-hearted scripts, Kaatelal And Sons brought a flavour of its own. Headlined by two female protagonists, it is based on two sisters who battle against patriarchal traditions and decide to run their ancestral salon. Banishing gender roles, sisters Garima and Susheela took the viewers on an inspirational journey weaving together the importance of dreams. Altering the narrative that says”women are meant to run houses, not businesses,” the leads shatter the brackets that associate women with pre-defined roles as boxed by society. Plus the title in itself drives the core of the show’s plotline.

Imlie- Imlie

Coming from a small village called, Pagdandia to now the soon-to-become CEO of a company, the titular character of the show Imlie has been winning hearts as the show progresses with its script. However, the show’s writing marinates its core essence with television’s DNA drama, I am glad that Imlie doesn’t magically switch to a modern-day, ultra-glam girl as she breathes the city air. Fighting against the odds, and following her dreams post a broken marriage, to battling stereotypes attached to her background and looks, Imlie is strong-headed, determined and owns every situation like a star, and is much more than sarv-gun sampann.


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Also Read: From Gangubai Kathiawadi To Anna Delvey, 6 Strong Female Characters Who Inspired Us This Year

Bondita- Barrister Babu

One of Colors channel’s most popular shows, Barrister Babu won accolades for its strong storytelling and a young female protagonist who indeed became the star of the show. Questioning social evils, Barrister Babu projected the inspiring journey of Bondita as Barrister Babu. Just like the titular character, the show successfully weaved in, feminist male characters, including Bondita’s husband Anirudh, who aims to provide equal opportunities for both genders and strives to banish cultural stereotypes. Through Bondita, the show answered some interesting questions related to child marriage, dowry and womanhood.

Tell us your favourite female lead from the shows listed above.

Image Credits: Instagram

Women’s Day Special: 5 Animes To Watch For Well-Written, Badass Female Characters

Jasveen Kaur Sawhney

Jasveen Kaur is a fashion writer, and pyjama hoarder, who loves watching interviews of all kinds, and checking her Pinterest mood board every hour!

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