Indian soap opera

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Indian soap operas are popular and mainly deal with house hold problems, romantic relationships and the negative impact of patriarchy Saathiya Radha and Magarasi Ragini.png
Indian soap operas are popular and mainly deal with house hold problems, romantic relationships and the negative impact of patriarchy

Indian soap operas (or Indian serials in Indian English) are soap opera or serials written, produced and filmed in India, with characters played by Indians with episodes broadcast on Indian television. [4]


India's first soap opera was Hum Log (Hindi), which concluded with 154 episodes. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (Hindi) was the first Indian soap to cross 1,000 episodes and concluded with 1,833 episodes. [5] [6] Char Divas Sasuche (Marathi) was the first Indian serial to cross 2,000 & 3,000 episodes also entering in Limca Book of Records which concluded with 3,200 episodes.

The Telugu serial, Abhishekam is the longest running serial of Indian television with over 3,600 episodes as of November 2020. [7] Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is the longest running Hindi serial of Indian television with over 3,300 episodes as of January 2021. [8] Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah became the longest running comedy series without any leaps with more than 3,100 episodes as of February 2021. Alitho Saradaga became the longest running talk show in India with over 223 episodes since 2016.

The most common languages in which Indian serials are made in are Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Odia, Assamese, Malayalam and Punjabi, though many contain a mix of the predominant language and English.

Indian soap operas are also broadcast in South Asia, South east Asia, Central Asia, Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and francophone Africa. [9] [10]


India's first soap opera was Hum Log , which first aired in 1984 [11] and concluded with 154 episodes, was the longest running serial in the history of Indian television at the time when it ended. It had an audience of 60 million. [12] Every episode was about 25 minutes long, and the last episode was about 55 minutes. At the end of every episode, veteran Hindi film actor Ashok Kumar would discuss the ongoing story and situations with the audience using Hindi couplets and limericks. In later episodes, he would introduce the actors who played characters in the serial and end his monologue with the Indian language versions of the words "Hum Log."

Biographies of famous people started being produced in the form of soap operas like Chanakya , Dharti Ka Veer Yodha Prithviraj Chauhan , Veer Shivaji , Jhansi Ki Rani , Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur , Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap , Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, Rudramadevi.

Crime shows also started being produced and aired. Adaalat was an Indian television courtroom drama series which revolves around 'Advocate K.D. Pathak', a defense lawyer with an impeccable track record of winning cases and setting helpless innocent victims free, but not at the cost of upholding the truth and C.I.D., follows a team of detectives belonging to the Crime Investigation Department in Mumbai. The protagonist of the show is Shivaji Satam. C.I.D. is the longest-running crime TV series in India. [13]

The Indian mythological drama show, Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, recorded the highest, 8.2 TVR in an episode. Daytime soap opera were popular during the 2000s with shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi , Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki , Kumkum – Ek Pyara Sa Bandhan , Kasautii Zindagi Kay , and Kahiin to Hoga , Kolangal (TV series), Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, Dishayen, Kkusum, Metti Oli

. During the 2010s, as more women began working, they fell out of favor of the general public. Today, there are no daytime soap operas on any mainstream channel. [14] Currently, the four major networks that air primetime soap operas with nationwide following are Star Plus, Colors TV, Zee TV and Sony SAB. [15]

Porus, a historical drama, based on the Indian king Porus, premiered on Sony Entertainment Television on 27 November 2017 and ended on 13 November 2018. It is currently the most expensive show in Indian history, with a budget of over 500 crores.

Social impact

Soaps affect Indian society, with regard to national integration, identity, globalisation, [16] women, ethics and social issues in rural areas.[ citation needed ] The first Indian soap opera, Hum Log , began as a family planning program, and although it quickly turned its focus to entertainment, it continued to embed pro-development messages which provided a model of utilizing the television serial as an "edutainment" method that was followed by countries around the world. [17]

A 2007 study of cable coming to rural India showed that it led to "significant decreases in the reported acceptability of domestic violence towards women and son preference, as well as increases in women's autonomy and decreases in fertility." It also "found suggestive evidence that exposure to cable increases school enrollment for younger children, perhaps through increased participation of women in household decision-making." [18] [19]

Status in Pakistan

Indian soap operas were popular in Pakistan and Indian entertainment channels are widely watched, due to the mutual intelligibility between Urdu and Hindi. [20] [21] The Supreme Court of Pakistan has banned the showing of Indian films and soap operas. [22] The British Broadcasting Corporation has reported that cable television operators in Pakistan often violate the ban and air Indian television serials due to the high popularity and demand for these in Pakistan, and Indian television shows make up nearly 60 percent of all foreign programmes broadcast in Pakistan. [23]

In June 2006, Pakistani comedian Rauf Lala participated and won the comedy television show, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge but could not be followed by fellow Pakistanis as the show was not allowed to be aired. [24] An official has commented that "Bollywood [and Indian television soaps] have invaded our homes". [25]

Indian television shows have contributed heavily to the Sanskritisation of Urdu in Pakistan, and it has been reported that many Hindi words such as namaste (नमस्ते), maharani (महारानी) and chinta (चिंता), which have been an inherent part of Sanskritized Hindi, have entered standard usage in Pakistan due to the influence of these soaps and Bollywood movies. [26]

The viewing of Indian soaps has become so popular that mainstream newspapers such as the Pakistan Tribune often have feature articles on the shows. [27] Since satellite connections offer uninterrupted coverage of Indian shows, many people have bought these to watch the programmes. [28]

Anti-Indian sentiment is reported in Pakistan and the two countries have fought four wars. However, the effect of Indian soap operas and Bollywood have resulted in an increase in how "favourably an ordinary Pakistani views [India and] Indians." Certain Indian tourists to Pakistan have said that people are particularly friendly if one is from India. [29]

After the ban on Indian shows, Turkish shows became popular in Pakistan and occupied the place Indian contents had.

On 27 October 2018 The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reintroduced the ban on Indian content on local channels in the country. The channels like Filmazia, Urdu1 had shutdown Indian content for appropriate period of time. [30] [31]

See also

Related Research Articles

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<i>Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii</i>

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Himani Shivpuri Indian actress

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Sudha Shivpuri

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Rakshanda Khan Indian actress

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