Dubbed Indian Teledramas Cause Much Damage to Sri Lankan Women

August 7th, 2007

by Nadira Gunatilleke

Some time back I received a very funny e-mail which named the five worst women in Sri Lanka. This e-mail was circulated all over Sri Lanka for a long time.

According to the e-mail the worst five women in Sri Lanka were four Indian women who play the main roles in four imported Indian teledrama series continuously telecast over a local television channel and the Sri Lankan woman who watches them all! In order to check the meaning of this e-mail I started watching these teledaramas and guess what gradually I understood how true that e-mail was.

About four women are the main roles of four popular Indian tele series telecast over one of the local television channels.

Two of the series were produced using local actors and actresses but only their speech is Sinhala, all the other things (sets. costumes, traditions etc.) are Indian. The four series are being telecast over a period of several years continuously in the peak hours and viewers are being given valuable prizes in order to be attracted to the tele dramas.

One can name it as importing ‘Made in India violence’ and distributing it in Sri Lankan society which is not violent when it comes to women, marriages and dowry. These teledramas purely promote violence against women in Sri Lanka.

They cause severe damage to the Sri Lankan women in various ways. First of all they encourage Sri Lankan men to administer violence against women. The majority of men in these teledramas act violently against women or torture them psychologically.

The worst thing is, it shows how the culture can be used as a weapon to torture women and new techniques of executing violence against women.

One can argue that all these women are fighters for justice and live according to traditions. It is true. The problem does not lie in these four women, but the contents of the teledramas and in the other characters.

A feature can be written if all the incidents on violence against women telecast over all five teledramas are described in length.

May be there is an argument stating that the teledramas (soap operas) imported from other countries are same and have a negative impact, but usually such teledramas are in English and viewed by a limited number of viewers and such teledramas are not dubbed in Sinhala, not telecast during the peak hours and do not run over years.

Sri Lankan actors and actresses star in two of those Indian teledramas. The main damage is caused by these two teledramas because it is closer to the Sri Lankan viewers because of the Sri Lankan actors and actresses. In this teledrama it shows how an unmarried girl is being kept in a house purposely where a married couple is living.

This girl is in love with the married man and knowing this fact the parents of the man keep her in their home. This is not Sri Lankan culture and the Sri Lankan younger generation may tend too think that this type of a situation is just normal.

In another instance it shows how a woman is being ill-treated and discriminated by all of her family members and outsiders and how they make trouble all the time expecting her downfall. In other words this teledrama tells the viewers that a strong woman who becomes a challenge to the male domination should be defeated and crushed.

In the other two teledramas there are many incidents which show how culture is being used to torture women, such as preventing her from taking part in family ceremonies etc.

We cannot forget the fact that India records around 1,000 dowry related female deaths per year and some married women are being murdered by their husbands and in-laws by setting fire.

Some husbands and in-laws threaten the women to commit suicide. Sometimes women are tortured to fleece more money out of their families and then they are being killed or forced to commit suicide. There are several instances where young mothers are burnt to death by husbands and in-laws. After this the husband is free to re-marry and get another big dowry.

The imported tele series telecast in Sri Lanka has been produced using this background which causes immeasurable harm to Sri Lankan women.

Entry Filed under: transCurrents NewsFeatures

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mohamed  |  August 7th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    This is very much true!! these Indian tele dramas are finally here to rune our women’s as im a victim of this my mother is an addict to theses tele drams and more often i find the foods either burned , half cooked or over cocked I am almost smashed the TV in front of her several times very difficultly controlled my temper but im sure i will not able to do this all the time.

    its very unfortunate to see that these tele drams taking our women’s totally to the pit hell!.

  • 2. MBA  |  August 7th, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Dear Nadira,

    Excellent very thoughtful article on these irrelevant toxic Teledrmas as a whole to our country and our culture.

    Everyone should know the consequences of wasteful Teledrama with farsighted views…

    Thanks for highlighting this on transCurrent.


  • 3. Nuwan Senevirathna  |  August 7th, 2007 at 9:25 am

    You are absolutely right. These 3rd graded teledrams should not be allowed to show in Sri Lanka. The same damage was done by the teledramas like Doo Daruwo, etc. There is a coup to destroy family values in Asian countries through big multinationals.

  • 4. galleblogger  |  August 7th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    erm, of course these things that are shown don’t happen in sri lanka, right? no, of course they don’t, women have all the frredom in the world, women never commit suicide, men don’t drink, no abuses whatsoever etc etc, they all go down to the pansala instead…
    indian teledramas corrupt the high moral standards of the island, right!!?!? LOL
    i.e. (from your post)”One can name it as importing ‘Made in India violence’ and distributing it in Sri Lankan society which is not violent when it comes to women, marriages and dowry. These teledramas purely promote violence against women in Sri Lanka” ????
    and you are sri lankan??!?! (not to mention children….sadly….)

    a better argument would be to make a statement against western films, which show much worse violence/sex/etc etc! THESE are the worst not indian teledramas for crying out loud!!!!????
    i still can’t believe what i’ve read, it’s bigotry and hypocrisy man, pure and simple….

  • 5. Aski buski  |  August 7th, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    The dramatisation of life is called Teledrama.

    Watch it if you want to

    Leave it if you do not want to

    not a problem

  • 6. Jude  |  August 8th, 2007 at 12:07 am

    In a way Nadira is correct, but can she suggest an alternate way of entertainment to this entertainment starved country for the middle & lower class.

    The only way of entertainment is to watch any type of tele dramas which keeps them going.

  • 7. Manshlo  |  August 8th, 2007 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for highlighting this. This is TRUE. Most SL women in Colombo addicted to 2 hours of stupid Teledramas. The government should add more tax to these media companies who promote only Indian stories. There are many meaningful things to telecast in SL than this nonsense.

  • 8. Wassa  |  August 8th, 2007 at 4:49 am

    The truth is more violence of any kind shown in TV and also through other media undisputedly damage the minds of people.In a way violence breeds violence.The children and adolescents who watch these teledramas think that this is normal in everybody’s life and it could damage their development.
    Still we are far behind India in these types of things.
    Films do not damage like teledramsin a way because many children and adolescents do not visit cinemas to watch these kinds of films.(though it still corrupt minds).But when these types of teledramas and films are on on TV anybody can watch them without going to a cinema from house.
    This is a sad fact.Psychologist Dr.Benjamin Spock (a well known Child Psychologist in the USA who campaigned against TV violence in USA)and also Dr Alberto Bandura in Canada experimentally showed the damages done by media to the young generations as well as to people who are not accustomed to violence.This kind of Psychology being used in many war fronts to make soldiers violent as they are being exposed to very violent war filme before their battles.

    But just for money all these film and teledrama makers add spices to their productions not caring the future generations or the normal people.It is true that in every society violence existsBut when adolescents and children or naive people think that these episode are common in every house hold when they watch themThis has been swoed experimaentally.
    Therefore teledramas should not be made to corrupt people just for the sake of money.
    As India blindly follow Holywood films it is now impossible to watch a Hindi movie with your whole family.Cheap sex scenes and violence is there.
    India was a country with a great civilization but cheap profit seeking uneducated ignorants make it a haven for violence.

  • 9. Nandasena  |  August 8th, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Unfortunately there is more violence commited against the minorities (men,women and children)in real life in Sri Lanka. Everyday several people belonging to the minority groups are killed by bombing,shelling,abused,arrested without charges, made to disappear, abducted in white vans, gang raped. No body raises any objections to these realities!! Don;t you feel that these violence against minorities will also poison the minds of the children?

    I agree that teledramas whether Indian or Sri Lankan are a waste of time.

  • 10. Ratna  |  August 9th, 2007 at 6:21 am

    The Sri Lankan Government should investigate whether RAW or LTTE behind this.
    It is well known that RAW’s plan is to bring Lanka under India’s control and LTTE always think of destroying Lanka, so what a way to get into each household and poison the women.

  • 11. venkai mainthan  |  August 10th, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Re; comment #10
    Sinhalese are good at blaming others for their faults. Sri Lanka was, and is a violent place. There was no LTTE when violence was unleashed on the Tamils in the south in the mid 1950s!! There after it happened regularly. LTTE took up arms to defend the unarmed Tamils.

    Learn the back ground for the Tamil problem. Try to find a solution. Don’t blame LTTE for everything. Nobody is asking your women to watch the teledrama!!

  • 12. selvadurai  |  August 10th, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Regarding Ratna’s comment.
    Sri Lankan government has a lot of things to investigate!!
    Lots of murders committed in the heart of Colombo with check points at every street corner!! White van abductions in broad daylight!! Corpses turning in every town “liberated” by our “gallant security forces” Killings of NGO’s!!

    The government dared not investigate these grave crimes. Because they know it will boomerang on them.

    Compared to the above crimes, teledramas is trivial. They can simply ban them. May be some big wig in the government may loose his commission!!

  • 13. Ranga  |  August 12th, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    I’m no fan of the LTTE, but your conspiracy theory left me laughing for hours.

  • 14. maheshi  |  September 17th, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Nadira is absolutely right.I agree with it.A good article that must be read by all Sri lankan women & also men.This article reminded sri lankans about the truth.

  • 15. A.gopalakrishnan  |  September 30th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Truth. Your article will awake many people
    Gopal Toronto canada

  • 16. Anonymous  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 7:28 am

    hey, u would be a positive thinker.

  • 17. M.V.Perera  |  March 12th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    YES, Mr.(or Mrs.) Venkai Mainthan is right……No one is forcing our women to watch Indian teledramas.
    But how can they resist while they’re ( the TV stations) promoting it so well by offering valuable gifts including houses etc.?
    It is them who should be responsible in selecting the right thing to give to the audience..cultural and other factors should be considered seriously….
    and it is sad to see how our local producers also getting their hands on producing these ‘HINDI THEMED” teledramas while they have so much to learn from our creations such as a family story like “Du Daruwo” and thrilling drama like “Dandubasnamanaya”.(which is currently telecasting on Derana TV on weekdays)
    I suggest that these people watch some of our local teledramas and observe how are they able to keep the story line and the reality in line….and see how close they are to the real world ( unlike the indian family stories that are so unlikely and un-natural to exist ) how they set examples to the audience within a much shorter time like 35 episodes ( unlike typical indian dramas that exceed the 1000 mark )……….

  • 18. PRADEEP GANEGAMA ARACHCHI  |  April 13th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    yes of course,
    I agree with you, we all understanding people know the aftermath of these crupted teledrama. But i wonder where are our religiou politiciians and Deshahithishees who politically vowed for a religioue kindom in their political campains and now very silent.we should not allow Indians to ruin our society other than criticising the western world it is more polite than Asians.
    India is an all round hero and a examplary state for top rank leader and scholars who can not speak and write English properly.

    thanking you ,


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