"An Indian soap opera whose themes include acid attacks, domestic violence and high rates of abortion of female foetuses has quietly become one of the most-watched programmes on the planet.
India’s public broadcaster announced in April that the audience for Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon – I, a woman, can achieve anything – had, in two seasons, exceeded 400 million viewers “and counting”. [...]
In a country where government can be a marginal – and sometimes malign – influence on people’s lives, celebrities wield enormous power [...]
“When [Bollywood film star] Amitabh Bachchan says please give your child two polio drops, they listen to him more than to the government of India.
“Nobody trusts a cop in India, nobody trusts a politician. But with soap star Tulsi and other heroines, people actually believe them when they say something,” she says.
Director Feroz Abbas Khan is aware of the show’s limitations. “Let’s not mistake that this one television programme is going to change everything,” he says, adding that in a conservative society, the programme is clearly breaking boundaries. “In our society, nobody speaks. Children and parents don’t have conversations about sex.
“We’re talking about menstruation, masturbation, contraceptives,” he says. “These things never came on our TV. We’ve pushed the envelope.”" (The Guardian 1.6.2017)