Ekta said television has been showing both progressive and regressive content but the small screen cannot afford to project women in a bad light all the time. The 42-year-old producer, known for her saas-bahu soap operas, said she has tried to present stories that show men and women as equals.
"TV have had lot of progressive and some regressive shows, but there are some issues that resonate with some part of India... It won't work if it is all regressive, women won't like to see watching themselves (being put) down," Ekta said.
The producer said scripts of her shows could be "melodramatic" but not regressive. "Scripts could be melodramatic, filmy, (with) high-octane drama but they are not regressive. We have a show called 'Shakti' about the third gender. This is a long-running show about a woman who could not understand what sexuality she belongs to, no films have discussed the third gender."
Ekta added she has never had a show where a woman has called her husband 'parmeshwar' (God), or a woman touching her husband's feet and even if the character has tried to do that, the husband has stopped her saying this is wrong.
Irani, who has been part of one of the longest-running popular shows, "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi", by the producer, said the toughest part about being an actor is to do shows that are far from reality.
"I have been an actor. When we explore scripts, the toughest task is to do things that is unbelievable. It is easier to do things that are closer to real life, the challenge is to get into that melodramatic situation. Like saas-bahu shows are tougher, as (people) don't live life like that. It is the true test for an actor, as to do something that you do not believe in but make it believable for others," she said.
"People often used to tell me what 'sanskar' (etiquette) are kids getting from your shows, I used to say, it is not the job of TV to give 'sanskar' to kids, it is a parent's job," Irani added.
(With PTI Inputs)