DD's 'Ramayan' sparks debate on feminism on Twitter

With Ramanand Sagar popular mythological series from the eighties Ramayan again in Doordarshan , the Indian audience had a chance to revisit the epic story again. The program has also sparked discussion on social media.

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The discussion in the last 24 hours or so has taken a gender turn with some viewers calling Queen Kaikeyi a bitch and abusing her maid Manthara . As the bad conversation continued, these two characters, by the way, continued to be trending on Twitter.

There has been a debate centered on the feminism quotient in the show, too. While some users felt Ramayan did not get out fair treatment to its female characters, others felt the storyline champions women's empowerment.

Hailing the story as an instance of women's empowerment, one viewer tweeted: We were so progressive even 7000 years ago, it's amazing. Sita was very intelligent and warrior. Kaikeyi was not just a warrior, she was Saarthi from King Dashrath in Devasur sangram, which was not at all an easy task. True women empowerment. # Ramayan

Another viewer shared: Seeing Ramayan today, I am reminded of first female drivers were from India. Kaikeyi and Satyabhama.

Still others reminded that Kaikeyi was no pushover as a character. Ramayan a and equality. Guys, remember that Kaikeyi was the first woman in combat, a user tweeted.

However, not everyone feels that the story defends women's empowerment, and not all shared kind words for the antagonist Kaikeyi.

A viewer said: Kaikeyi was a class A bitch, right? Asking his son to be crowned king was fine, but sending Ram into exile was evil on a whole new level. Don't criticize me, I won't get it back!

Another viewer stated: Kaikeyi was the most unlucky character in the entire epic. The poor woman loved Ram more than her own son, she went to fight for her King, she was also probably the smartest of the Queens and yet, in a cloudy moment thinking, she ruined it for everyone. What a beautiful lesson!

Still another said: A woman can build or destroy a house. Perfect example: kaikeyi

While one viewer stated that Kaikeyi was a pseudo feminist, several others protested.

Kaikeyi was the first pseudo feminist. # Ramayan, opined the viewer.

Kaikeyi is a good example that a woman can ruin man's life even without Pseudo feminism. # Ramayan a #Ayodhyakaand, said the viewer.

A social media user made an interesting observation saying Ramayan would have had a different perspective altogether if it was penned from the viewpoint of any of the female characters.

The tweet reads: Have you ever not wondered how the story would have unfolded in its own different indifferent manner if the pen was given to Kaikeyi or Manthara, to Urmila or Kaushalya, to Surpnakha or Mandodari?

It has just been a few days since Doordarshan started airing Ramayan, and one thing is clear: more than three decades later, the show has lost none of its power to remain a talking point, any which way.