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India's first soap opera was Hum Log, which first aired in 1984 and concluded with 154 episodes, was the longest running serial in the history of Indian television at the time it ended. It had an audience of 60 million. Every episode of 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."
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 TV series in India.
Soaps have an impact on Indian society, with regard to national integration, identity, globalisation,women, ethics and social issues in rural areas. 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.
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."