Satyameva Jayate : Here to Stay


The last few weeks have been abuzz with discussions on the latest serial to hit indian television screens viz Satyameva jayate.

Satyameva Jayate is a talk show hosted by the highly intellectual and talented Aamir Khan ( of Taare zameen par and 3 idiots fame, amongst other things, dealing with very important and socially relevant issues which we all know about but are afraid to talk openly about.


Aamir Khan at the 2010 Toronto International F...

Aamir Khan at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The show is aired on star plus on Sundays primetime mornings. The time, in olden days , reserved for dedicated viewers of religious mythological serials/scifi/soaps and so on.

Going by the viewer comments, the serial has hit a strong chord with the people ( in general). Of course there are negative and disparaging comments on Aamir Khan, primarily on his personal life and whether it renders him eligible to discuss issues of a serious nature.

After reading the whole spectrum of comments ranging from overtly praising to downright vituperative comments, vilifying aamir khan for his personal life and decisions, I decided to take a peep at this serial.

I saw the dowry episodes and the CSA episodes. On the whole I was impressed with his handling of difficult issues, his approach as an anchor. Naturally, the duration of the talk show restricts the number of examples or details in which you can go into issues. And there is a certain artificiality in talk shows, it being a select audience and then environment of artificial comfort.

Having said that, I did find the presentations relevant and impactful. The CSA episode was compelling and extremely painful to watch especially the stories presented by CSA survivors. I found it the best and truly an excellent and hard hitting episode with facts, scientists, doctors to support a nd provide info. Frankly, having suffered at several points in life (though mild) , CSA is something which is very important and essential issue for me and to so many others out there. I really appreciate Aamir and his team for doing a well thought out serial.

Now as far as the negative comments made:

1. what right has Aamir Khan to talk of these issues since he is a divorcee and married again?

Aamir Khan’s personal life is his. How he , his wife, their children and current wife have dealt with those episodes are their own business. All relationships need  not be permanent. I think we need to change this over idealistic, over perfectionistic mindset of ours. Why partners tend to drift away is something only they can answer. Having said that we , strangers, who are not in touch with the feelings of all the parties concerned are not the best judge on this.  So I feel there is no relevance in connecting these issues.

However, as someone very cleverly pointed out, it would indeed be very courageous of Aamir, if he can talk about the reasons marriages fail and of increasing divorce rate in his program. I am sure his views would be significant and would help silence detractors. This is a challenge which I am not sure that he will take up  but I do hope he will target in future episodes.

2. What is his motive in doing such a talk show? It is believed that he charges 3 crores for this episode.

Aamir Khan is a man of exceptionable intelligence as can be seen by the films he has acted or directed in. He is also a man blessed with the ability to reach out to people on issues without being intrusive or arrogant.  Naturally he has the right to charge the fees he does. Money may be of course a primary motive in doing the show as well as a professional challenge. To create a program which is able to challenge people in their thinking would be something motivating, i would guess. Altruism is a great quality but I have no problems in accepting if Aamir is doing the show entirely of monetary/professional considerations as long as it is meaningul for the audience. It is better to be practical than insincere altruism

3.  Comments on his religious beliefs and insinuations regarding painting muslims in a better light as ar as hindus are concerned (dowry)

Naturally, some people are making a hindu-muslim situation here.  When I watched the episodes, I could not detect any religious bias or pandering.I thought it was very down to earth, warm and interesting and emotional.

In conclusion, while certainly it is impossible to achieve huge societal changes simply through a television show, one must credit the makers for making something which is relevant and hopefully creates the impact required for people to change their mindsets, their thinking and through them the society. This is in itself, a spark to what would hopefully  lead to a volcano of changes.

Satyameva jayate!


About terriblethinker

dreamer, hoper, lover of life, beauty and nature, passionate about reading and music

Posted on May 21, 2012, in India, Social Issues, television and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Well the analysis is simple. As far as I can see, the show is a brain child of a smart suave marketing manager. While we can all argue about what is shown on the show and what is not, its immaterial as far as the marketers, producers as well as beneficiaries of the show are concerned.

    For them this is an instant hit and although I haven’t check the TRP’s, I am pretty sure what I am talking about. This can best be described as the second coming of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show connects very strongly and deeply with its intended target audience – the urban class.

    The show has and in future time will mesmerize the middle class more whereas educating them about the current social environment of the country, till the threshold they will accept it and this line of threshold will get clearer as time progresses.

    Satayamav Jayate can typically be classified as a CSR initiative.
    It however is better than other corporates who sponsor operations like ‘Save Tiger”, “Save Oceans” on NEWS channels and then the channels awards them at their GREEN (etc?) awards.

    In a nutshell, this TV show is potentially the greatest weapon of soft power the Indian state has employed against its own population. Well, we all know of Salwa Judam, take this as phenomenon happening on a diametrically opposite side of the spectrum, more like what MTV did.

  2. nice analysis. Think you have hit it as far as the marketing/TRP/strategy part is concerned.

    Can you clarify what is CSR? And why do you say that this TV show is a kind of soft power exercised by state against its population? Isn’t this a private organisation which is creating and broadcasting it?

    • CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility, i.e. when the rich can feel good about doing something for the society, the same rich who on the other hand would want to drive out the tribals away from their homes.
      Fine examples of CSR are NDTV’s Save Tiger Campaign, Save Ocean Line etc whic are funded by big corporations (Airtel / Aircel etc) through CSR. Do you remember who won the NDTV Green Awards?
      I think there are some regulation on this too (i.e. there is a minimum amount a coporation has to budget for CSR initiatives) and soon we might have a Social Credit system, much on the lines of Carbon / Green Credit system, if we dont already.
      I dont think I need to elaborate why and how this show is tool of soft power but as far as the ownership question of this show arises, well the lines between corporates and the ruling political class is way too blur. Every politician has a favourite businessman and vice versa. This show is sponsored by Airtel, Sunil Mittla right?

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