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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!

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