Aamir Khans flagship show “Satyameva Jayate” may not have garnered as many T.R.Ps as Mr.Bachchan’s K.B.C., Yet it is unique in many respects, the core concept of the show being one of them. It claims to embark on a quest- one where truth is looked at, not with rose-tinted glasses but with the understanding that reality is often harsh and grim. How far it managed to strike a chord is somewhat of a debatable issue.
The Marketing Genius named Aamir
The award for “the most-talked about maiden venture on Television” without a doubt goes to Mr. Aamir Khan. If nothing else, he has ensured that people sit up and take notice of his foray into television. Famous for being off-beat in his choice of films, a majority of his fans were surprised at his choice of an out-of-the-box subject for marking his debut in Telly Land. By choosing an unconventional slot of a weekend morning instead of primetime television weekly slots, he not only set the critics tongues wagging but also upped the curiosity levels in the Indian audience, who were accustomed to watching mythological series in the 90’s during this slot. The marketing was typically Aamir-style. In-your-face hoardings of the star with the backdrop of a rising sun, channels broadcasting the pilots of the show without letting the cat out of the bag, the beautiful composition sung by Kailash Kher blared every time you switch on the radio are just a few examples to go by. He managed to gather viewership plainly by raising the curiosity levels, sustaining it was another issue altogether.
Did truth finally triumph?
Every episode has a central theme dedicated to one particular issue, usually ones that are put on the back-burner in light of more “important” ones like deficits, losses and corruption. Examples of some of the issues include the skewed sex-ratio due to infanticide, child-marriage etc. Guest speakers either authorities or victims/families of victims are featured in every episode to talk about their experiences or figure out solutions for the said problem. Every show ends with a theme song which Aamir claims is to “increase the people-connect” of the show. Whether it actually made any effect on the masses is hard to say, but it has certainly made the politicians wary of the star-power an actor yields on this democracy. After an episode on the infanticide issue leading to a skewed sex-ratio, the Government in Madhya Pradesh has ordered for the cancellation of 64 sonographs registered under it. Also a petition signed by Sridevi, another yesteryears actress has been forwarded to the parliament for passage of a bill that enforces strict action against child abuse. The very recent episode on honor killing also shed light on the brutality of inter-caste marriages- somewhat of a taboo topic in the country.
Social networking sites like Facebook, had misinformed detractors targeting the hypocrisy Aamir portrayed with viral photos circulating after the very first episode itself. It claimed that Aamir who divorced his first wife and remarried, locked up his schizophrenic brother had no right to poke his nose into others matters. As a matter of fact, some even went on to stretch the truth and target his personal life. The episode on doctors earned Aamir the wrath of doctors and medical students alike, for its lopsided and amateurish view on the stagnancy of the medical association in India as also the malpractices involved. Akin to the first case, effects were witnessed on the Internet along with personalized hate mails forwarded from aspirants and professionals alike.
It is a well-known fact that to wake up our dormant, stagnant and overtly conventional government is a Herculean task. Whatever people say or think about “Satyamev Jayate” but at least there is a platform which is raising these real issues, which otherwise never discussed. If we aren’t good-spirited enough to laud a person working for the elimination of the issue, we shouldn’t be a spoilsport either dissuading him. We appreciate this effort.