A show with a difference

When perfectionist Aamir Khan chooses to debut on small screen, people wake up to the call of Satyamev Jayate

On air: Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate
On air: Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate

It was in the 1970’s that the Government of India came with the female foeticide programme, in which it was suggested that more men are needed to make India develop at a faster pace. That’s when the rate of female foeticide accelerated. Only when a few social activists raised their concern, the initiative was a put a full stop to. Forty years down the line, there have been a mind-boggling three crore foeticides and infanticides across India.

All facts and figures were provided in the first soul-stirring episode of Aamir Khan’s debut show, Satyamev Jayate. All facts and figures in correspondence to the title of the show, Satyamev Jayate, to Aamir Khan’s trademark — work of perfection.

It could easily have been a mix of some facts, some drama, a few stories, a few sermons… It could easily have been the same-old docudrama stuff on female foeticide infused with over-the-top emotions of victims. But then Aamir Khan is not someone who would serve the same recipe of entertainment garnished with a few ingredients of social responsibility.

“His debut on national television is worth it by all means, worth the hype the show created and worth the number of years he took to hit the small screen,” says Sushma Gupta, administrator, The British School, Panchkula, who is stunned by the facts provided by the show. “It brought tears to my eyes. We all know female foeticide is a prevalent in India but the extent to which it’s exists is appalling.”

The stories that Aamir brought on the show were heartrending. Stories of a certain Amisha who had to abort six girl children in the span of eight years, of a certain Parvin whose husband distorted her face by biting her after she gave birth to two daughters, of a certain Dr Mitu Khurana who left her husband (also an orthopedic surgeon) to give birth to her two daughters, brought substance to the show.

Vir Das, a stand-up comedian and actor from Aamir Khan’s production, Delhi Belly is all praise for the show. “The show reflected the sincere efforts and clear intentions of the actor and his unit. A serious issue was dealt with seriously in a one and a half hour episode. The way it was presented must have left an impact on people’s mind.”

Celebrities started giving their take on twitter just after a few minutes. From Neha Dhupia, Farhan Akhtar to Preity Zinta, all participated. Rahul Mishra, a celebrated fashion designer made sure to stick to his TV set ten minutes before the show began. “And, it gave meaning to my Sunday. The show talked about the problems and then about the more important part, solutions,” says the designer.

If the show highlighted the areas in Haryana and Rajasthan, which has the most skewed sex ratio, it also mentioned about the efforts made by the people of Jallahu Majra village, in Nawashaher district. The sex ratio of 755 girls per 1000 boys in 2001 became equal in the year 2005.

The actor though made his debut on TV a decade later than other superstars, his fans feel that this is what sets him apart from the other A-listers. Varun Arora, a bank employee, says, “All actors want to entertain audience, make them happy. It’s only Aamir Khan who has the spirit to make them look at the harsh facts.”

The only humourous part of the show was when an unmarried lot of men demanded that Salman Khan should lead their club and help them find a girl. Rest everything in the one and a hour episode was tear-jerking. One and a half hours of waking up to the bitter reality that gender equality is still a far fetched dream in India.

ashima@tribunemail.com

Tweet account

Neha Dhupia

@Neha_Dhupia: #nowwatching @aamir_khan address the unreal problems of real
india … I’m a fan as always! #satyamevajayate

 

Taran Adarsh@taran_adarsh: There are stars. There are superstars. But there’s one superhero -Aamir Khan #SatyamevJayate

 

 

Harsha Bhogle@bhogleharsha: if @aamir_khan provides
the action promised #satyamevjayate will truly succeed. for that action, we too have to be involved. sms for a start

 

 

Preity zinta@realpreityzinta: Watching Aamir Khan on Satyamev Jayate discussing Female Foeticide ! I love this effort from him & thank him as a Woman !

 

 

Kiran Bedi@thekiranbedi: @aamir_khan absolutely the best program I have seen on TV in recent past. Thanku for converting an idiot box into an inspirationsl medium

 

 

Shekhar Kapur@shekharkapur: Satyamev Jayate proves tht TV 2 can b a tool of social change.

 

 

Madhur Bhandarkar@mbhandarkar268: Now Television will no longer be called an idiot box,the VISION of Television broadens up with #SatyamevJayate !!!

 

 

Farhan Akhtar@FarOutAkhtar: Satyamev Jayate. A show with a heart ??

 

 

Ameesha Patel@ameesha_patel: Aamir khan is truly an inspiration n idol. super show. eye opener n deals w such imp social issues.hats off to aamir

 

Compiled by Vasudha Gupta

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