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Aamir says Satyamev Jayate


ADITI PRASAD | New Delhi, May 7, 2012 14:44
Tags : Satyamev Jayate | Aamir Khan |female infanticide |

Satyamev Jayate will change the game for AamirIt's a little tough to talk about female infanticide in a blog that is supposed to be irreverent and satirical as reflected by its very name.

But I talk must about Aamir Khan and the first episode of his debut reality TV show Satyamev Jayate, which did not just wax eloquent about the subject but will perhaps raise the level of discourse on female foeticide to an altogether different level in the country.

The greats of Bollywood have all hosted reality shows in recent time. But the stylistic TV appearances of Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and others, pale into insignificance besides the sheer heart touching eloquence of this one show. Aamir’s monologue with himself at the beginning of the show for instance is enough to raise goose pimples on the back of your hands. Watch the show on YouTube just for this. In its simplicity, Aamir’s inner reflection wins hands down over any smartly crafted idioms by TV researchers and spoken with great panache by any of Bollywood’s other biggies.

Maybe we should refrain from comparing. After all, the genres of shows hosted by each of the greats have been completely different. Amitabh Bachchan hosted his quiz show with considerable panache and humility; and Hritik moved his body admirably in rhythm to his reality dance show. But Mr. Perfect has touched the audience's soul by lending his persona to a gutsy, hard-hitting show which promises to lay bare the myths behind a few of the many social evils plaguing the nation. He has dared to debut on small screen in an avtar that is neither sexy nor savvy – instead as a thinking ‘Indian’ who cares about stuff that happens in our nation.

Ten minutes into the 90 minute show and you even forget that Aamir is hosting it – so superbly does he hand over the baton to the long-suffering women who candidly explain their tryst with female foeticide.

One can't help but wonder why Amitabh Bachchan or Shahrukh Khan – both at their respective pinnacles of success – did not think of using their stardom to reach out to India in the stirringly poignant manner that Aamir has done. Because in doing so, the ingenuous actor has extended his credibility far beyond Bollywood forever. To be fair, Big B has done his bit for social causes as UNICEF's brand ambassador against polio. But it's Aamir who has actually walked the talk with Satyamev Jayate.

Satyamev Jayate is not an entertainment show. It’s an out an out news show – just that the news anchor is not the typical Mr. Know-It-All, but someone who wants to understand the issue on hand; has a research team that has taken pains and most importantly, allows others to talk on the show – instead of displaying usual streaks of megalomaniacal self obsession.

Better still, instead of airing a sensational bit of news and forgetting about it barely hours later - Aamir is treating this show like a campaign. His team is reportedly organising special screenings of the show in villages and the plan is for Aamir to use mass media to reach out to a larger target audience. Interesting, how a film star is now doing what mainstream media should have done a long time ago.

I wish there was a precedent to changing the government’s nominated-members to the Rajya Sabha. No offense to Sachin Tendulkar or Rekha, but India will certainly feel more empowered with Aamir Khan strolling the corridors of power instead of someone who's off-field/ off-screen performance is nothing to write home about.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Sunday Indian)
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017