Have you been stalked by the numerous hoardings of Aamir Khan staring intently at you no matter where you go? If yes, you must have wondered about what got him all profound, and therefore watched his debut show Satyamev Jayate on a lazy Sunday morning, curious about what was on offer. The internet has been flooded with opinions, both optimistic and pessimistic, about Aamir Khan, the content of the show, the after-effects of the show and the supposed change it will bring about in the mindsets of the people.
But what is really worth wondering is that if Aamir Khan is telling us something we don’t know about already. I mean come on, we know about female infanticide and child sexual abuse already. And in the forthcoming episode, the show will cover other social ills such as dowry deaths, corruption, child marriage and so on. Hello, we know about all of it, don’t we?
We do. But it’s high time someone spoke about them on a wider platform. And who could be better than India’s top actor and social activist to spread awareness about the numerous subjects we pretend to care about but don’t give a damn anyway? About topics that are considered taboo in society and hurriedly brushed under the carpet? You have to hand it to the man for actually doing something about it in his own way, as compared to his contemporaries who are willing to endorse or promote anything as long as the moolah is good. For those living in urban areas and insulated from the happenings in small towns and rural areas, this show comes as an eye-opener; and also to those whose concerns don’t go beyond the latest iPad they absolutely need.
Cynics might argue that nothing substantial is going to come out of it by merely talking about it. Maybe. It is absolutely possible that after a while all the hype and passion will subside and then people are anyway going to go back to talking about cricket, the weather and whether Anandi will get back together with Jagdish. Public memory is after all, short lived. But atleast it will make people sit up and bring about a change in their mindset, albeit gradually. Women who were initially hesitant to talk about their experiences and views came out openly and expressed themselves on national television. People who knew about the social evils, but never realized the socio-economic implications, suddenly had an ‘Oh! I never knew this’ moment.
And the entire buzz about Aamir Khan charging 3 crores per episode is ridiculous. No one has a right to comment about another person’s earnings and whether he deserves to get paid that much. At least he is getting up and doing something he feels strongly about. Because whether you may agree or not, the show is acting as a social catalyst in the society. People are watching it, people are talking about it and who cares about how much Khan charges when the purpose is being served? Agreed, no one will have a sudden revelation, especially people in villages with rigid mindsets, and wake up one morning thinking I am wrong just because Aamir Khan says so. But he has mass appeal as a celebrity and whatever positive impact is will have on people will ultimately serve the main purpose of the show. And come on, it is way better than Akshay Kumar making people eat bugs on Khatron ke Khiladi and Salman Khan doing nothing other than ripping his shirt out on Bigg Boss and still making big bucks.
To sum it up in the words of a Facebook status update – ‘Aamir Khan is India’s Oprah Winfrey!’.
– Janhavi Deshpande