It was Monday, 7th May 2012,when Pankaj Jain, founder, Smilyo told me to write an article on Aamir Khan’s production “Satyameva Jayate.” My reply was, “I’ve heard a lot in ads and everything, but I don’t know what it is about.” He told me to watch the first episode and gather a general idea. I said, ‘Okay. Will get back to you in 2-3 days.’
11th May 2012, Thursday, 2 a.m., I logged on to YouTube and opened the link to the first episode.
1 hour, 4 minutes and 29 seconds later, tears were rolling down my cheeks.
Aamir Khan, the man of the moment, has always been top notch in promoting awareness regarding various issues prevailing in the Indian culture, be it the Indian spirit in Lagaan, or the pressure on students for marks in Taare Zameen Par or 3 Idiots. Not only movies, he also has a big role in the Incredible India campaign (Atithi Devo Bhava) and supports PFA (People For Animals), an NGO.
Satyameva Jayate, Aamir’s new concept for promoting social issues has gained popularity all over India. When asked about how he came up with the idea in an interview, he said, “We often see things happening around us that disturb us but don’t know how to intervene. I thought TV is a very strong medium and if I can use it to reach every home, maybe a small dent can be made. The idea is to try and bring about an attitudinal change. We often want to point fingers at the government — sarkar yeh nahin karti — but there are many issues for which we are the solutions. We have to decide whether we want to think a certain way or not. Crimes like these are planned in bedrooms but you can’t have a policeman sitting in every bedroom.” The show aims at reflecting real life stories rather than fictional ones to emphasize the need for immediate action and to make people aware that these issues are happening around them.
For those of you who haven’t seen the first episode, it is titled “Daughters are precious”. It aims at creating awareness about female foeticide. And personally, the best thing I learnt from the show was that you can’t always blame the poor and uneducated to be the root cause of all social issues. The main point that came out of the show was that female foeticide even prevails in the high class, well educated families. The figures and facts in the show moved each person sitting in the audience to tears.
While researching for this show, I came up with an interesting fact. Due to limited time slot for the show, Aamir couldn’t depict one story. It was about a girl, whose identity is kept anonymous, who was made to abort the child when she was 6 months pregnant, because of which the baby was killed in front of her. She quotes, “The baby was dropped in a bowl, and till date when I hear the sound of an onion dropping in a bowl, I remember my baby.” Unlike the other 3 ladies who appeared in the show, she still lives with her husband. She had given the interview without telling her husband but when the show was cast, she told him about how she felt and he realised what she had gone through and apologised for the same. By the end of the episode, the actor promised to write a letter to the Rajasthan government to set up a fast-track court to process the cases arising out of the sting operation on doctors performing female foeticide, carried out by Meena Sharma and Sripal Shaktawat (reporters).
After the first episode, I couldn’t wait for the second episode to be telecasted. And when I saw it, it was even more heartbreaking than the first, with its bitter truths.
The second show is titled, “Break the silence”. It focuses on sexual assault on children and how because of embarrassment they don’t speak up. When asked to guess the percentage of children who might have been sexually assaulted the maximum guess by the audience was 12%. Shocking as it may be, the answer was 53% out of which 53% were males.
In the show it was shown that most of these abusers were close family members of friends, and that parents do not trust children when they finally admit to have been sexually assaulted. Every story was heart touching, and each of them must inspired millions of children to speak up and millions of parents to trust their parents. It shocked me to the very core to learn that there is no law in India against sexual abuse. Towards the end, a children-friendly workshop was conducted in which children were made aware of sexual abuse. Also, as in the last episode, Aamir promised to write a letter to the Indian government to form a strong and specific law against the sexual abuse of children.
I, personally, am a great supporter of Aamir khan’s attempt to create awareness among the citizens of India. The show is telecasted on DoorDarshan as well as StarPlus. The show is being specially telecasted in the villages where cable connection is not available, so as to create maximum awareness. The show also gives option to fund the NGO’s related to each show. I would like to request every reader to watch the show and be a part of Aamir’s movement of Satyameva Jayate, truth always triumphs.