Aamir Khan’s new show Satyamev Jayate began this week amidst immense hype and scrutiny. By now a lot has been written and said about it, but i just had to write about it after watching the first episode last night.
In case you haven’t watched it yet, the first episode of the show is available online.
As I watched the episode in segments of 20 minutes each, I felt my eyes welling up. By the time the closing song finished, i had tears in my eyes. You know there are evils in our society, that female foeticide is rampant, but you casually brush it aside as just another of the problems we have. Like dowry deaths, domestic violence, child marriage or what not. By the way, these are topics they will hopefully cover in upcoming episodes.
This show makes it impossible to turn your face away and pretend the problem is gone.
Like always, there are the naysayers. There are already people questioning the point of the show. That they are merely talking about stuff everybody knows already. That Aamir is charging 3 crores per episode. That it will not change anything. That people will continue to do what they do. That we are doomed to continue with our ills forever.
To me, there is a point. Our daily lives allow us the option of closing our eyes and pretending there is no problem. This show brings it right inside our living rooms, with full facts and figures. We can no longer pretend that this is somebody else’s problem. It is OUR problem. If you abort a girl foetus, think of the life you took. Think of what the mother went through. Think of what will happen when your beloved boy grows up and there are no more girls for him to marry.
Think. To me that is the biggest point of the show.
Obviously there are no silver bullets. We will not change overnight. There are really only two options.
1) wait for the Mayan predictions to fix everything for good by the end of this year
2) accept our problems and do something to fix them.
It is easy to lose all hope and say that this is somebody else’s – the government’s job. Yes, a big part of our problems stems from the apparent collapse of our law and order machinery. Citizens have no trust in the police anymore. We have laws but there is no enforcement. The judiciary runs at it’s own pace, where time apparently has no meaning and undertrials spend years in jails just awaiting judgment.
The example pointed out on the show said it all – these brave journalists risked their lives, covered over 40 cities and got incriminating evidence against doctors openly indulging in t. What happened to those doctors? Nothing. What happened to the poor journalists? 8 years later they are running from one Rajasthan court to another, stuck in the rigors of our judicial process.
So obviously waiting for the government to solve our problems is not going to do anything. Will Aamir Khan solve our problems? Likely not. One man can only cause as much change as we let him. In Aamir Khan and this show, we have that medium to spread awareness, propose some solutions and hopefully get some small wins along the way. But there’s the key word. “We.”
We are the ones who will effect any change that happens. Satyamev Jayate is just a medium.
This all sounds very nice and all that, and people several times ask me – “what is the point of writing this? What are you doing about it?” Which is a fair question. What is the answer?
Should all of us become crusaders? Should all of us start NGOs and take out morchas? Should we become RTI activists and risk getting shot in the middle of the night by people we are trying to expose.
Perhaps. Most of us won’t.
But we can start by trying to change ourselves. Learn to respect people around you. Be better citizens. Be better persons. Don’t litter. Don’t try to honk an old lady crossing the road into scared withdrawal. Don’t bribe. Pay your taxes.
Maybe i am naive, but these small steps may just become the medium to much bigger change.
Let’s take it a step at a time. Let’s change ourselves. The nation will change along the way. Rome was not built in a day.