Satyameva Jayate - My Thoughts

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"They are all different, yet all the same" - Sri Sri 1008 Furobiker Maharaaj !

Remember this quote, and we will come back to this in a little while.

Remember the good old days, probably some 15 years back, when most of you wore bell-bottoms and I was in school and had a head full of hair? Give or take 5 years, but during that era - and I vividly remember - Sunday mornings were either booked for Mahabharat, or for Alif Laila ! PS: In case, you were not born in that era - I pity you!

We all have such a deep connect with Sunday morning 10 am - 12 noon slot. It is THE family time, when everyone used to sit together, have a sumptuous looking thali of chole bhature or alu paranthe, (that is if you are a Punjabi, for the non-Punjabi folks - I don't know what you guys eat for breakfast!) and watch the weekly dose of moral science lectures blended in a concoction of cultural and religious sentiments, fed through the only entertainment medium of that time.

At the advent of Y2K bug, along with a new millennium, Internet came into our lives! That marked the demise of family hour every Sunday, and got us glued to the likes of Hi5s and Orkuts! (Kids, they were the Facebooks of early 2000s)

Fast Forward 10 years - Grab the exact time slot - Every Sunday 10.30 - 12, which held such a deep significance in people's subconscious - Masterstroke 1!

I am a big TV buff, and have accepted it time and again. That includes a lot of Indian as well as Western talk shows as well, including the good ones from Oprah and Aap ki Adaalat to the cheap ones such as Rakhee ka Insaaf! And inspite of the cocky hosts of all these shows, there was a common underlying theme in all of them - they were talk shows where everyone was given a chance to speak, even though in most cases, the glib talking hosts brushed aside what was not a part of their script!

Aamir, however correct he may be, provides only one side of the story! (Except for one case where some pesticide manufacturer came and called everyone a liar!) Now, i am not saying that we should listen to reasoning that a husband is providing for aborting his unborn female child, but with the immense power of fan following and bored-to-death twitterati of India, we are encouraging Aamir to become thought leader - more importantly one-who-thinks-he-is-always-right famous guy - to provide one sided judgement on every societal issue that happens in our country!

What if, the guy you called  on your show, turns out to be a much smarter guy at the live shooting and actually gives you a point which you cant refute? Shut the f**k up, this is my show and only I or my puppets do the talking - Masterstroke 2! 

OK! This one goes to both Aamir and his editing team! The show is - what we call it in terms of powerpoint presentations - so crisply produced, that you can not even get up to pee during that time! Every single tear from the people Aamir calls on his dais, rising and fading of the ultra-emotional music that can even shake the antar-aatma of a guy like me, every tch tch tch or ohhho sound made by Aamir is so well timed that I am tempted to go and buy a Filmfare for Aamir and his crew every 8 minutes!

I do not even remember a single day in past 20 years, when I went out of my home without a handkerchief! How come Aamir forgets it every single day and that too on probably the most important show of his life! At each of his well timed tear, he has to pull up his t-shirt, wipe the tear from his sleeve and continue listening to the harrowing tales of the interviewee!

The issues raised by Aamir are not new, and you know it! The only reason you are feeling so filled up with emotions and anger after viewing the atrocities telecasted because Aamir is a very fine actor!

Take up issues raised by thousands of activists all over the country, add one tablespoon of your direction skills, and one bucket of your super fine acting, and you have a fine mixture of sensationalizing TRP generating machine and a brilliant social worker image for yourself! Masterstroke 3 !

Just leave out the emotional fool inside you and observe the show / repeat telecast of the show once, and you will understand what I am saying. There is something in the way he acts and reacts that comes out as so-very-fake that it spoiled it for me! Brilliantly timed tears, agonizing looks and tch tch sounds on listening to every story (which he must have heard at least 10 times during rehearsals), knowing probing the person and then shedding some more tears! How is it not different from the typical soaps that your and my mom watches?

And right now, I am not even talking about the other issues I have about this show. For example, the host of the show, who after 15 years of marriage dumped his wife and kids, to marry a younger girl! (and then preaching whole India about arranged and love marriages!)

If you look at the masterstrokes outlined above, along with the impeccable acting by Aamir and the most appropriate shots of howling audience, you can not refrain yourself from calling Satyam Eva Jayate the Om Shaanti Om of Socially Responsible world! We all know Om Shaanti Om - howsoever bad the movie - was a sheer piece of marketing brilliance!

And that my dear friends, what Satyam Eva Jayate is - A brilliant mix of a marketing ploy, along with the topics of interest to common Indians, with the topping of Aamir Khaan effect that we have grown to be in awe of, over our lifetimes!

I am not at all doubting the issues raised by the show, they are very valid and are at the roots of most of the evils present in India. These are age old evils, and its high time that we uproot them for the betterment of our society! Seriously, someone needs to educate the masses regarding the same, and trust me that Aamir Khaan has dumbed down the show so much - by displaying very ordinary school level graphics, explaining everything in simplest of hindi and translating everything in Hindi - our national language. Commendable effort!

But my concern lies in the fact, that it takes just a few weeks for such issues to fizz out! Everyone on Twitter is now talking about some poisnous pesticides in our food instead of cases where female foetuses are aborted! We just have a very short term memory, and that is pretty natural !

However, what Aamir is gaining out of it, is building an image of Social Activist! Cherry on the cake is Amir visiting and addressing the parliament over issues raised in his Medical Malpractices episode! An actor - however fine he is - is not qualified to address the parliament over medical issues, or for that matter any issue!

Now let us read the quote given at the start  - They are all different, yet all the same!

They have got name, fame, money and most importantly a huge fan following. What more do they want? 

What would a fine gentleman and richest cricketer Sachin Tendulkar want at the dusk of his cricketing career?

In entertainment industry, you can not remember the names of all the people who took the same path.. starting from Vyjayanthimala, to Nargis, Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Rekhaa, Jaya Bacchan ... the list is endless!

 ... and more importantly, being at the same age, and having almost equivalent success in their professional lives, makes it much more difficult to single out one khan to nominate in Rajya Sabha.. unless Satyam Eva Jayate! Hope you get the drift...

PS: As a friend joked today - it is not Satyameva Jayate - it is Satyam Eva Jayate! When the phrase originated, there was no Meva in it! :)


Anonymous said...

I so agree with each and every word of the post...

Pankaj Sachdeva said...

I love this post! Maybe I have a personal dislike for Aamir as a person, which makes be biased, but the truth is the show is no different from another saas-bahu serial that forces us to cry.
And I totally agree about the one sidedness of the show; the other side of the story of the case in the doctors episode is researched extensively at this link

And yesterday only the news is that his production house has signed a 200 crore deal with the Women and Child Development Ministry to produce 50 films. I am not aware of the exact govt procurement rules but shouldn't there have been bids given for this? It is taxpayer's money, so how can he be given rights to such a deal without any conditions? No outrage here?

As Rajshree Sen brilliantly put it " There is something utterly contrived about his reactions. Even his spontaneity seems studied, which takes away from what he says, for me at least. His holier-than-thou image also seems a little hollow when you keep in mind the many ethical and moral imbroglios he’s been involved with – from copyright issues to extra-marital affairs to taking credit for directing a film which he didn’t to being accused of not acknowledging his illegitimate child."

♥ÐÅyÐяєÅмє®♥ said...

I won't refute your points...

But tell me how many other programs people see that has a social message ??


You are talking about its impact for a week or two.. I consider it a win even if it is for a day instead of none...I have seen a recent vigorous drive against foeticide in India after this program...

You are talking about publicity of Amir Khan and probable RS seat ??

What's wrong in that.. AB n SRK did KBC ..SK is doing Big Boss!! AK is doing khatron k khiladi.. WTH they are accomplishing ?? and don't get me started with RS members..what Sachin is doing there ???

In general, People all over the world idolized these celebrities.. they hear a fart from them..they believe it is lightening if they tell them to believe that..... I just don't get the point of wrongness of Satyamev Jayate.. he is not condoning anything that is unsocial he ??? About his personal status.. Our ministers are running the govt. with far more heinous crime then divorcing or marrying someone....

About him not calling the other side...

You answered yourself ... and believe me first people need to understand the problem then debate about its right or wrong...

and about tears wiping...

Who will pay the production bills if he doesn't bring the TRP ??? After all you are writing a controversial issue on your blog to bring the traffic..I don't see anything wrong in that too..


swati kohli said...

nevertheless u are a loyal audience for his show!!!

Amrita said...

Okay :) First up - thanks for penning this :)
Hmm.. well i do agree with a lot of aspects in ur post, for instance, the master strokes of drama and orchestration and the whole preachy pedantic tone. And of course there is the ticket to RS :D

but me being the eternal optimist would not want to throw the baby away with the dirty water. Yep, things might be lop sided, yep there might be some a-satya being propagated. But end of day it does raise awareness in people who may want to take it home. For instance some info about shelter homes, some laws - you dont get it so easily on prime time. So along with a new age soap you are getting some info, i think it s a job well done.

And as a famous person said - 3 things that sell are entertainment entertainment entertainment :D ;)

Dhakkanz said...

"t the advent of Y2K bug, along with a new millennium, Internet came into our lives! That marked the demise of family hour every Sunday, and got us glued to the likes of Hi5s and Orkuts! (Kids, they were the Facebooks of early 2000s)"

Very abso-correctly true!!