Where is the fire burning? Well, besides 42° Celsius of scorching heat on the Deccan Plateau, in offices cooking up controversial appraisals, summer holiday planning in affluent homes with children, a new fire is spitting and crackling every Sunday morning at 11am on your television set. No, I am not talking about a Saas-Bahu serial, this one is called Satyamave Jayate. Star Plus can probably still be saved if they start hosting more shows like Satyamave Jayate, which reminds me of the good old days of Doordarshan when monotone TV serials came with a social message and ignited our hearts.
Aamir Khan’s famous words in his hugely disruptive show Satyamave Jayate, which is now being aired on Doordarshan and paid television channels, revives the same sentiments and forces me to reawaken my idealist self. Aamir says, “Sirf hungama khada karna mera maksad nahi. Meri koshish hain ki yeh surat badalni chahiye. Mere seeney mien nahi toh tere seeney mien sahi… ho kahin bhi aag, lekin jalni chahiye.”
What the sexy face of perfectionism, the alter ego of Bollywood, the heart-throb of my college years, means is that we need to light the holy fire in our conscience once again as we watch him every Sunday showcase the loss of ‘human’ from ‘humanity’ in India.
But, will we, the people of India, all burn our hearts out trying to fit into the grand scheme of altering human behaviour with action instead of remaining mute spectators indulging in the charms of our quintessential star? Satyamave Jayate, undoubtedly, is the sexiest new idea in town after Anna Hazare’s drive against corruption. Perhaps what we all need is a burning desire to change the world neatly packaged by a believable star.
Why not? Most Hollywood films gross billions when their heroes save the world. Maybe our Bollywood heroes, who dare to step off the big screen, and light up our hearts and homes with programmes like Satyamave Jayate can help us change what we hate most — ourselves.
From ignoring a five-year-old child begging at your car window to glazing over the face of a bent old man with a walking stick outside the restaurant where you stuffed yourself like a turkey, you may have done it all. How did those people get there? That question always has a priceless answer which has no relation to the question: “Don’t give them money, because they are lazy and that is why they beg.” Our apathy towards the human condition has reached alarming proportions, perhaps for our fear of being taken for a ride!
That is the very reason we have to take a stance
when we hear of our women friends getting beaten up by their husbands, or parents selling off their daughters to the richest man under the façade of a respectable match, or victims of child abuse being accused
of having “encouraged the abusers”. But the test of the pudding will be in the community’s eating — which is to say that Truth Shall Prevail only if we work together towards keeping the fires of positive change burning by participating, endorsing, supporting and actively working on the issues that this show dares to bring forth rather graphically.
Satyamave Jayate — the title that needed no registration because it is free for use by every Indian — heralds Social Change. It is calling out to test, not Aamir’s star power alone, but ours as well. I will be watching, contributing, writing and welcoming social change in India, because I believe in Satyamave Jayate. What about you?
The writer is a communication specialist.