Friday, May 11, 2012

Only the truth prevails: Aamir's journey on the small screen.

It's not film-related, other than for Aamir Khan's presence and producer role, but I figured I'd talk about this anyway. Much to my delight, the first episode of "Satyamev Jayate" (the truth prevails) was put up on YouTube legally, for most people to see (I hear it's blocked in the US), and with good English subtitling to boot. Curious, I sat down to watch it.

The first episode deals with sex selective abortions (often committed despite the mother's own wishes) and is pretty hard-hitting stuff. I'm sure some people will accuse this of being Aamir's vanity project, but he lets the people telling their stories get the centre stage, and talks to experts as well - there isn't much vanity to be seen here. While not perfect, the first episode seemed to be very good, informative and educational television - it tackles complex issues in a way that makes the viewer understand some of the complexity, but also that there is a very simple, humane solution. Aamir's unadulterated optimism and idealism shines through, but when it comes to such horrific things, it's precisely that hopeful attitude that allows one to digest it all. Some things are unfortunately not explored (connection to dowry, how gender inequality in general affects the issue), but what with the stories and the well-presented statistics, even an hour of running time goes by very fast.

I hear this first episode has raised the issue back to the national conscious, and hopefully some progress will happen because of it.

I have to say, while I understand the appeal of watching game shows that are hosted by film stars, though I never watched many myself (I think the Aamir episode of Salman's "Dus ka Dum" was the only one I sat through in full), I think this kind of more journalistic television is perfect fit for Aamir and I will continue following it. If you're interested in the same kind of issue-tackling television, I recommend you do the same.

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