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    Feb 2010


    Default Review: Satyamev Jayate Season 2 Episode 1

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    Let’s talk about the first episode of Satyamev Jayate season 2 (Star Plus and Aamir Khan Productions). Did you all watch it? If yes, did you all like it? Found it poignant enough? The response has been rather mixed in the social networking space.

    Well, the setting was perfect! The first episode dealt with a simmering topic of contention that the nation has been grappling with. Today, people are seething with emotions, asking questions, seeking solutions and clamouring for a change. And there entered the modern messiah wearing a black blazer, looking a bit plump but chic, apparently a sane voice in this myriadly chaotic world with his own brand of opinion. Satyamev Jayate 2, many thought, would be an eye opener this time too.

    One of the most anticipated shows on Indian Television after the stupendously successful first innings, Aamir didn’t disappoint this time as well. In his two hour long opening act, Aamir sensitively delved into one of the most pressing issues plaguing Indian society today – rape. Aamir and his team patched together instances of the continuous struggle faced by women today in India and gave a platform those stifled by the system.

    Getting to the heart of the issue of rape, Satyamev Jayate 2 presented the various apathies and gross injustice faced by women. It promised them deliverance through simple workable solutions. With the topic ‘Fighting Rape,’ Aamir touched a raw nerve and the result was an astounding 12 lakh missed calls in two hours from people intending to join the fight against rape.

    All good. But the episode showed some five-six stories of rape incidences. The number could have been bigger. He brought into picture cases, which were already reported heavily in press. Novelty is what the episode missed.

    The intention was good. No doubt. But the episode revealed nothing new – we are well aware about police’s apathy towards a rape victim, the judicial re-rape, the doctor’s insensitiveness – what Aamir achieved in doing was connecting his audience with the pain and trauma that every rape victim went through. Suffice to say, he managed to put his viewers into a rape victim’s shoes.

    But was it enough? We say no. What about marital rapes, rapes in the North East by armed officials, rape of a young girl child by her uncle in her own home, at times even a father rapes his own daughter.

    The malice is deep rooted, which the show did not choose to dig, for reasons best known to Aamir. May be in this election wave, he wanted to play safe. Even while airing rape cases, he chose not to mention specific states or regions, many a times. Was he scared? Scared to take the system head on? That Aamir has dormant political ambitions and heart in heart waves the flag of a social crusader, is pretty evident by now.

    But he too is human. He is a David in front of a corrupt and harmful Goliath of a society and system.

    As an anchor in season 2 of Satyamev Jayate, he lacked aggression. He lacked the punch and often took to emotions to mellow down things. He wanted to rake up the burning issue but seemed to be scared to burn his hands.

    How in the world would giving a missed call to a certain number would change the system? It would only fill the already filled coffers of the show’s mobile advertising partner, we guess.

    We would have really liked, and we are sure many would agree, if Aamir would have really gone down to pin those cops who dared not to register complaints of the victims. Aamir’s team should have asked questions to the concerned authorities on why there was a delay in justice. They should have put the camera on the faces of the hooligans in white collars and exposed them in front of the world. The show could have dared a bit more. We all know about the apathy, but what the aam aadmi is looking for is solution. A little more aggressive Aamir could have instilled fear in the minds of those whose grey cells have turned absolutely black.

    However, the silver lining was spotted at the end of the episode when Aamir finally interviewed two rape victims, namely Urmila Singh Bharti from Madhya Pradesh and Suzette Jordan, who has courageously discarded the despicable moniker of ‘Park Street rape victim’ and today prefers to be addressed by her real name and real identity.

    When these two remarkable women relived their trauma, their undying resilience which saw them sail through after suffering the so called ‘ignominy’ of rape and their spirited fight till date, it essentially transported the taboo and hush-hush topic of rape straight into our drawing rooms where every patriarchal household watched the shame that sick men inflict on helpless women.

    For that, Aamir Khan and Satyamev Jayate deserve a pat on their back for achieving the impossible in the most sensitive manner possible.

    Yes, there were glitches and as said by many, Aamir is being paid hell lot of money to do what he is doing. But what he is doing, is certainly not wrong and Satyamev Jayate is definitely a brave effort by Aamir and Star Plus. If he is being paid to produce a show (the show has a cost, of course) that creates awareness and stings our conscience, then we absolutely support it. Other channels and stars should use their might and influence to kindle the dark spots of the society. Television and films have a great impact on the behavior of individuals in the society and we beseech that more such initiatives should be taken.

    We just hope that Satyamev Jayate season 2 would be able to do what the collective anguish of a nation’s conscience couldn’t do before and actually stem the decay! Stop rape, stop the shame and to conclude in Aamir’s words, “Satyamev Jayate”.



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