Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan and us

…we are all the part of a system and it’s we who can make a change. Waiting for an animal biting the face of your sister won’t yield anything neither will ignoring the fact that if something is wrong in the society we are equally responsible.

May 6, 2012, Sunday at 11 AM, Aamir Khan Productions’ Satyamev Jayate went on air with its first episode on Star Plus (all nine Star channels, in fact), Doodrdarshan as well as Internet in India and 100 other countries.

That was a base fact about the TV series which will have 13 episodes in all and will largely be focussing on the issues that pertain to all of us but due to certain tendency of ’it’s fine, sab chalta hai yaar’ and so much of it around us that we take it as default environment to live, we have become ignorant of them.

There are many cynics who will go on to say, “what’s so new in this?” To them we should ask what have they done to make it an old and forgotten issue by contributing anything about solving it.

It’s not that I am a diehard Aamir fan and think whatever he does is great and worth rave reviews. No. Rather I am a citizen of this nation and one component of society which, at least, has the courtesy of not questioning an effort just for the sake of it.

It’s a general thinking that he does all of it for money. But let’s look on to some facts: Aamir has asked all his ad endorsement companies not to air his ads till the show ends. He has agreed to make it available to DD so that the message reaches to maximum. In a 90 minute slot there is barely 10 minutes of break time where as in general 30 minute shows, it’s 12 minutes of ads. He asks to SMS but that doesn’t cost you Rs 3 but just Re 1 and that too doesn’t go to the show but to an NGO which he doesn’t own.

What else you want in this commercial world where every star doing a TV show deliberately brings all the brands he endorses on the screen!

Anyway, one can’t change the way some of us might think. But as the theme of the show and the inherent message go that we are all the part of a system and it’s we who can make a change. Waiting for an animal biting the face of your sister won’t yield anything neither will ignoring the fact that if something is wrong in the society we are equally responsible.

It is appalling that the so called intellectuals who read Shakespeare, Dante, Newton et al and are exposed to media of all sorts are unaware of the realities of their societies. There is a deep rooted prejudice that poor and hungry and village people are the origin and the bed of all sorts of social ills in India. They need to open their eyes and have a look around.

Talking of social ills,the recent killing of Loitham Richard in Bangalore tells the gory truth about us. Have you ever seen someone soaked in kerosene and lighted up in flames? I have. I have seen her begging for life as parts of her skin kept falling from her body as she dragged herself to get some help.

Nobody helped. She was a victim of dowry. I was too young to understand what’s going on. But that image remained with me.

I still hear some distant cousin, some neighbour’s daughter, or a relative of mine was burnt and showed as a suicide case. Family is too weak to take it to the courts.

There are many issues with ourselves and we all know what they are. But the problem is we just know it. We think it is not affecting us directly. We think we will miraculously escape it. We believe we are immune to such things…

But we are not. The biggest problem with us is that we are selfish to the core. We oppose dowry but consider it a right when we are marrying. We conveniently throw it on our parents and say we can’t oppose them. We want to see a lot of girls around but we like to have son. Again your parents want it.

We want our city clean but we don’t even realise that throwing that paper cup, that water bottle, that chocolate wrapper will make it look filthy.

We want 24×7 light but we conveniently waste it. Taps are running but no issues, we earn too much to pay for it.

But money and this attitude isn’t a solution to anything. It might bring a temporary relief to you but in the long run we will become a society which is decaying on a constant pace.

This selfishness and self-devised ego satisfaction and pseudo-intellect will hit us all hard. We ought to think on it. We will have to think why we were the light of civilisation for the world. We will have to know that there is still hope that we can turn it around.

We will have to champion ourselves in boasting about fulfilling our ’duties’ before we crib on our ’rights’.

There is this dirt on the road, in the streets, in our hearts and in the environment. Returning to nature’s way and accepting things as nature wants will make us a happy society.

That day the moon will appear brighter because the dirt will be gone.

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