The sound of O ri chirayya, nanhi si chidiya… reverberates in my mind as I get down to writing this piece. The first part of Aamir Khan’s 13-episodejourney to the real India, Satyamev Jayate has just concluded with this heart-wrenching track by Ram Sampath that sums up the theme of the episode – female infanticide- quite well.
We knew that Aamir Khan’s ambitious TV project is a reality show about the common man and their problems, what we probably didn’t know was that it attempts to solving these problems by not only providing solutions but starting a campaign of sorts.
Honestly, Aamir did look a bit conscious in the first two minutes when he’s talking about the format of his TV show. The focus shifts to the common man soon after. The first guest of the programme, Amisha Yagnik from Ahmedabad shares her tale of six abortions in eight years, just because she was carrying a girl child. She shows courage by giving birth to her daughter who’s now eight years old.
The second guest of the show Parveen from Madhya Pradesh tells another horror story, where her husband disfigured her face by biting it, when she insisted on giving birth to a female child. It is at this point we forget that we are watching Aamir Khan on a show. We forget that he’s a superstar of many successful movies. We instead focus on what these victims of social injustice are conveying to the society as a whole. That, I think makes Aamir Khan successful yet again, not in terms of TRPs (too early to talk about it), but in touching the pulse of nation.
You feel a pang of shock, with each revelation that sometimes comes in the form of a disgusting story, statistics or a video clip that Aamir’s team recorded while doing their research. It’s not that we haven’t read about such incidents before in newspapers and television. We have, but what’s different is that the show succeeds in convincing people of the outcomes of such practices better than a government campaign on female infanticide or a television soap like Balika Vadhu.
The format is quite crisp. Talking about the emotional connect, there are moments when your eyes well up with tears, but the various segments ensure there’s more content than emotional drama.
It would be unfair to compare Aamir with his colleagues such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan by rating his hosting skills, simply because the show’s theme is so hard-hitting that we forget about the person who’s talking about it. We instead think about the sufferings of the real people.
It is rather interesting to note that when journalists turn entertainers by doing mindless stories on superstitions, entertainers like Aamir Khan have to step in to do what journalists are supposed to do – make a difference. The show is a classic example of that. As far as Aamir’s tagline for the show goes –
Dil par lagni chahiye, dil pe lagegi to hi baat banegi
, we cannot agree more.