Ever since Aamir Khan decided to give television in India, a realistic tinge, there is a section of the media who has constantly been critical of him, his tears et al. Funnily, after watching the terrifyingly shocking episode of Satyamev Jayate’s Season 2 yesterday, I stumbled upon multiple reviews of the pilot episode of this season. Needless to say, they were mostly critical of how Khan failed to up the standard of his show. The common points of criticism was how there was nothing different about the episode and how Aamir stuck religiously to the pattern of the show.

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Frankly, I never review television simply because I have no interest or inclination towards anything that flashes on the idiot box. But once in bluemoon, television surprises you with gems like Anil Kapoor’s 24 or Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate. It stumped me personally to see that people criticize Aamir often to either gain readership or because it is fancy to do that.

I am glad Aamir and his team did not sensationalize the already sensitive topic of growing violence or as SLUTWALK had termed it ‘sexual terrorism’ against women. Those who think Khan was playing down any aspect of India’s rape reality has surely never known or seen someone close dying of it (Thank God for that!)

Aamir Khan in a still from 'Satyamev Jayate Season 2'
Aamir Khan in a still from ‘Satyamev Jayate Season 2’

A month earlier In Mumbai, a girl went missing from Lokmanya Tilak terminus. Termed as ‘Andhra Techie Who Went Missing’, her story occupied little space on our minds as well as in the newspapers. Call her a victim of police apathy or media apathy, but this techie friend of mine has little hope of getting justice. Two and Half feet of Esther Anuhya’s body was found by her cousins near Bhandup, in a charred, almost decomposed state. Raped & Murdered suggested the Post Mortem Report. What happened to her, we still don’t know and will perhaps never know. Hence if Aamir Khan repeats on the show that rapists in India get away easy and only 3% of them are convicted, it is not information that can be misused but a commentary on the audacity of men who flourish on the patriarchal thinking which assigns too much power to men.

Perhaps I viewed this particular episode from the mosaic of bias, simply because it was all more relatable to me due to Esther’s sudden demise. But I ended up understanding the psyche and the nuances behind the phenomena of rape much better. Socially ostracizing the victim, pitying the victim and mostly making it impossible for her to let go off what is the most gruesome memory of her life are things we all know and yet never discuss. It is so ingrained in our sub conscious realm too, that we find it impossible to empathize with the victim.

I particularly liked what this social worker said on the show. “If a dog bites you, people sympathize with you. But if you are raped, then people often don’t have anything kind to extend to you.”

Satyamev Jayate 2 is just as much of a winner as its last edition. Well researched, crisp and lucid, it encapsulated every aspect of a sensitive issue with elaborate care putting across suggestions and ideas which if used correctly will be instrumental in rectifying the flaws of the social system in dealing with rape. As Aamir maintained how patriarchal thinking is the root cause of most social evils in the country, I salute the team’s attempt laying out bare to us the realities which we never bother to find out. Rapes do not happen to people we don’t know and people without faces or names. Their names aren’t Park Street Rape Survivors. They are people of flesh and blood who had a life and there’s no reason why a horrific incident should change anything for them!

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7 COMMENTS

  1. While I appreciate all the episodes presented in Satyameva Jayate by Amir Khan, I would request you to do research and present a very disturbing aspect of Mumbai’s city life – every year about 500 people die by falling from the trains that ply for the city commuters. I don’t think in any country such tragedy occurs. Please highlight it to jerk the Railways to take urgent steps.

  2. Thank you Mohar Basu and Koiumoi, for publishing this fair review of SMJ -2, first episode on rape. I am absolutely sick of the mindless criticism against the show, as also Aamir for his fees.All those dumb Big Boss and action shows and such fluff hosted by Bollywoodians–the dance shows where kids do filmi dances, all that jazz–these get praise, their star anchors paid crores, and nobody minds. Even Koffe with Karan is simply a malicious jokeathon…all these are ok…but a star who takes a year off to do socially productive television is derided, his fees examined. Tchah! Our petty jealousies will destroy us.

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