So another movie star came out with yet another serial on television. But can Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate be called ‘just another serial’? After all, the Perfectionist Khan has chosen a topic that most others would probably shy from. It’s not one of those guaranteed hits, say like a Salman Khan movie, Justin Bieber song or Chetan Bhagat book.
In his first episode aired on 6 May 2012, Aamir didn’t bother with any candy floss topic; he started off directly with female foeticide. And taking a lesson from Aamir, we’ll get straight to the topic:
Why We Liked Satyamev Jayate
1. No Prize Points/Money/Quiz/Trip: You have a real celebrity who talks about real issues. There’s nothing to win, nothing to lose. You don’t have guests fawning about how he/she has been dying to meet Aamir since the day he was born. Or about how Aamir’s movie made doubled the sale of vacuum cleaners in hospitals. Everyone – the guests and the host – stay on topic.
2. The Desi Oprah: Of all the names Aamir has been called so far, the latest entrant is ‘desi Oprah’. But unlike Oprah, Aamir has a very homely way of being on the sets. He sits on the couch only when he has a heart-to-heart talk with any of the guests. The rest of the time, he sits near the audience, almost like he is chit-chatting with them. From seeing audiences touch the feet of actors, this looks like a refreshing change.
3. No Khans, Kapoors, Chopras: Most other shows with celebrities as hosts would end up becoming a mini show of strength. Stars would rope in their friends to come on the show. Salman Khan got Aamir to ride a cycle with him, Amitabh Bachchan got Shah Rukh Khan on the ‘hot-seat’ and Govinda got… well never mind. Hopefully, the show won’t have Aamir’s buddies Salman giving a talk on safe-driving or Kareena talking about positive body image for women.
4. Real Topics:Aamir isn’t getting Ranbir Kapoor to endorse condoms or wondering whether Sonam Kapoor inherited the hairy gene from her father or not. He hasn’t shied away from saying “semen” on national television, and we hope he keeps it that way.
Why We Didn’t Like Satyamev Jayate
1. Learning From Another Khan: Just because Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate promotions aren’t as loud as Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One doesn’t mean they aren’t as annoying. Those brown eyes stare down at you from hoardings all over town, the show was aired a minimum of four times yesterday, and the promotional song is in theatres, on television. We get it Aamir, your stare can change everything. Happy?
2. Armchair Activism: Remember Aamir talking about the sting operation on ultrasound centers? Nothing happened. How much can a television show change? Even Ekta Kapoor claims to be talking for women in her shows, but we know where that’s going. Aamir’s solutions include “changing our mindset”. We think that has been copyrighted by the hundreds of armchair activists already.
And remember when Aamir talked about the Narmada Bachao Andolan? And when he supported Anna Hazare? Remember what happened then? Nothing.
3. SMS To Save The World From Poverty: Now this is something personal (maybe because we are underpaid journalists and all). According to the chatter in the media, Aamir Khan gets paid Rs. 3 crore per episode. That’s a whole lot of zeros there. And yet, when I see him asking me to send an SMS to so-and-so to save girl children, it hits a nerve. Okay, so Aamir deserves to be paid for his services as a host, but he also needs to stop asking me money to change the world.
4. Too Perfect: Maybe it’s just another drawback of being in the show biz – people doubt everything you do. But Aamir sounds too rehearsed. He’s got all the right ingredients: a scarred woman, his eyes welling up, 3 girls entering the sets seconds before he calls them to sit beside him, tears in the audience’s eyes: this could well be an emo movie script.
And from the looks of it, there’s a whole lot to come.