‘Satyamev Jayate’ did live up to the hype. I am not writing this as an advertising person with brand myopia but more like one of the millions who waited for Sunday.
When you have Aamir Khan in charge, you expect him to overtake the regular. But this time, he took things into a brand new dimension. From here on, the direction of the show is pretty clear. He will take us deeper into the disconcerting truth that’s India – warts and all.
Sure, some happier parts of life will nullify the pain. But overall, the button will be our angst. It will be unravelling of a series of discoveries that will provoke us and make the insensitive us uncomfortable.
If I read him right, he will efficiently use our raw hurt and drive change initiated by our exposed nerves. We have been a dormant, indifferent, and an unconcerned population and we needed to be gouged out of our blindness.
Yesterday’s episode on female foeticide, ultrasound scanners, conniving doctors, primitive in-laws, and a falling percentage of women, wasn’t just sensational news. That was a jolt to snap us out of our mass hypnosis.
It isn’t that these were unfamiliar stories. We always read similar news. We possibly even watched them unfold close to us – most helplessly. But our senses had dulled. Our skin had thickened. Blind spots infected us.
And that’s exactly where he found the opportunity to wake us up along with the help of deliberate thinking, new technology, and India’s rekindled power of activism.
As of that morning, passive entertainment just got engaged to active democracy. Suddenly he has empowered a nation. He has emboldened a nation. He has given you and me the hope that maybe everything isn’t lost altogether.
Perhaps there’s a chance our voices don’t have to be buried under red tape, bureaucracy, and every other power that’s worked to maintain status quo. Maybe there’s a way to end these terrible things, and maybe our great nation of compromise and tragedy could actually cut a radiant new path.
A simple SMS could galvanise and change the nation. For a paltry rupee, we could impact and tilt the balance in favour of justice and nature. Our millions of mobile phones could be the sculptors of a better life and we should not reduce them to vote for silly idols and songs.
But more importantly, while this show could be the occasion to fight for betterment, we have a genuine crusader with us. For someone to give up the air-conditioned bubble of stardom to go out and face the darker side of India takes more than showmanship and bling shoes.
It takes courage, gumption, and trust in one’s ability to gut the dragons of real life.
Aamir has staked his reputation on his belief that he can help bring about a change. He wouldn’t do that unless he is at least remotely sure of that.
Which is why I think you can believe in him and in his credibility. He isn’t the sort of man to represent false promise, or the kind who’d do this for transient TRPs. He means business. He will go all out to ensure this. And he certainly won’t get out for a duck.
Aamir has redefined his role and responsibility. In fact, he has walked the talk to the next level. He has made himself accountable to the country in full view of the nation. No ordinary mortal will have the conviction to publically commit himself to even limited redressal. It takes a different set of values and six pack morals.
Now the onus is on him to deliver. He has to deliver. And I want him to deliver as much as every man and woman and child that watched his show. Because if he doesn’t deliver, he will crash – nose first. If he doesn’t battle for us, our combined hopes will crash with him.
While it’s only hours since the first show went on air and from what I can anticipate, the tenor of his show has the built-in calibre to unite us under the flag of our misery.
We could very well write us a new alphabet; A for acid attacks, B for bride burning, C for child labour, D for dowry, and so on. Until now none of us – including all the heavy weights in Bollywood, cricket, media, politics, industry, music, etc. have been able to kill these monsters.
And until now, none of the buzzing queen bees and stinging father wasps of social media have been able to do zilch to stop gory headlines and bloodier breaking news.
I think Aamir is on a critical mission and that’s great news for India. This is the closest we could get to cleaning up the mess around us.
Maybe this is our show. Maybe this is our chance.
Veritas vos liberabit...The truth will set you free.
The author is Managing Partner and CCO of Bang In The Middle
Follow Prathap Suthan @patsuthan