Satyamev Jayate Season 2: How about celebrating a whiff of positivity over voyeurism and occult?

Satyameva Jayate

By Rohit Bansal

In May 2012, sitting with a borrowed iPad, a few metres from the White Nile in Juba, I saw a show aiming to flow against the current of television advertising. The Nile, as we know, flows from south to north!

Being aware of the merciless onslaught of weekly rating numbers, I had hoped that “Satyamev Jayate” would ride the tiger. But knowing a bit about rating meters, I doubted whether India’s Rs. 80,000-crore (Rs.800 billion/$13 billion) media and entertainment industry, or even the high priests of “responsible TRPs”, would take notice.

The time-tested wisdom is, and remains, that audiences and adverts can’t be sold, week-on-week, without selling your soul. But I’m glad I put my money on actor Aamir Khan, the lead, and the Star Network. The duo gave our corporates a window to put their lot with social problems and not just bump-and-grind competitions and inane comedy shows.

So, I am happy that Star is back with “Satyamev Jayate Season 2“, if only to shame the notoriously play-safe media planning folks into footing their bill. Confession: I did question last time the merit of simultaneously proliferating “Satyamev Jayate” on nearly a dozen channels, including Doordarshan.

Also, writing as I did then from Clooney Country, where the Hollywood actor’s satellite has become the world’s primary source to check Khartoum’s war atrocities, I set the bar for Aamir at a scale beyond one “Satyamev Jayate”. The jury is out on whether or not “Satyamev Jayate” and now Season 2 give enough bang to the brands that spare shareholder money on buying airtime on the show.

Enough naysayers think “Satyamev Jayate” is a mere tearjerker; that Aamir and his producers merely skimmed the surface and steered clear of a lasting solution to anything. But this column is about the counter-narrative. Ask civil society groups, for example, who got serious funding thanks to “crowd sourcing” and matching grants from “Satyamev Jayate’s” philanthropic partner.

Yes, the money spent by Star and the sponsors wasn’t recouped. Much worse, if anyone has gained, it isn’t even Star, and its group of ideators, but Aamir, who emerged as the nation’s 21st-century Ram Mohun Roy – not to mention B.R. Ambedkar, Vinoba Bhave and Baba Amte.

Surely, an actor is nobody compared to giants who devoted a lifetime to the emancipation of women. But what it does is to bring the social agenda back to today’s twitterati. That said, a few minutes of television on, say, rape – as in Satyamev Jayate Season 2′s launch programme – can’t turn wolves into sheep.

No butcher wearing doctor’s clothes turned into a chartered member of the Missionaries of Charity thanks to Satyamev Jayate Season 1 in 2012. Killers throttling the little girl child of India kept finding support among Khaps. Nor did everyone stop sniggering at a Dalit the moment she turned her back.

But for their courage to look at these problems in the eye, shouldn’t we give our “shabash” to the underwriters? They dared to spend the bucks, not just moan and groan about bad content. Kudos to them for supporting change rather than bowing to the TRP economy.

Bitch we must over whether Aamir became the Knight in Shining Armour, and that Star was left to handle the bills! But how about celebrating a whiff of positivity over voyeurism and occult that passes off as Indian television. In “Satyamev Jayate” 2012, Star PR claimed that the show touched one in every two Indians on cable TV. But TAM numbers extrapolate mostly what auto-rickshaw wallahs watch!

So, what really mattered was that a few of us put our thumbs together on Twitter in solidarity for Cindrella Prakash, a victim of child abuse. Far from perfect! But the marriage proposals Prakash received on mass TV need to be lauded. Paradoxical as it may sound, the taste (and test) of “Satyamev Jayate” lies in the sequel that just started. I hope it can iron the wrinkles of the last season.

Satyamev Jayate is also the punchline of the Indian nation. Verse 3.1.6 of the Mundaka Upanishada, in full, states:

Satyameva jayate nan ta
satyena pantha vitato devayana |

Venakramanty ayo hyaptakama
yatra tat satyasya parama nidhanam ||

(Through Truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages, whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides).

More power to its believers in India Inc.

  • Hindi Poet JP Giri

    we need such type of serial each and every corner in India. So that people and youngsters can be motivated towards honesty. Only two persons are doing well one is Aamir Khan and another one is Arvind Kejariwal. God May Bless both of you those are motivating for Anti-corruption.

    • Gaurav

      Sir, There are other person who are working well . I appreciate how amir represent show. There are many people who should get credit hence amir show is doing well because of those people only. Lastly I am not satisfied that Arvind has done well, what has he done till now. I am one of supporter of arvind kejriwal , I campaign for him but i lost everything when left his duties for lok sabha election.
      But this time I would vote for NAMO only, last hope

  • Seema

    Aamir is also the producer of the show, so you can’t say STAR was left to pay the bills. Otherwise, good article.

    • Anita

      Aise shows se society main change aaye to achha hai. Lekin aisa ho nahi sakata. kyon ki is ki jimmedari har insan ki hai. ki voh apane khandan ke chirag ko sahi shiksha de,use achhe sanskar de. Aamir sir ne khud ki jimmedari nibhai hai. lekin hamara kya ?? hamne bhi to kuch karna chahiye. jaha hum rahete hai ya shuruat to hame apanehi ghar se karani chahiye. Is main bhi problem hai .kyonki sabako apane bachhe sanskai lagate hai aur busaron ke …..
      Hamare desh main har dharm ke kuch na kuch riti riwaj hai bachhe bachapan se sab dekhate hai aur usake sath ghar main “Ma” ki jagah kya hai ye bhi dekhate hai. Jo kuch bhi hota hai ek din main nahi hota…isake bare main sochana chahiye. Hame apane bachhoko sirf acche school main nahi bhejana hai unaki parvarish achhese karani hai.aur usake liye sabase pahele apani soch badalani padegi jo shayad mushkil nahi hai.

  • amwaz ayath

    aslkm warb
    aamir ji ap jo problemes batate hai un ka salution ap ke hi riligion me hai mere ilm ke mutabiq insan ko zindagi mili hai to kiyu mili hai is ka maqsad agar insan ko pata chale to wo zindagi us hisab se hi jiyega aur bat riligion ki nahi bat hai insan aur insaniyath ki horahi hai to insan wahi matlab riligion hi se puri tarha badal sakta hai jo muqha ap ko mila hai wo kisi aur ko nahi milta to logo ko pls sahi rah dikhaye

  • jai

    we need to be proud of India not feel shameful, and want to come back home to India ,when ever we listen to the news of all the rapes and corruption then feel shame and scare . all these raspiest getting away so easily I wonder what they do around there family member ,and government is so busy making money and saving there self. we need youngster to take control and do some thing about , people watch your programmed every Sunday all over the world and talk about for couple day then nothing happen . it is possible if you can give us update from season 1 , what has been achieved please do not take me wrong .kabhi kabhi to eatni sharm aati hai ke kiya ho gaya hai mere bharat ko kiyon log bhool gaye hai kiyo n kar eatni besharni par utter aaye hai . Reagrds

  • വിചക്ഷണന്‍

    This show surely will not bring justice to us or make change in the system. This show can only show us path to right way. We are the ones who need to follow the path. You said in your article that there were n’t any changes in the society post Season 1. Did you believed that this show could bring change in the society ? NO. this show is for awareness against the evil side in the society. Ultimately it depends on us, who need to think about how we are going to it. Increase or decrease in crimes doesnt means show is a either success or failure. :D

    You were talking about TAM and TRP ratings. Lolz. There aren’t any accurate scientific methods which can measure a person’s TV preferences… This is based on assumptions. Star might just wanted to use this for their own marketing purposes. No need to blame it on Aamir or his show. You should rather praise him for his courage in bringing a reality show of this genre than blaming for negative business side.or whatever..

  • praveen sharma

    sataya mev jayte show bhout achha he…..amir khan sir ke is program se desh ko ek nai disha mili h……jo jankari logo ko nhi thi,….program dekhne ke baad logo ko ye to pta ho gaya ki hamre desh me kya kaya ho raha h.

  • megha

    Don’t agree with the author of this article…Satyameva Jayate team atleast making some attempt….they are creating awareness…..

  • vinay mishra

    This Show Is Only TRP base show Kyoki Kya Star Plus kya Criminal Ki Rakheel Nhi Hai. Aur Amir Ki Baat Hi Niraali Hai Amir Ko RAPE ki Vhuktvhogi se mza Lutnee ke Allwee Kuch nhi hai

  • Shrividhya Vivek

    Sataya mev jayte was a great show. this show brings the awarenes about the society. and show the right part . i believe that our india will become a great society after watching this show good . keep on doing all the best for the sataya mev jayte term and Amir Khan sir to.

  • Satyajit Kumar

    The show must reveal cruel violation on women.

  • sandeep

    some peoples are not happy with satyamev jayate but the realty is that every one want a change. this show brings lots of information for us. but it depend upon the peoples how they react about this show. amir khan is doing a gr8 job according to me.

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