Sunday, 6 May 2012

Satyamev Jayate: Hazare meets Winfrey

Why Satyamev Jayate is as superficial as the “breaking news” channels and Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan introduces the show in a messiah-like tone. The irony of a film star fashioning himself as another Anna Hazare would be lost on the TV audiences where the equivalent of the word “irony” does not exist in the Hindi dictionary. The teary-eyed Oprah Winfrey look is a nice touch though.
Social networking sites will be flooded by people impressed by a movie star being so “responsible”, judging the show as shallowly as the program itself.
Why I hated the show:
First and most important : If there is a woman watching , who is being forced into having her female foetus aborted, the show tell her NOTHING about what she can do as an individual.
The show highlights that the system is helpless in acting against erring doctors even though the PM declared that firm action will be taken against them. So what hope does the individual have?
In all its superficiality, it completely ignores the social reasons why educated people abort and the fact that the poor, uneducated person does not because they simply don’t have the means to do so.
And if the educated people are doing it, then clearly lack of education is not the reason. So can the show give the cure and not just talk about the disease?
And please, supporting fast track courts is school kid stuff, not cures or solutions.
All this show promotes is neighbourhood activism where people endorse a petition. (Oh Star will make a lot of money for charity given that Indians vote for anything right from Indian idol to Little Champs)
So what really helpful stuff can be shown that really could make a difference?
For example, in the immediate term, how about legalise prostitution so those frustrated men get an outlet? (Oh I forget – this show is TRP driven so Star TV may alienate the sobbing women watching)
Why not give contact details of NGO helplines or law bodies for distressed women? (No point because the channel needs immediate quantifiable results to show the sponsors) So what if it helps some poor woman watching and wishing she knew whom to turn to.
What is the mid-term solution ?
How about an RTI for district collectors of the worst affected districts? Details on how they are preventing female foeticide? (Oh no, too troublesome. Who the hell wants to go through all that?)
What is the long-term solution?
Complex. Because its all about social conditioning . Only when  people are ostracised for this crime and the law becomes uncompromising can there be a change.
In the meantime the holier-than-thou attitude is really annoying when the anchor gets Rs.3 crore per episode and its clearly a commercial show . I mean if Aamir felt as strongly, would he have hosted the show free ? So we’re all making money, its just that the brand proposition is different.
And like I said, shallow. Apart from the twitterati, chatterati, glitterati, literati and arty-farty, I see majorly falling TRP’s by the third episode.

August 2012: As predicted Satyamev Jayate has seen drastic falls in TRP's and is not even among the 10 top rated shows. Even Zee "Dance India dance" has higher numbers. Despite Star's entire network telecasting the episodes. To make things more embarrassing for Star, Aamir has said that "TRP's are not a true reflection of viewership". This, when Star TV sells ads at premium rates claiming the highest TRP's!! OOPS , what a sorry figure their ad sales people cut when they meet advertisers who are now demanding ad rate reduction due to non-deliveries!! Clearly their house is not in order. In the meantime Sony got TRP's of  11 plus just because Salman Khan appeared on the show. Yeh public hai sab jaanti hai. Being Human  puts its money where its mouth is, SMJ just pretends to.

See India Today link on this: