Monday, May 7, 2012

Why I feel sorry for Aamir's latest

Like many others, I watched the much awaited show Satyameva Jayate this weekend (albeit, a little delayed - on the internet). Aamir Khan, the perfectionist, had obviously been gearing up for a big-bang first episode release, judging by the promos and the PR work done for the show. And so, saddled with a huge set of expectations, I sat down this morning to catch up on what everyone was already going ga-ga about on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe that’s what I shouldn’t have done. The higher the expectations the more difficult it gets to realize those. And even though the show left me teary eyed once or twice, at the end of it, I was left thinking. And I’ll be honest, a little let down too. Before you start throwing tomatoes and rotten eggs at me, hear me out.

1. I’ll admit that I was a little shocked seeing the blotches of red across the map of India reach frightening levels but how many of us - bloggers, readers, writers, professionals, intellectuals and their spouses were not already aware of female foeticide being rampant in the country?

2. How many of us haven’t heard of, or read about, or seen on TV cases of female abuse? If you pick up any national newspaper, you will find horrifying accounts of such incidents buried in the inner pages, tiny sections of the newspaper that apparently don't warrant more coverage or space.

3. I honestly commend the effort (or as Twitter has been calling it - the movement). But how many of you think baby Afreen’s father or baby Falak’s killer, after watching the show, is going to say - Oh my God, what did I do? I pledge to never kill my baby again if it turns out to be a girl.

4. How many of you think that desperate-for-a-grandson-so-he-can-carry-forward-the-line-of-descent mothers-in-law and fathers-in-laws would change their mindsets that they have been carrying around for decades, after watching a 90 minute show?

5. How many of you think Ameesha’s (the first mother that they had on the show) orthopedic-surgeon husband or vice-principal mother-in-law or professor father-in-law would repent their decisions? So, some of his patients might stop going to the surgeon, some students might leave - but is that the only fallout we need to see? Does that really address the issue at hand?

6. Per the show, after the sting operation (that identified 100+ doctors who were in the profession of performing sex-selective abortions) was aired on TV, Prime minister Manmohan Singh had announced that strict action would be taken. Apparently, so had president Pratibha Patil too. And yet, nothing happened. As the journalists put it, cases have been passed around from court to court, at times issuing arrest warrants for the noble courageous journalists too. So why do we think that Aamir Khan writing a letter to Rajasthan’s Chief Minister would make a difference? Yes, I agree that peoples’ power is a whole different force to contend with, and if that happens, I will be the first to eat my words. 
That being said, the effort and the amount of research done is commendable. I'll continue to watch and support the effort and do my bit where I can, how much ever I can. Even if it can transform 1% of the population, I'm all for it.

We are two sisters - never once have I heard the words “If only you were a boy..” or “If only I had a son..” muttered in our household, nor have I ever gotten the feeling that I am anything less. I still fondly recollect my father running behind me trying to teach me how to ride a bike. Not once have I felt that I was not good enough. Our parents and our extended family have loved us for who we are, two individuals.

The show also exhibited statistics which proved that this issue is deeply rooted in the educated class too and not just in the villages/illiterate sections as per common perception, so was awareness ever an issue? If not, then what new does this show bring to the table? We are at this point today, because the wrong-doers, people who support the practice by action or inaction, the male chauvinists, know that they can do so and get away with it. As Dr.Bedi said in the show, what the situation needs in order to change, is a major edict re-write. Eve-teasing was recently declared as an arrest-able offense. Make sex-selective abortions a criminal offense too with significant jail time and disbarrment. Revoke licenses. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes simply spreading awareness is not enough. Unless and until judicial systems support the peoples' fight and go hand in hand, we will not see change. At the end of the day, it all boils down to mindset. So if one’s cognition does not change by observing the world around you, then we are left with no option but to hammer the idea in - possibly by force, if that’s what it takes. Make an example of the doctors, throw them in Tihar, let them fight it out. Better yet, why single out just the doctors? Throw in their partners in crime too - the family members who paid to get the procedure done. You’re right Dr. Bedi, I agree!

PS: The viewpoint above is solely mine, but I am open to discussions and constructive criticism.  

Amended: The title of the post has been renamed from "Why Aamir's latest fails to impress me" to "Why I feel sorry for Aamir's latest". My viewpoint is not so much a question of the show's importance, as much as it is about its effectiveness (big picture). I feel sorry that unless and until there are legal repercussions, unless and until the penal system is revamped to also support 'the movement', the end goal will not be met.


I would love to hear your views!

34 comments:

  1. Deepa, that was a really good post, you've listed out all the same things I had in my mind after I saw the episode late last night.
    Although the effort taken to bring all this to the fore is commendable, it remains to see whether this will actually bring about a change in the mindset of the general public and the ones's with authority.
    As an Indian, I hope it does.
    -Sreedeep

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    1. Yes, Aamir and his team have taken all the right steps and done all the necessary research. Some of the facts and figures that he threw at us really stumped me. But the question remains, how effective will it be and will it bring about a positive change? Like you said, as an Indian, I too hope it does!

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  2. Deepa, sorry to hear that you had expected a lot from this show, I was in the same senses until I saw the first episode. Then I realized that this show is aired on DD and will reach to almost all individuals. This show is intended to discuss research papers, specialist views, individual views and facts. When you consider large part of India, not everyone has access to information in one place. We know we have internet but how many of us are educated or how many of us have access to internet or there a place to get this sort of information in one place? There is a lot of ga ga about this show, but its an effort to show who we are, what is going around india. We just read current affairs of India, we never try to collect the facts. Almost all the media channels whether its TV or newspaper, they are influence by one or other political party. We have newspapers discussing news about aishwarya’s baby name in the front page. Indian newspapers are handled by editors who have karan johar mindset, who put all masalas, wrap into a newspaper and served hot in the morning. We are infected with gossip news all around and we like them. If you go through facebook, we can find people reading whether kareena is pregnant or about shilpa shetty’s baby shower, people like these news bits and its not the news editor who is the culprit and we are running the show.
    Even I considered that uneducated or low income group was behind baby killings, but this show gave me a different insight of my assumption. I appreciate the effort of SMJ team in molding the information in one place.

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    1. Hi Suly - Thank you for your comment. I am sorry if I gave off the wrong impression. I do not condemn this show or question its purpose in any way. Aamir and his team have taken all the right steps and done all the necessary research. Its commendable how they have used data to prove a point. You mention that 'how many of us are educated' - my question remains - is education making a difference? Surely you have to admit that literacy rate has increased in the last few decades and yet the sex ratio continues to decline.

      On Aishwarya's baby's name - Exactly my point. We have front page news and news channels covering such events 24 X 7 yet the issues of substance get sidelined. My point is the SMJ team has done an incredible job, but this is where I say spreading awareness is not going to be enough. I dont say its not needed. Just that its not going to be enough. Law and Order will need to be beefed up and strict measures will need to be in place.

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    2. After all, isn't that the end result everyone's working toward? An effective countermeasure against the current happenings?

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  3. Deepa,
    Awareness always alienates the offender. That is the whole purpose of the show. I do not think Aamir can do anything legally as far as changing the law or punishing the offenders go. All he is trying to do is make us aware. There were a lot of hard hitting facts in the show we were not aware of.
    None of the offenders will have a change of heart. We all know that. But something is better than nothing. And this show was better than any other nonsense that would have filled this slot if it never existed.
    Believe me awareness goes a long way. It gives courage to people. If a mother tomorrow refused to kill her daughter after seeing this, I think it will be a bigger achievement than changing the heart of an offender.

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    1. Amit, if the purpose of the show was only to spread awareness, then the show is spot on. I honestly do laud Aamir and his team's efforts in bringing the show to the common man, the research done, the way the show has been laid out and such. It is an impressive effort yes. But you and I both know that what Aamir is trying to achieve here is more than just spread awareness. Which is where I say that he needs the government's support, the support of the law and order and courts. Say a few years from now, because of awareness, everyone knows about the wrongdoings. Would that still stop people from doing it? The bachelor group that they showed on the show - despite not getting brides, they would still want a son once married. Atleast 60-70% would. Dont you think so? Social pressures at play. If we need fear to drive the point home, then so be it. But talking about it is not going to be sufficient. Its a start yes, but not enough.

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  4. This is one programme that will go into all households including the jhuggis. So the information part should be given more importance. I felt that instead of simply saying that it is the male chromosome is responsible for the sex of the child as a piece of information, it should have been hammered in because many many people -- even educated ones don't know this fact. The very knowledge of this fact can be a deterrent to men going along with the crime. The media should take up the issue of the government abdicating its responsibility in leaving the doctors go scot free. And what about the fact that the whole idea was the government's in the first place? It is sickening to say the least. Make the offense a capital crime and then see the rate drop dramatically. Set up fast track courts to dispose off the cases. Mindsets will dramatically change too when faced with such punishment. We will never change unless someone is holding a gun to our heads. Then too, we will out of fear. So be it. At least there will be a change. I agree that mere awareness can never bring about an significant change unless there is a corresponding penal effect.

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    1. Yes, I really liked the way he talked about the male chromosome's role in deciding the sex of the child. I agree Zephyr, media is a huge wave today to contend with and it should be used in the right manner. The show will go a long way in spreading awareness, star celebrity power does act as a magnet especially with the lower income group - but that wouldn't be enough. I was shocked to hear too that it had been a government funded initiative. I like how you say 'We will never change unless someone is holding a gun to our heads.'. I totally agree. Sometimes, we have to go with 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' in the best interests of everyone else. Which is why I say 'At the end of the day, it all boils down to mindset. So if one’s cognition does not change by observing the world around you, then we are left with no option but to hammer the idea in - possibly by force, if that’s what it takes.'

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  5. Frankly, Deepa--true that TV series in themselves do not create change nor do I expect them to do so. I am a hardcore activist. Even during the peak of Anna Hazare days I kept writing to Arvind Kejriwal to connect the issues of corruption to the missing girls in this country. They are missing because of corruption in the system but except Ruth Manoram who organized a conference on Women and Corruption, nobody wanted to pick up (read this article: http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/26/stories/2011052651490800.htm).
    So for me this is a fantastic moment when a lot of people are watching it in their native languages. If this momentum can be rode and flamed and pushed far and wide, there is an indirect cascading effect. A certain sense of shame when a person will say that s/he wants a boy and a certain change in culture when if you said you have a girl it is "cool." It is that I hope from this brouhaha.
    And to that extent I will support and fan the fan club of SMJ as much as possible:):) Support the process--may I request??

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    1. Hey Bhavana - I am not an anti-SMJ person and I do not doubt the pains the team has taken to put this together nor am I against the TV show. Like I have said in the post - I'll continue to watch and support the effort and do my bit where I can, how much ever I can. But what I feel about is exactly what you have written. The red-tape and bureaucracy in our nation is tremendous and sometimes well meaning individuals get bogged down by it. All I am saying is that the efforts of this show are commendable but not sufficient, it will need the penal system to support it. Take for instance your point of a lot of people watching it in the native languages. So you are aware that it was dubbed in the 4 south Indian languages. But did you know that Karnataka has banned the screening of SMJ? Why? Because they refuse to show anything dubbed in Kannada. It has to be either a remake or a Kannada original. Regardless of the social cause, the purpose of the show, such policies work against the goodwill that these shows are trying to bring into the nation. So yes, I do support it and wish that the legislation of our country supports the fight as well.

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  6. Deepa, I am in the same boat as you for the disappointment part, it was a let down of sorts. You have correctly observed that we are used to getting carpet-bombed with news of female feticide/infanticide/rape/ravaging/murder to the point of being numb and desensitized. So the million dollar question is whether the billion dollar show will wake up the defiled Indian souls?

    It has been argued by Amit and Zephyr in the comments above that "Awareness always alienates the offender" and that, "This is one programme that will go into all households including the jhuggis" Hopefully, the charming face of Amir Khan will ensure that many will watch it too. And maybe, that face will goad people into looking down at those who have committed such heinous acts and also discourage felons from planning further outrage. And that, I feel, may be the only redeeming point of the much-touted show.

    I'd say that one fact that has single-handedly contributed to the unfathomable rot in law and order in our country is death of deterrence. Our law-enforcing agencies comprising of the judiciary and police are timid and ludicrous at best. What hope do we have in a country where a presiding judge clearly identifies the ghastly rapist-cum-murderer but swears that he cannot hold him guilty? What hope do we have in a country that nourishes a deadly vermin like Azmal Kasab at the cost of its tax-payers? Are we some angels of justice or are we paragons of hypocrisy? So, will Mr Khan's pretty face launch a million whips? Will the scheming grisly parents, in-laws, grandparents, doctors, nurses, clinics and their stooges tremble at the sound of Satyamev Jayate? Maybe they will! Maybe it has just the voodoo to do that! For nothing else seems capable of upholding the cause of justice anymore in this country. And it is said that magic does what even Gods fail to do! So let us not start discounting it already.

    I am sorry I was so busy rambling I forgot to speak of the beauty of your extremely well-written post. It felt so natural and real I just loved it.

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    1. That's the sad part of the multitude of such incidents occurring throughout the nation. When the Taj bombings occurred, proud Mumbaikars said Bombay will bounce back, we are a resilient lot. My point is - I DONT want us to be resilient. The accused should be brought to task. Strict action should be taken. Unless and until a chosen few are made examples of, others will not be afraid to commit crimes. As far as Aamir Khan's face goes, I completely agree that celebrity star shows especially driven towards social causes have the power to do what a normal show can't - reach the masses, influence their thinking some more. So yes, even though I dont see this influencing any mothers, fathers in law or any baby killers out there, I hope that it makes society shun such people. Its sad that we have come to a state where we have to start believing in voodoo and magic :)

      And, thank you for your kind words!

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  7. Eternal pessimist kajukatriwalaMay 7, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Woww! People have so much time and energy to read blogs and comment on it too! Lovely, very heartening! Apna Toh Bhai yehi maanna hai ki jo hona hai media ke wajah se hi hona hai. Badlaav aaega Toh media ke kaaran. Ek aamir khan ya shahrukh ke tv mein aake gyaan aur senti deke Jane se kuch nahi hone wala. It's not that people never knew About most of the social issues, but then its a pity that only after an amir khans show with the camera zooming in on a woman who for whatever reason she'd tears does the debate sparkle back to life! But theek hai , kahin Toh shuru hona chahiye. But sustain hona chahiye. After the end of the 3rd episode, no one would remember what the 1st one was all about! Wonnly way to achieve anything in India is keep bombarding the 1st page of the snapper with whatever you want to get done or have a law against nahi Toh, next 500 years ke liye someone will blog and others will reply!

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    1. Its a way of communication, kajukatriwala. Of spreading the word. Of exchanging views. Humanity. Yes, like you say media is a huge force to reckon with and yes, it has to start somewhere. The important thing is how far will it go. Even the Anna Hazare movement started out with a big bang, but seems to have lost spark along the way. But atleast its a start. I keep saying this again and again, our judicial system needs to support the fight else its a lost cause.

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    2. Same name as aboveMay 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM

      Eggjhactly. Sustainable rehna chahiye. And that probably will only happen if the front page of a couple of newspapers keep carrying out a story in big bold headlines every day until there is a verdict on the issue... We have had enough of starts, people are craving for ends.

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    3. Not going to work. People are more interested in knowing Aishwarya's baby's name or the reason behind John and Bipasha's break up but not about social issues. Those are meant for activists. And at the end of the day, even though the media has a huge social responsibility, it is after all a business that operates on the supply-demand model. Dont you think?

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  8. Deepa, incredible post. You've actually done a lot of thought into what you've written.
    However, that said, female infanticide is a prejudice. Not a phenomena.
    We can change prejudices, and practices. And that would need sustained emphasis.
    Let me point out two examples.
    Sati- the practice is virtually unheard of today, but not so until a few decades ago. Sustained emphasis changed our prejudice and thoughts.
    Another example of how we can change practices is the way we no longer use products with CFC. Until a few decades ago, all the world spoke about was the yawning gap in the Ozone. Now?
    Well, what I am getting at is how we need to continue talking about how catastrophic female infanticide is and educate and emphasis the fact that we will not take NO for an answer and that we need the girl child as much or maybe more than we need a boy child.
    If this happens, I can see a future where India is truly ahead of her times.

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    1. Thank you Navin. Yes, I probably sat lost in thought for about 20 minutes after the show contemplating its effectiveness. You are spot on about the sustenance. Even the Anna Hazare movement started out with a big bang, but seems to have lost spark along the way. But atleast its a start. But am glad someone did bring up history as a way of explaining like you have done. Sati and CFC. Good examples and thank you. But if you read about Sati - "Following outcries after each instance, there have been various fresh measures passed against the practice, which now effectively make it illegal to be a bystander at an event of sati. The law now makes no distinction between passive observers to the act and active promoters of the event; all are supposed to be held equally guilty.". The Law. Which is all I ask. There needs to be a law against female feticide too. It is shameful if the judge presiding over the Ameesha case couldn't hold the husband guilty. How then do you drive the point home? So yes, 1. We need to keep the spotlight shining. 2. Law needs to catch up with technology.

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  9. Deepa i could not watch the show because in the initial maybe 10-15 minutes of the show it was only the promos being repeated ad-infinitum ; so i switched it off...but yes i have heard of the famous letter being written to the CM....WILL IT CHANGE ANYTHING ? forget it ,here nothing works...those very people who sit in front of the TV & pass sanctimonious comments-those very people never do their duty...it is a pathetic state of inefficiency & unaccountability...what more ? i guess you get my point..it is very exasperating & has spoiled my mood already...let it rest here.

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    1. Hope is still not lost Indu, don't lose heart. I watched it online so I dont know about the ads. But I did hear that it was a 90 minute show - the online version on Youtube only has about 64 minutes so am guessing the rest were ads. That is a lot of distraction. Shows the amount of commercialization. In some situations, we should stay away from excessive commercialization else it will dilute the very idea and purpose. But am still going to support the effort, do my bit and hope that law catches up with technology.

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  10. I haven't watched this show and I don't think I will. Not because I am prejudiced against such shows but because of 'busy'ness. :D
    AK is used to make a statement and obviously he has succeeded here too. But the point made here was not unknown. Will it make a difference, I don't know. I have known people who have lamented when they had girls and I have known ppl who have raised their daughters as princesses and when they were married off wanted to stay like princesses.
    The main point to get across is that men are not really superior. As a parent when we bring a baby into this world, its our responsibility to give it all the love that he/she needs and to raise up a 'balanced' person. Full stop.Rest all I feel follows automatically.

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    1. I have known such people and I wonder how some people can be so heartless. At the end of the day, a life is a life. How can one look at that tiny little baby and not fall in love with it? I dont get it. The last part about bringing up a balanced person, very well said.

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  11. Hi Deepa

    Excellent post and very thought provoking....What is mainly needed is an attitude change....a change of perception...I am sure it will happen with time...Till then the law will have to use force as you said!

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    1. Yes, I am hopeful too that it will - even if it takes a while. But what I do feel sad about is - its been 60+ years since independence and we are still struggling with such issues. How long before we cross this hurdle?

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  12. It's true that we are well aware of the issue. This episode of Satyamev Jayate may not be able to wipe out female infanticide/foeticide, but I'm sure there will be some change. Stars have a kind of appeal that others don't so I'm sure some people will listen and some people will do their own little bits to take this effort (hopefully it turns out to be a movement)a wee bit forward if not anything else. I guess any little change is better than no change at all.

    So well-written Deepa. Honest. Thank you for giving us a chance do discuss this subject. I see that your point is that change cannot come about if the general public does not have the support of the police, doctors and the legal system. If I remember correctly he did address that too, towards the end of the show when he said that if each and everyone of us -- doctors, teachers, policeman, journalists -- asked ourselves if we wanted to be a part of this crime, there'd be a change.

    While hoping to see some change, I do wish that people behind this show will do some follow-ups from time to time to keep the conversation going.

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    1. Very true D. Celebrity star power does attract people like a magnet so am hopeful that awareness will improve. More people will definitely do their bit but I hope the momentum is sustained. Thank you for your kind words about the post. About the legal system - unfortunately, even if a policeman or a judge decide that someone is guilty of performing female foeticide, what can they do about it? They cant hold him, prosecute him or sentence him - because no laws exist. The only thing we can do as individuals or a society is shun the accused. But dont you think he/she should have go through more than that? And yes, there need to be regular follow ups to make sure that the momentum doesn't get derailed along the way.

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  13. Deepa, a beautifully written post that touches upon the various facets. I do agree with you that most of us educated class are/were aware that this problem exists. You know, Deepa, sometimes I feel amused when some of my well-heeled friends would try to pretend saying that are you right -- does bride burning take place or discrimination of women of female foeticide? Of course, all Indians know this! But, what I laud Aamir for is creating the awareness, hammering the facts and figures, and making sure that he uses his celebrity status to push an agenda. In our country, people listen when a celebrity talks. You and I can feel a lot and blog about issues, but what can we do apart from armchair activism? We need mass mobilization to bring in stricter laws and also to change bad behavior. Besides, like everyone else I agree that not only the doctors but the parents who indulge in this must be thrown in jail. It might sound draconian but making an example of a few is the only way forward to curb this heinous instinct. Besides this, it all boils down to basic human values. I feel very sad in saying that though we tom-tom our Indian culture, we are actually way behind in very basic values. Unless we accept and acknowledge this fact, there will be no change. You might be aware that Aamir met with Rajasthan CM yesterday, and he promised to do his bit. I don't trust the word of politicians, but you can be sure that we will continue to monitor the progress of this case. Just like we are waiting and watching what is happening with Lokpal bill. The politicians can no longer think that public memory will fade. I always believe that some action is better than no action. At least, someone is making the right effort!

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    1. Very true. I liked the way the show presented statistics and facts. I liked the way they made the statement about the Y chromosome coming from the male, so if at all someone needs to be blamed, it shouldn't be the female. Even Captain said on Indiblogger that he had written a strong post but there were very few readers and it eventually went dormant. Yes, star power does have its pros. I just hope the momentum stays sustained enough and the people's movement gets the required penal support. And yes, some people will need to be made an example of in order to teach the others a lesson! I dont know about the Rajasthan CM - I mean look at history. Pratibha Patil said they would, so did Manmohan Singh and now we're just going down the hierarchy. Of course, there's way more critical eyes now looking at their every move, thanks to Aamir - so who knows? Maybe it will work.

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  14. I haven't watched the show yet, so I can't comment on that.
    But I do agree with you when you say that there can be change only when there are laws backing this movement. And since this give-me-a-boy-waaris thing seems to exist among the educated classes too, we need measures that give real results. All said and done, everything has to begin in a small way, something that sets the small yet much-needed spark. Let's hope it will turn out to be one.

    A very well-written post. I am definitely going to watch the next episode of the show.

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    1. Very true. I am glad that atleast the spark has been ignited. We as the people, need to constantly followup to make sure that such issues dont lose focus in the face of other adversities. Thank you Destiny! If you still want to catch the first episode, you can view Satyameva Jayate. Its got an embedded Youtube link that works.

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  15. I must say one thing, though I am an impatient reader and often long posts bore me. But, I have enjoyed reading your post and also your viewpoint. There are so many questions and few answers in the society. But if one keeps his or her eyes open answers are everywhere.

    I do not expect from celebrity of any caliber to change the system or mindset of the people. Yes, with their crowd pulling power they can make a difference and make people listen to them. Aamir Khan is also doing the same with his star charisma. At least people are listening to him and we have to admit this fact that makes people listen on such social evil is not his duty. He is an actor and he has to entertain people.

    I commend Aamir for his concern and conviction to bring a good value added show on the television. His concern for the cause has taken this show at a very high level. It has never been happened in the Indian Television Industry that a programme produced solely for a private entertainment channel is being telecast on other channel too without compromising on profit front. And I feel we must congratulate Aamir Khan for this and for his insightful thoughts. He conceived a great show on social evils with his director and promoted so well that every nook and corner people are talking about it.

    www.rajnishonline.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for your comment Rajnish. I am glad that it hooked your interest enough to read it. Yes, I completely agree that star celebrity power is a huge force to reckon with and can at times, make or break awareness within the junta. The entire team of SMJ is doing an excellent job at raising awareness within the masses, that much credit I will definitely give to these guys. Well researched, well presented, well formatted, enough to keep the audience interested and coming back for more, well done.

      But I feel sorry because I dont see this show getting the support it deserves from the legal branches of our government, which is what might cause the problem to be left half solved. Yes, everyone will be aware, everyone's talking about it and it will deter some people maybe from carrying out evil deeds for fear of being shunned. But all I am saying it, the show deserves much more - it needs the support of the penal system - because the guilty must be brought to book.

      Isnt that important too? Wouldn't that be the logical end?

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  16. I don't believe that female feticide should be punished, but then you've already read my opinion. I can't describe my contempt for the doctors who nudge couples to kill and bury infants. Laws in India are useless because our judiciary is impotent. A new law will just license cops and politicians to persecute innocent citizens. The guilty ones will keep doing what they do.

    Again, my problem is that abortions were forced on the women in question. The show didn't focus on that as much as I'd have liked.

    I am pessimistic about the lasting impact of such a show. When you discuss certain issues on a forum (discuss, not debate), only like-minded people will watch. By saying tsk-tsk they'll forget their guilt over neglecting a social responsibility as it were (of educating their fellow citizens about girl-children) and keep going on with their lives. I hope I'm wrong about this.

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