Satyamev Jayate – the TV show with a difference has caused us to sit up and take notice, to actually dedicate our Sunday mornings to a show that talks of India and its problems and their solutions.
Within a month of its release, it has become the most talked about show, with the blogosphere buzzing with good words for the show, with facebook and twitter users writing about it .
Unprecedented TRP’s , governments swinging into rapid action, and knee jerk reactions from all around have only helped the show. The response is simply tremendous.
But now, as the dust begins to settle, it is perhaps time to analyse why the show has worked so well and whether it can bring about social change that is here to stay.
I believe the show clicked because it gave millions of Indians hope. In a country, where the Government gives a damn, where NGO’s are just another business venture, where Arnab Goswami scares you every night with his antics and controversies, and where Barkha Dutt’s news stories are as good as promotional ads for political parties, HOPE is a million dollar emotion.
The way the show ends on a positive note with examples of change in places not heard of before, places that Delhi won’t bother about, slowly, very slowly, we start to believe “Yes Indian can!”.
But, like all good things, I’m afraid that this show too, shall come to an end one day. And it is highly unlikely that Mr. Amir Khan will convert it into a money spinning venture and come up with new seasons of the show.
When there is no longer a Mr. Amir Khan to make us think on Sundays, will we still care about social change?
Here is where I fear the worst.
We, the common people, are so battered and bruised by life, that all our childhood dreams of working for social change have been kept on the backburner for a long time. So, when this revolutionary show came up, we felt that here was someone who was “doing something”. And we felt we too were “doing something” by just being an audience . It was the perfect way for atonement for our sins, for our inaction. The show gives us a feel-good feeling, a certain moral superiority, a ‘yes! I have watched the show and done my bit’ feeling that puts our conscience at ease.
But didn’t we actually know about these problems already? Don’t these incidents happen everywhere around us? In our own neighbourhood?
Why on earth did we need an Amir Khan to wake our sleeping conscience? Here is why. Because we are Indians. We like a bit of a hype, drama and hypocrisy. We are folks that admire the sexually liberated West, and at the same time, expect our brides to be virgins. We excel at hypocrisy.
I’m afraid while we choke on our Sunday coffee and watch the show teary-eyed, no real change happens on the inside. We will still take dowries, we will still kill female fetuses, we will still discriminate on the basis of caste.
But I’m no compulsive pessimist. And I’m certainly no hypocrite. I still love the show, and like millions of Indians, I watch the show for atonement for my sins. I am moved by the examples of real change that the show showcases. And yes, I will continue to watch the show. But what you, I and millions of Indians need to make sure is that, after this show ends, the change should not. India has to grow from inside out. Indians have to grow from inside out. We must introspect. We must think. And most importantly, we must act.
If each Indian vows to shun dowry, discrimination on the basis of sex and caste, and everything that is evil, I believe change shall come.
Satyamev Jayate is a TV show. And it makes us think. And a show can do only so much.
Real change comes with us – we, the people.