Just as the promos of Second 2 of Satyamev Jayate went live, criticism of the show and Aamir Khan’s exorbitant fee started on social media websites. Criticism is good if it leads to improvement but here is why criticism of this show is not going to be helpful:
1. It Definitely Got Us Talking About Stuff That Matters: You must have discussed the plight of rape victims a million times before but never before today’s episode would you have realized that the criminal justice system which is ideally supposed to bring the criminal to knees for a crime as horrendous as rape leads to more trial and tribulations for the rape victim instead? The two-finger test may have been banned now but there are many other procedures and process which lead to a lot of discomfort for the rape victim as today’s episode made us aware. Not just the theme of rape trials, the thirteen issues that the last season picked up touch our everyday life. How many TV programmes can claim to do that?
2. If Social Issues Go Mainstream, Aint It Awesome: One criticism which is repeatedly hurled at SMJ is that it is commercial in nature. The argument is self-defeating actually. Something becoming commercial points towards its going mainstream. For instance, take into account how many art forms have died slow deaths due to a lack of funding but thanks to patrons, government schemes, popularity among people that many survived too. SMJ is like that.
3. Why You Should Not Bother About Aamir Khan’s Fee per Episode: You think Aamir Khan is getting Rs. 3 crores per episode? No he is getting Rs. 3.5 crores per episode but that includes payment of the entire Aamir Khan Productions team- a total of Rs. 46 crores for this season. He even gave up on endorsements last season to focus on the show as he disclosed in an interview to Tehelka. Even if Aamir is making money out of the show, we should not object to it. We all take up jobs which excite us, stimulate us and we do them with the intention of helping the society but money is important for subsistence and that is all. Aamir is charging for the credibility he has earned all these years with his work. There should be a motivation for everyone to be on the job and put in all the hardwork, Aamir is no exception.
4. What Mythology Could Not, SMJ Might Just Would: Remember when we were growing up this Sunday morning slot was taken by Ramayana and Mahabharta. Our parents used to ensure that we watched those shows because they were the moral classes we needed to go to as young individuals. Morals are no more a valued currency in today’s world. It is difficult to stop someone from hurting the other only because it is immoral. But we can’t defy the effect this message of victory of good over evil has on us. SMJ is a welcome substitute of the mythological series that we grew up watching. Just like those serials tied us together as a generation, shows like SMJ can instil in us a sense that we are united as a society. Problems like dowry, rapes require us to fight together; sitting in front of television together at the same times in our respective households might just kick start the change.
5. Measuring Results is Unfair: There are cynics who are questioning will rapes now stop, have people stopped giving dowries, are men no more hurting their wives? To them my counter question is what is it about the world that the 24X7 media has ended up changing? Our political parties are working like revolutionaries as they claim but is the world any better? The point remains, it is not really easy to measure results. We cannot pick a section of the people whose life has become a highway trip after launching of this show. This show has definitely set the ball rolling. It may or may not lead to more shows of this kind but what it definitely has led to is dialogue and dialogue is the first step forward.