Aamir Khan kicked off his much-awaited debut TV show, Satyamev Jayate, with his signature unconventional offering. Female foeticide was the topic of choice, and the three guests revealed their personal stories of having to undergo forced abortions. Aamir, who became emotional within the first 10 minutes of the show, also interacted with a few activists who had been crusading against the social evil.
Popular quiz show producer Sidharth Basu says, “I think Aamir makes for a pensive and studied Oprah. More power to him and even more power to issues he raises that affect us all. Hopefully, it will get people thinking and acting on it on a much bigger scale.” Soap opera queen Ekta Kapoor is equally effusive in her praise, proclaiming it as “the best show of the decade.” Trade analyst Komal Nahta adds, “I cried while watching the show. I think people will watch it as it has touched an emotional chord.”
Within minutes of the show being aired, Bollywood celebrities took to Twitter to voice their support. Director Anurag Kashyap tweeted, “Aamir could have made Rs. 3 crore a day for any kind of TV show, but he chose to make his airtime worthwhile.” Actor-social activist Shabana Azmi, too, praised Aamir, tweeting, “The show is thoroughly researched, covers all aspects, touches an emotional chord and forces us to re-examine ourselves.” Actors Preity Zinta and Dia Mirza both publicly thanked their star colleague while former top cop Kiran Bedi said, “It is an expression of the power of media and the inherent potential of society in resolving its own problems.”
Used to saas-bahu serials and increasingly bizarre reality TV shows, audiences seem to have welcomed the change. Advertising professional Dharam Valia, 35, explains, “You expect entertainment from Aamir, yet, watching him in a serious show is effective as he talks about important topics in our society. The packaging and delivery of the content makes an impact.” New Delhi resident Sanjeev Mimani, 40, says, “I loved that such issues have reached our drawing rooms and are no longer just statistics.” But he adds, “Though, seeing Aamir and the audience crying was too much.”
Despite the show’s incessant publicity campaign, it seems that some people forgot to tune in, despite marking the date on their calendars. Ahmedabad-based businessman Girish Dave, 43, didn’t remember, but was thankful to have caught it accidentally. “If it affects even five per cent of the population, it will be worth it,” he says.