Last week we talked about Sabido Methodology and how “Simplemente Maria” or “Simply Maria” was an impressive example of this methodology and how each episode of this soap opera from the 80’s showcased social issues and highlighted them. The Show was so popular even in countries as far as erstwhile Soviet Union, where I was studying at that time, that it was aired dubbed in Russian during prime time. In the transit and public places it was public’s favorite topic for starting conversation, share views and predictions about what will happen next?
Times have changed from the 80s and it will be difficult to expect or predict now that any soap opera will be as popular and effective in highlighting social vices on such a large-scale.
I always wondered about talk shows which appeared on TV, with expert’s views, discussions and recommendations on wide range of topics. I was skeptical about the utility of these talk shows and their effectiveness in bringing changes to quotidian problems faced by common man.I got my answers last year when i learnt about the impacts of chat show “Satyamev Jayate”.
Worldwide many celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Bono of U2 fame are supporting and bringing the media attention to global issues from environment to poverty to health. In India Aamir Khan is doing his bit in a different way.He is considered the Tom Hanks of “Bollywood” (Bollywood-Indian film industry, where roughly 900 movies are made per year, coming to Vancouver on 6th April for TOIFA awards night). Aamir Khan is known for doing things differently. He is among the top three Bollywood actors and three years ago he thought of entering the world of television. He is a social activist at heart and had been talking about environmental issues in the public. Aamir and his team took two years to do the research work and identified issues affecting common people. In May, 2012 with the support of Star Network in India, his chat show on social issues , titled “Satyamev Jayate” meaning Truth triumphs, was launched. The show was aired on Sundays morning at 11:00 and it was said that roads had remarkably less traffic as had happened before in India only during cricket matches between India and Pakistan. There are 1.24 billion (1,249,440,319) connections, 1.6 million followers on Facebook and 91.4 K followers on twitter for “Satyamev Jayate”. There are more than eight million (8,115,739) Community Members.Through this a total of 223,064,210 Indian rupees (more than 3 Million CAD) in donations, have been received for various organizations and NGOs working directly on these issues. In the first season 13 episodes were aired, each focusing on issues of national and global importance including water conservation, community based health Insurance (CBHI) , intimate partner violence (IPV),neoliberalism, medical negligence, and pesticides. The themes of 13 episodes were :
The Idea of India – Episode 13
Water – Episode 12
Old Age – Episode 11
Untouchability – Episode 10
Alcohol Abuse – Episode 9
Toxic Food – Episode 8
Domestic Violence – Episode 7
Persons With Disabilities – Episode 6
Intolerance To Love – Episode 5
Every Life Is Precious – Episode 4
Big Fat Indian Wedding – Episode 3
Child Sexual Abuse – Episode 2
Female feticide – Episode 1
Each episode is of around one hour duration. A summarizing episode on all the 13 episodes and their impacts on policies and society with English subtitles is available at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COrjitFiSXg&playnext=1&list=PL6AF7C1545DB4BA76&feature=results_video
All the 13 episodes with English subtitles are available at:
A few radical solutions for example live in relationship for senior citizens and heart surgeries for $1100 were brought to public attention that were hard to envisage in India few years back.
The impact of this chat show has been nationwide ranging from a national bill on child protection passed in the upper house of Indian parliament to cancellation of registration of doctors involved in female feticide. Few of the successful changes that happened in response to this chat shows are:
Show on the Disabled Jolts Govt into Action
March against female feticide
Unwanted womb removal: Registration of nine private doctors suspended
‘Satyameva Jayate’ inspires sarpanch to act against female foeticide
The URL of its website is www.satyamevjayate.in
Satyamev Jayate, which has struck the right chord with the audiences, has reportedly inspired a British talk show host Tim Sebastian. In case you don’t know who he is – Sebastian is the man behind popular talk show Hard Talk on BBC.
It’s hard to recall a television show from recent with so much impact on policies and social issues of a common man interest.The next season of Satyamev Jayate is planned post September this year.