A show that had me wanting something more out of it- Satyamev Jayate

Now I have been a huge huge advocate for this show. It has been a show which has had its heart in the right place from the word go. I remembering feeling immensely hopeful and positive after watching its very first episode in the previous season and then the subsequent ones.

As for Aamir Khan, the man behind this show, he is someone who has earned my respect for the sheer way he has chosen to use his celebrityhood in the right manner. For someone who has made a brand so bankable out of his own name by the movies he has done, he could have gone about using his stardom to endorse a cola here, a satellite TV network there, perform at a wedding here or do an item number there. But he has chosen to use his name, his star-power to set an example of a different kind, a more inspiring kind, IMO.

By touching upon some of the most pressing issues plaguing our country today, through his programme, Aamir has done his bit of shaking, if not all, but a lot of us from deep within our conscience and make us come face to face with our society’s crippling mindsets.

And for that alone, he deserves a pat in the back!

So, to come back to the show, when the promos of the second season started to show up on channels it was obvious that I was looking forward to it with some fair bit of expectations.

It ran its first episode yesterday. Oh no, I wont say that I was disappointed. But I certainly wished by the end of it that it had something more to offer. Unfortunately I could not catch the whole show. But I did watch it enough to make me wonder if focusing on so many rapes and retelling the horror stories was all that necessary, if by the end of it there was hardly any solution given.

Dont get me wrong. Yes we are well aware that women are not safe in our country. We have umpteen incidents to back that up. And I am glad that more and more survivors are coming out in the open to talk about the brutalities they had to endure. In fact I am all for bringing all those stories out in the open and making everyone of us aware.

But the show that I saw yesterday mostly seemed to focus more on feeling sorry for the rape victims and on wondering further as to why such incidents were on the rise, than finding answers to those questions. The show had me feeling sorry for the girls who had been mercilessly raped and left to die for, sorry for the families who had been tortured by the police time and again because they went to complain against their daughters’ rapists, sorry for the girls and their families who were harassed by some doctors who insisted on conducting some sickeningly intrusive tests repeatedly.

I wish that the show had also focused as much, if not more, on how to make the country safer for women instead of just drawing out statistics about the alarming number of rape cases registered, and some 89000+ cases still pending with the police. I wish they had, for instance, suggested about including a basic self-defence class in schools and colleges, or maybe introduced a martial-arts institute in their show, like how they introduce other charitable organizations, so that parents could be driven to send their daughters for a self-defence class. Or they could have provided a helpline number which anyone could access to when in trouble. I’m being pretty vague in my suggestions I know. But this is just to give an idea about what I was hoping to see come out of the show.

I wish, instead of zooming in on the rape victims’ families and their traumas (not to mention the teary eyed faces of the audience each time a terrible incident was being told), they had tried to capture shots of those culprits too who were responsible for those traumas. And by culprits I dont just mean the rapists. I mean each and every policeman, each and every doctor, each and every lawyer who went all out tormenting the girls and their families.

Let us not be vague in pin pointing blames on some random nameless doctor who insisted on the intrusive test or an unknown lawyer who had the most uncomfortably personal questions to ask the girl while ‘claiming for justice’ in the court or some faceless policeman who refused to attend to a complaint. If the show aims to make a difference, I’d urge them to bring that doctor out in the open, so he can be barred from practicing further, I’d urge them to divulge the name of that policeman who refused to lodge an FIR in the first place, so he can be stripped off his uniform. Bring that lawyer to the fore and disbar him.

Frankly I am tired of hearing about the sufferings of the victims and feeling hopeless and helpless. For once I insist on the focus getting shifted to the criminals, shaming them publicly and tormenting them in the most deserved manner.

Anyway I hope the forthcoming episodes will have something more conclusive to feel hopeful about.

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26 thoughts on “A show that had me wanting something more out of it- Satyamev Jayate

  1. Watched it yesterday with hubby and this is exactly what we were discussing. We all have heard and seen the torture that the victims have gone through. Now what is required is an action plan to help prevent rapes, catching hold of the rapists, get severe punishment for the accused, clean up the system, fasten the execution. For the same reason I felt that though the episode left me disturbed, it didn’t add any value to the existing scenario. I hope the remaining episodes are more focused and do provide ways to tackle the present situation and rectify the system.

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  2. In tune with what you said.

    While I like the whole idea behind discussing socially relevant topics and the evils in our society, we cannot just focus on making it yet another sensationalised piece of news or information, which invokes emotions from the audience. yes, that is essential, that we all feel for those undergoing grave injustice, but that is not all we want. While I would not go as far as saying that action needs to come of the show immediately, it has to add some value other than making you feel worse about the state of affairs.

    In the earlier season, I loved the one about child abuse because it woke up numerous parents and made them talk to their kids. If a collective result of this episode on rape (which I haven’t seen, not keen on either) is the everyone signing a petition for the execution of the a**holes still alive, even the so called juvenile ones, and the ones who are not really been dealt with because the victim didn’t die(!), AND it working. That’s when this whole deal will make sense to me.

    I like Aamir, but somehow if not for a real outcome, I will say this is his way of gaining popularity. Hope people don’t hate me for saying this but I have become cynical that way. 🙂

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    1. I really liked their episode on child abuse too in the previous season. It was very well handled and it succeeded to a large extent in making the parents acknowledge the need to communicate with their children in a more open manner.
      I wish they would aim at similar constructive results from their shows this season as well. The point you made about getting everyone to sign a petition to hang those criminals makes so much sense!

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  3. Well, it is a pity that society is not teaching boys not to rape. If that happened then think about all the freedom women could have. The torture and victim blaming society is what is putting these women in the dark. If that is eradicated then at least women will feel safer. Why can’t these cops stop daunting these girls and go faint the rapist instead?
    The victim blaming had made the rapists immortal in a way.

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    1. Absolutely right. It IS a pity. Victim blaming, lack of stringent laws and actions have all given those rapists and criminals the power to go scot free and keep playing with women’s lives.

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  4. I agree with you Deeps.. I haven’t watched the show yet, but from what you have told – we need more empathy, we need a better judicial system.. we need solutions and not just the traumatic stories…

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  5. I have a slightly different view on yesterday’s show. I watched it, horrified. The victim’s tales were of course horrifying, what was worse, for me was the attitudes of the doctors and the judiciary. I had no idea that doctors training was so lacking. It was an eye opener for me. While I knew how bad police and the judiciary could be, I think it is no issue talking about it until things get sorted. And shows like this make people discuss it, and may be even give some people the courage to fight injustice. So I think it makes sense for shows like this to talk about these issues. What I wished for is that they spoke a bit more about the society and how the patriarchal mindset abets crimes like rapes. But still, I would much rather have shows which show the horror, bring that reality into our living rooms rather than us live in a world where we insulate ourselves from the horrors that are part of the society.. But that’s just my opinion:)

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    1. Smits, I am coming from where you are. I totally get you and agree with you too on the need to discuss more and more about such issues and make people aware of them. Yes, with such shows people may even get driven to stand up to injustice.

      But when they were telling about all those doctors who lacked the required training, and the ridiculous practice of intrusive tests done by them to the extent of making a medical study out of the victims, I couldn’t help wondering why those doctors or the clinics were not being named or shown. See if they did their findings and knew such people were out there playing with others’ lives, clearly they also knew where they operated out of? They could have just whistleblown and alerted us all by naming them and shaming them. I don’t know how feasible it would hv been for the showmakers to do that for the legal ramifications it could hv entailed, but still I feel such concrete informations would have been helpful.

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      1. I completely agree with you on this! But I think whistle blowers in our country have no safety at all. But they could have named and shamed clinics, or is it such a widespread thing that it happens across the country. Sigh. I don’t know.

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  6. Deeps, you make some valid observations. And I only read your post today. For me the show worked for these reasons; 1. The information about your rights for eg. if a police officer refuses to file an FIR was given so was so much other information that can help a rape survivor have more knowledge when she or her family approaches the 3 pillar. 2. The cases are important because they show us on how many levels things are going wrong. I am grappling with the legal system and know how pathetic it is. But you know we can’t write about it or openly take names because that qualifies as contempt. The same applies to showing doctors, clinics, or alleged rapists. India’s laws are so weird that SMJ will have to deal with contentious lawsuits and protests. This is the most straightforward way in which they could do it. 3. Society and mindset are the biggest culprits. If we lent a supporting hand to the rape victim and her family, helped her in healing and ostracized the rapist then rape would become a minor incident not the end of a life with dignity as it is being seen as now. So yes, I feel that we all need to cry a bit, be shaken and ask ourselves some tough questions so that tomorrow another family does not get alienated because some woman in the family got raped. And the petitions at the end of the show and the call to action for one-stop rape crisis centers are surely a beginning!

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    1. I get what you’re saying Rachna. I fully understand that the rape victims need all the support and empathy that we can give as fellow beings. I am all for such stories being brought to the fore so we are all aware. But I also feel that equal amount of coverage should be given to those perpetrators too shaming them as a mark of support to the victims. And that, unfortunately doesn’t happen because of the lack of transparency that comes about when tackling such issues. The very fact that we can’t write about it or take names openly shows the pathetic way our legal systems work. And that is one of the factors that makes those criminals so fearless!

      Yes am with you..the petitions at the end of the show and call for rape-crisis centers is definitely welcoming! I hope the subsequent episodes will have a more solid and constructive approach while raising awareness on issues.

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  7. It is unfortunate that I cannot watch the show, but I’m hoping that the first episode was just the introduction and he may possibly be bringing in some kind of solution or discussion forum in the next few shows. Discussing the mindset of people towards women would be a great topic to start with!

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    1. Oh yes, that will be one topic worth delving into. I’m hoping too that the next few episodes will have more concrete answers to the issues they will be focussing on.

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  8. Didn’t catch the show, Deeps. Aamir Khan is known for his professionalism and sensitivity. I admire him for using his celebrity status for social good. Must try and catch the next episode. 🙂

    Today, 🙂 I am visiting from the A to Z Challenge 2014 sign up list! Saw you have signed up.I hope you’ve signed up for the Theme Reveal BlogFest! We’re posting our Theme Reveal post on March 21.

    Vidya Sury
    Have you signed up for the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal BlogFest? – Sign Up Now #atozchallenge #atozreveal

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    1. Hi Vidya, yes I had signed up as I felt it was a fun challenge. And I still do feel that way. It looks like an exciting initiative. But for someone like me whose blogging has been so erratic, I am still undecided on my own level of commitment to it. I have no clue what I am going to write or whether I will have anything to write about, forget about setting a theme for myself :). So I’m still in two minds.. 😦

      Thank you for sharing the info about your Theme Reveal BlogFest challenge. I’ll surely sign up as soon as I have some clarity about my own decision to take it up…

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  9. I have a different view though.. I watched the show and was pretty shocked at the reality. I knew it was bad, didn’t know it was this bad. It was very depressing.. It was kind of tight slap on my face. It made me feel angry and scared . What stuck me was the effort being put to make things right is still not enough in comparison to the problem. Very hand few people are trying relentlessly to somehow make a difference and in a large scale it is not enough. Lot needs to be done. Now if I want to contribute anyway I do not know how. I do not know whether anybody knows. Helpless and depressing ..

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  10. Completely agree! I just wrote my own post yesterday complaining about this episode being much more lacking than what I had come to expect given last season (check it out if you want to!) and am SO GLAD to see someone else who isn’t just so starstruck by Aamir to admit that this episode could have been so much better than it was.

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  11. I never knew that the public prosecutor handles the affected person’s case alongwith hundreds of other cases. Definitely he would be happy to wind up the case as fast as possible. The girls’ underclothes are displayed….yes, the victim is punished again and again for no fault of hers in this way. The rapists just watches and enjoys and goes home…

    But at least many victims are coming forward to complain nowadays. It might discourage these types of incidents from recurring again and again.

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  12. Hello all, I work with the team of Satyamev Jayate. It was insightful reading your feedback and it has duly been noted. Thank you for initiating this discussion and being a part of it.

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  13. I have not been able to watch it properly because it says the show is not allowed in UK ,, and I did not have the channel subscribed.. I have asked a friend who has recorded them and I should have them soon..

    How you doing deeps 🙂

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