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.