Last Sunday saw the ‘holier-than-thou’ Aamir Khan’s television debut and after a month long promotions Satyamev Jayate finally aired at 11.00 in the morning simultaneously on Star Plus & Doordarshan. I had zero expectations from the show and I thank Aamir because he did not disappoint me. So, here I shoot!
The opening monologue by Aamir Khan – “Main ek actor hi nahin, Insan bhi hoon” was enough to turn me off and I knew that this was just another attempt by the sanctimonious Khan to show how good a human being he is compared to his contemporaries who chose silly game shows to make their television debut. In fact, the whole opening credits sequence – AAMIR KHAN Productions, Core Creative Team AAMIR KHAN, Conceived & Created By AAMIR KHAN gave me a feeling that somewhere the show aims at telling us how great the man is. He is a crusader, the modern day Jesus ( As @CilemaSnob calls him ) who is here to solve all the problems. Mr. Khan also says that he feels pareshan and udaas when he sees certain things in the society. But in his more than two decade old career as a superstar what has he done to improve those ‘things’? Why have I never seen him do any of the philanthropy stuff which actors love to do. No charity? No donations? No NGO to support? The only time I remember him speaking for ‘poor’ was when he participated in Medha Patkar’s Narmada demonstrations when his film Fanaa was about to release but he ran off from the scene when Gujarat Government threatened to pull out his film. Oh Yes! And he recently attended a rickshaw puller’s son’s wedding too. Also, he did some social service when he gave a free hair cut to people while promoting Ghajini (If that counts). Also, if he is so much perturbed by the situation & feels he should do something then do it for free na! Why take 3 crores/episode? And if you are taking then STOP being so pretentious!
Even as a host, Aamir Khan is a massive disappointment. The whole grim and stiff-necked look on his face looks forced. Though he is one of the few good ‘actors’ which our country has produced; he sucks on the show. Where is the spontaneity which Mr. Bachchan, Shahrukh & Salman brought on their shows? For example; the first scene where Aamir is standing & doing the talking but later goes on to sit on the stairs. In this 10 second scene only one can feel that he is ‘trying’ too hard. And not to forget the scene where wipes off his tears which never really came out. Why Aamir, Why? Don’t we have Rakhi Sawant for nautanki? And what made me feel more angry was the way Aamir interacted with the 3 ladies on the show who told their stories. Aamir like a heartless and coaxing news reporter kept asking “Aapko Kaisa Laga”? “Phir Aapne Kya Kiya”? Fuck You Aamir!
Moving on, audience plays an important part in our reality shows and adds the needed masala into the show. Here, like the superficial host of the show, the audience is also superfluous. You have an intellectual looking Aunty ji with hair half dyed & spectacles hanging around her neck, a sophisticated urban woman who wipes off her tears with a slight flip in her hair, an uncle ji who looks fits the bill of a dadaji & some teenage girl & boys to balance the whole thing. This is the perfect mix to connect with the aam junta as it caters to people from all walks of life. Actually, it was quite like the one’s sitting in Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Show! It was so bloody irritating to see the made up reaction from the audience in the form of “Hawwwwws”, “Ohhhhhhs“ . And going by the response online (twitter) and after talking to my Mom I can say that the attempt was quite successful. This is exactly what gets you TRP’s and keeps the producers happy!
As the show reaches end, Aamir Khan uses AIRTEL’S 3G technology to connect to a village in Harayana and also promises to write to the Chief Minister of a state if we send an SMS to a number as the proceeds through these messages go to charity and Aamir Khan’s friend Mukesh Ambani’s RELIANCE Foundation will also contribute. So we all can now feel good about having done our bit for the girl child this week, homosexuality the next week, dowry the week after… Who says push-button activism can’t work! But SMS? Are you fucking kidding me Aamir?
It is a proper commercial show on a proper commercial channel backed by corporate sponsors and anchored by a celebrity. Can this show take up causes that will conflict against its corporate interest? Coca Cola, the company that Aamir Khan endorses is accused of spoiling waters resources in Kerala & Rajastan, Will Aamir dare to take up such issues?
Eventually, Aamir called lyricist Swanand Kirkire & music director Ram Sampat to perform a (lovely) song ‘O Re Chiriya’. I am told that every episode will have one song. And I can guarantee that towards the end of the show Audio CD’s of all the songs will be out in the market under some music company’s label & we would be promised that the amount will go to charity!
Sorry Aamir, but your new show is a colossal disappointment. It is like your perfectly imperfect film Ghajini. You talk about change. It took Mr. Bachchan several years of campaigning to help in eradicating Polio from India and here you expect to bring a change by talking about issues every Sunday! Next Sunday you will talk about some other issue, week after some other issue & after 10 weeks with 30 crores in your bank you will go!
You can’t even be credited for coming up with something “new” on Indian television because the Indian audience is not alien to such type of shows. IBN 7 has a show Zindagi Live which is very similar in format, which again is emotional, emotive, passionate, real issues with the real people and real protagonists in the studio, it’s a talk show but there of course the difference is Aamir Khan! Those who have already given a ‘Godly’ status to Aamir, a word of appreciation for IBN7 Journalist Richa Anirudh also who is hosting the show since 2007 & bringing up different issues in mainstream media. Meetu Khurana, who was one of the guests on Aamir’s show was on Richa’s show in 2010. I am sure nobody gave a flying fuck then because you need an Aamir Khan to realize what is wrong around you!
I wish all those issues that he’ll take will hit the society as hard as we think it will and will not remain a tea-table talk and will not remain a one time emotional outburst!