Educated but Illiterate – Satyameva Jayate (Take 1)

After a lot of hype and an advertising blitzkreig which had left no stone unturned right from billboards, TV, Radio, Internet and even the print media, the first episode of the much awaited Satyameva Jayate hosted by Aamir Khan went on air today. If you talk merely in terms of number one can gauge the importance that has got attached to this show. Cost of production per episode is Rs. 4cr. On an average, a 30-minute episode of a prime-time Hindi soap costs Rs. 8-9 lakh. A reality show could cost between Rs. 35 lakh and Rs. 2 crore an episode, depending on the stars hosting the show. Rs. 10 lakh for a 10-second spot, Compare that with the Rs. 4 lakh that advertisers pay for the same commercial time during this year’s Indian Premier League. To top it all, Rs. 3cr is the anchor fee per episode has set record in Indian television history. (Numbers courtesy: Mint)

The buzz was on and twitter was right up there with SatyamevaJayate trending to the top. So what did the first show had in store for us? Well I would say nothing new but something worth giving a try. The first episode focused on female foeticide in India, and showed incidents that women in India face over families wanting male child. What was interesting was the fact this horendous act is not only practiced by illitrate people but also the educated people. I use the word educated and not literate because a literate person I suppose will not indulge in such horrific acts.

Inlaws dont want a girl child primary reason being they are view as cost centres with no return. Dowry is still prevalant in India and getting a girl child married is not an easy task. Its sad that we do not till date have a vaccine to eradicate this disease from our system. Or is it that we still dont view this as a disease? Also many families in India look at male child as someone who will continue their vansh (legacy) forward. Doctors who conduct this crime do it to recover their money that they pay as fees and donations to get into medical institutes. They buy  costly ultrasound machines which are promoted to them by the marketers who show them ways to recover the cost and one of them being conducting sex determination test.

We all know of the things that go around us and blame the administration for not taking actions. I dont know if Satyameva Jayate can transform the way people see and do things. But one thing is for sure, which was also the message with which Aamir ended the show and which I believe the most. Every individual must rise and say that he/she will not indulge in such activities. We need to be change that we wish to see in the world. This is what the Mahatma said and holds true in not only this case but with a numerous other issues be it social or not.

Can education solve the problem, can punishment reduce the crime? Can bringing in rules like those in Korea reduce the crime? How can you get rid of deep rooted traditions which are bane rather than blessings? There are lot of questions that need answers. We all need to do our bit at whatever level we can.

I hope that the show is able to set some trend and atleast save some lives and not just fade away like many other social initiatives.





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