Monthly Archive: July 2012

Jul 30 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 13 – End of SEASON 1 on a high note

The first season of Aamir Khan’s debut TV show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ culminated with a beautiful and a thoughtful message asking us to embark upon a journey where one could translate the impossible into the possible. Since its inception, ‘Satyamev Jayate’ has inspired an ocean of humanity across the globe and has also ushered in sea change by persistent efforts and sheer commitment.

The last leg of the show’s first season saw Aamir Khan playing a proud host to a number of unsung heroes, who the world had not known, whose noble initiatives changed a number of lives and is continuing to do so.

The point of contention was the constitutional right of every individual in the country. The very first leaf of the Constitution of India speaks of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. And in his show ‘Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir reminded the audience of the fundamental rights of an Indian citizen.

The first guests on the show were the trustees of Sarvodaya Trust in Gujarat, who braved opposition and provided a roof to homeless Muslim children, who had fallen prey to communal riots in the state a few years back. The Trust is now a unique shelter that provides unconditional support to children of the minority community and treats them as equals.

Communal violence is omnipresent and the state of Jammu and Kashmir stands witness to the savagery that mindless violence can unleash.

Asha Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit had contemplated to leave her village in fear of losing her life like many other Hindus in the state. And when she went to inform her Muslim neighborhood about her plans to leave the village for good, their love forced her to change her own decision. She was eventually elected a Sarpanch by the Muslim dominated village and now leads a peaceful life in the village where both Hindus and Muslims co-exist happily.

After highlighting communal unity, Aamir shifted the focus towards casteism and how Sanjeev, a commoner leading a comfortable life in the national capital decided to change the plight of the untouchables in his village in Bihar. And with determination and selflessness, Sanjeev led the way and helped the people of backward class fight for their rights.

The concluding episode of the show was a learning experience where one and all could seek inspiration from others. One such inspiring lady who was a guest on the show was Sunitha Krishnan, who runs an organization called Prajwala. Sunitha was gang-raped by eight men when she was just 8 years old and hence her organization works towards women and girl children who have been physically abused or were forced into flesh trade. Sunitha braved the mafia and refused a number of prostitutes to give them a better life and make them self-sufficient by employing them in her organization.

It was then time for Naseema to narrate her journey. A handicapped woman herself, Naseema is an inspiration for many other physically disabled people. She trains them to be self-reliant and financially independent. Her trust helps them to lead a normal life.

Like Naseema, Subhasini Mistry too gathered great strength from her belief that she could do something for the helpless in the society. After having lost her husband to illness, Subhasini, a vegetable vendor had to put her younger son into an orphanage due to financial constraints. And the dutiful son of the hardworking mother now runs a hospital called “Humanity” in West Bengal and gives free treatment to the poor and needy. “Humanity” was Subhasini’s dream, which is now a reality.

After Mistry, it was the turn of Babar Ali, a 19 year old boy and perhaps the world’s youngest School principal to share his experience. He provides free education to the underprivileged children in his locality. And Wipro founder Azim Premji, who works towards educating a number of rural children too shared his experiences with Aamir

‘Satyamev Jayate’ unfolded a number of stories that were beyond imagination. One such story was that of Mohammed Sharif alias Sharif Chacha from Uttar Predesh. Sharif had lost his son and could never find his body. And hence could not perform his last rites. Now he gives unclaimed bodies their respectful last rites irrespective of their religion. One can see him in a Muslim graveyard and even at a Hindu cremation ground paying his last respect to the departed souls.

And after Chacha, Aamir shifted the focus to whistleblower Satyendra Dubey, an honest engineer who was shot dead for uncovering corruption in the system. Dubey’s death had made headlines and had created a huge uproar in the country. And at the end of the show, the inspirational story of Dashrath Maaji who personified passion, determination and courage was narrated. Maaji had single-handedly carved a path through a mountain alienating his village from the nearest town with his hand-held tools. He was made fun of and ridiculed by the villagers for even thinking of trying to break the mountain. But Dashrath was passionate about what he was doing. It took 22 years to complete the task and now thousands are reaping the fruits of his efforts.

The curtains are drawn temporarily but the effect of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is bound to create ripples in the country and hopefully bring in more change in the way we perceive India now.

By: Gayatri Sankar –

Watch the complete episode below:

Jul 22 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 12 – Water Scarcity in India: A bitter truth

Aamir started the penultimate episode of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ on a serious note. After giving basic information about the acute shortage of water in certain areas of India, he directly came to the point and asked a simple question to the audience; however the reply was a little surprising.

When a girl was asked from where we get water for our daily usage, she innocently replied, “From the tap.” The audience broke into a thunderous laugh which vanished within seconds because the research team of ‘SMJ’ started to showcase the plight of the people in different parts of India.

A string of visuals shot on the locations from Maharashtra, Delhi and some more states featured the acute water shortage. The environment of the studio became more depressing when Aamir revealed that a 14 year old boy called Sunil was killed during one of the struggles for water.

Environmentalist and water conservation activist Anupam Mishra stated some hard facts about the problems related to water shortage. He described the Indian mindset in very apt words, he said that we worship our rivers but we are not ready to keep it clean.

The position of the national capital of India, Delhi appeared very grim when it was disclosed that out of the total 1400 km length of Yamuna, 600 kms are already vanished. It has mainly happened due to the mindless industrialisation happening around this river.

Ganga’s situation is no different. Activist Manoj Mishra very rightly said that the Ganga’s situation near Kanpur is almost the same as Yamuna’s position in Delhi. Both the rivers are fast changing into a large gutter.

Ravi Agrawal’s case studies were more frightening. He said that the level of oxygen in Ganga and Yamuna near major cities is actually lesser than required, in fact at some places it has reached to the zero level.

Chennai was also suffering from the same problem till some years ago but precaution measures taken by an IAS officer Shanta Sheela Nair have reduced the problem to some extent. She, with the help of the state government, made it mandatory to install the rain water harvesting system.

However, despite all the preaching, the problem is getting worse and if we don’t wake up now then it would be too late.


Watch the complete episode of the show below:

Jul 15 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 11 – Old Age – a reality of life; lets embrace it!!

Satyamev Jayate’s episode on 14th July, talks about Indian culture. Aamir asks his audience what makes Indian culture stand different from the others. In reply, the audience mentioned that kids can sleep along with parents, we get to see 3 generations live under the same roof and the respect that the young give the elders. Aamir tells his audience that, India is the only country where people fall on the feet of their elders with due respect. Even today a 100 million Indians start he day by touching the feet of their elders. And in turn the elder give Aashirwad (blessing) by saying ‘jug jug jiyo’ and also when sometimes we think of someone and they call us, we tell them ‘sau saal jiyoe’ (you’ll like a 100 years).

Aamir asks if, do all elders get the respect they deserve? He introduces the audience to an old lady Krishna Dawer, who lived in a happy big joined family with her husband and had everything to thank god about. Her kids were her life and she brought them up with a lot of love. After her husband passed away, she lived all alone in the ground floor of the bungalow and lived with the wonderful memories. One day, life took a turn for her. She never expected something like that would happen to her. Her son who lived on the first floor of the house started putting pressure on her. 42% of the house’s share was in her name and 29 % in the younger brother’s name. He wanted her to sign the property’s full share in his name but she refused. When she was off to Dehradun, he threw all her belonging on the road and locked the house from inside. For many hours, the helpless lady was sitting outside, not knowing what to do. After the support from the police and passers by, after 9 hours, at around 3:30 am she was able to get back inside her house. Another couple Gahininath Bhosale and his wife Kusum went through the same thing. They slogged for every penny at young age to give their children the best. A father, Ashok Panchal, who held his son’s hand when small, was shattered when the same son threw his clothes out of the house and told him he cant live in the house any more. Mangala Khadilkar today lives in an old age home because her son abandoned her.

The pain that these old people and god knows how many other parents face at old age is just unbearable for them, that they reach a point where they have no more tears to shed. It is such an awful sight to see parents being treated like that. The parents sometimes get forced and have no choice left but to go and stay in an old age home. One such is ‘Maitri India’, which is an institution that works on making life better for the helpless abandoned old age people.

Aamir wraps up the show, by saying, we must never think that our elders are our weakness. They are our strength. They have knowledge, belief, love, thoughts, power and respect. They are our past and future too. As a part of our society, we must give them a chance to shine at old age too. We must be by them and encourage them at every walk of their life. Old age doesn’t mean your life is over but it means you have come to another new chapter in your life.

The hands that held us and fed us when we where just born should be held with care and when we see the lines on their hand we must see our future in it. Only with their blessings our life will be bright and prosperous.

By: Meera Kukreja,

Watch the complete video of the show below:

Jul 08 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 10 – Untouchability – Where we stand?

Tainted by their birth into a caste system that deems them impure and less than human, dalits or untouchables live a life that strips them of their dignity. Aamir Khan bravely discusses the social monster of casteism that runs deep in our psyche

What if you are born with a label or an identity that deems you as impure, unacceptable and even guilty not just for a lifetime but it continues to discriminate you even after you death? Aamir Khan asks a pointed question based on the way people are being coldly categorised on the basis of their cast and creed in our country. Are all men truly born equal? Not really. Just take a look at headlines in our mainstream newspapers and you will know India’s untouchables are relegated to the lowest jobs, and live in constant fear of being publicly humiliated. In the tenth episode of Satyamev Jayate Aamir casts light on untouchability.

The show begins with a heart-wrenching story of Dr Kaushal Panwar who was born into a lower-caste family. Right from her schooling years to the present day where she is working as a university professor in Delhi, Panwar faced discrimination at every step in her life. With her story Aamir brings forth a shocking tale to introduce the monster of untouchabilty that exists even 2012 India.The discrimination is so deep-rooted that even elected MPs are not spared. MP P L Punia who is also the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes was barred from entering the Kali temple in Odisha because he is from a scheduled caste and his community has been traditionally not allowed to enter the temple.

Documentary filmmaker Stalin reveals how untouchability is well-entrenched and is still being widely practised across the country by people of all religions – right from children being discriminated at schools to people being ostracised at social functions. He shows us how dalit kids are forced to clean school toilets just because they belong to a particular creed. Stalin captures the biting reality in his camera and portrays it in his documentary film titled India Untouched. Aamir shows a few rushes of Stalin’s documentary to show the prevalent practice of discrimination, subjugation and casteism.

Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari believes that the labels of cast and community are so deeply ingrained in people’s mind that they continue to remain even after a person’s death, and the only way to stop caste-based discrimination is to refuse the existence of a caste system.

Aamir also discusses the provisions by law to stop manual scavenging. Statistically speaking, Aamir states that there are still around 13 lakh families across the country who continue to be employed in the most demeaning and humiliating profession ever known to man. Mostly people from lower caste (Dalits) are employed, or even forced to do manual scavenging, or cleaning other’s excreta.

Just like in previous episodes of Satyamev Jayate, in this episode too, Aamir gets different points of view and different voices in. And in the end, Aamir asked viewers all over the country to send in their opinion on the subject.He also urges young Indians to come forward and participate in wiping out the social evil of casteism.

Prathmesh Jadhav –

Watch the complete episode at:

Jul 02 2012

SATYAMEV JAYATE 9 – Alcohol abuse

Image courtesy:

Image courtesy:
This episode of Satyamev Jayatestands out for the wonderful choice of guests who shocked, informed and educated. Compared to heavier themes like female foeticide and other social ills, the much-spoken-of topic of alcoholism might seem trivial to some.

A chillingly candid interview with Vijay Simha puts a human face on the misery brought about by alcohol addiction while the enlightening interview with Dr Ashish Deshpande dismissed the myth that it’s the habits of the sufferer that landed him in the mire.

Its hard not to flinch at Simha’s booze-soaked decline after having touched the pinnacle of success in journalism — from working as the executive editor of a reputed daily to languishing for weeks in a public toilet where neither cleaners nor flies would venture. After alienating friends and family, and compromising his dignity along the way, it is a heartening experience to watch the man rise above it all, telling his tale.

Though the unseemly, sometimes bizarre, actions of men under the influence sometimes invited laughter from the audience, the genetic nitty-gritty of addiction that differentiate those struck by the disease from those who aren’t was very succinctly explained by Dr Deshpande, earned their rapt attention.

As did the story of another man identified only as Laxman, who spent a whopping Rs40 lakh in hospital bills to seek some relief after decades of liquor pangs. His lesson that while hospitals could only purge his body, but not mind, of alcohol makes a powerful case for the importance of Alcoholics Anonymous — which proved to be his saviour — in smoking out the disease.

Perhaps to those who don’t display the text-book symptoms, overlooking the ruination to the life of a casual acquaintance or distant family member, one’s drinking is a personal, harmless thing.Not so, according to psychiatrist Dr Vivek Benegal, whose shocking statistics revealed that half of India’s liquor-drinking population do harm to themselves by exceeding their limit (Four pegs, by international standards).

Lastly, with the introduction of Sumir Anand, who lost his son Curran to a drunk driver, the episode effectively showed how irresponsible drinking matched with overall irresponsible behaviour creates a problem which assumes society-threatening proportions. Going so far as to question the manner with which the perpetrator of the offence was let off called viewers to question the strictness with which the law was dealing with the menace.

Aamir Khan, keeping things cool, refrained from being high-handed and this episode, far from self-indulgent, only has the potential to induce reflection and open many drenched minds to intervention.

Watch the complete episode at:

Also see:

Press release by The General Service Office (GSO) of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) India
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