Hindustan Times Entertainment (07 May2012)
Aamir Khan’s TV show Satyamev Jayate had everyone raving about it on its very first episode on Sunday, but Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen was disappointed. “Feminists have been talking about female foeticide and it’s dangerous effects for decades. Ppl have learned about it today from star plus (sic),” she tweeted. After the episode that focussed on female foeticide, aired, Nasreen went on with a string of tweets, including, “Dear Salman Khan, please talk about rape, domestic violence and dowry murder on TV tomorrow,” and “Dear Shahrukh Khan, pl talk about sexual abuse & sexual slavery on TV. Ppl shd know about these problems. We talk, but we’re not film stars (sic).”
Other activists, however, say they don’t mind sharing their cause with a celebrity. “Hats off to Aamir. His is a show with a credible anchor and credible content,” says cop-turned social activist Kiran Bedi.
“We should not ridicule Aamir Khan’s efforts to raise the issue, though usually, such shows have a momentary impact. There have been movies that moved the audience but for just some time,” says Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, a Delhi-based women’s rights NGO.
“I’ve been working in this field for 30 years. I agree, when a star speaks, people listen. But changing the mindset of people is a daunting task. Sincerity to the cause of social concern is needed,” says Nafisa Ali, social activist. Some say this proves how star-obsessed India is. “If a star tells something, people listen,” says Pramada Menon, activist. Santanu Mishra of the Smile Foundation says, “It depends upon the credibility of the celebrity and the dedication towards a cause he supports. Another perfect example is the way Amitabh Bachchan made parents rush to polio booths with their babies.”