Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate is so wide and intense that the broadcasters Star are now looking at other stars with a level of commitment to bring in a similar gravity to the traditional television entertainment.
Post Satyamev Jayate Star Plus has been seriously exploring Bollywood’s A-lister’s penchant for activism.Alas, the stars we hear , have the will to fit the bill. But when it comes to the crunch they cannot go for the kill.
Star’s CEO Uday Shankar says, “Look, Aamir is Aamir. His commitment to what he does exhaust and spoils you. But it’s good exhaustion and a good spoiling. You start looking for the same calibre of commitment in others. And that’s dangerous. What Aamir is done to ensure his hundred percent concentration to Satyamev Jayate is exceptional. Do you know, he didn’t take up a single commitment while he shot for the show? He didn’t even shoot for an ad! He postoponed the release of his next film for our show. Which other star would do that? And without that level of commitment another Satyamev Jayate is not possible. It can’t be done with the star taking a few hours off from shooting to record episodes.”
Uday says Aamir is completely involved with every department of Satyamev Jayate. So how then, do we explain the lack of connectivity between Aamir and the victims of social antipathy, that’s often visible on screen?
Defends Uday, “It is actually a problem from the other end. The people who come on the show with their problems are so awestuck by Aamir’s presence that they begin to posture and grow completely selfconscious in their behaviour.”
Aamir is doing his best to take the victims out of the fan zone.
Says Uday, “You’ve no idea how much effort Aamir makes to get the interviewees comfortable in his presence before the camera rolls. Unfortunately they are just too overwhelmed by his presence. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. I don’t know how.”
That Aamir is carrying the social issues on the showo forward on his own is a happy circumstance that Uday applauds, but stays away from. “We’re a television channel. We’re not an NGO. We’re more than happy to create social awareness on the show. If Aamir is taking the issues beyond our show we applaud his enterprising spirit. But for us our commitment ends with the show.”
Uday feels Aamir has once again proved himself a game-changer. “Look, it isn’t as if we haven’t done socially relevant shows on Star Plus earlier. But Aamir doing it took our battle to take television entertainment to another level, to a peak we had never imagined. Let’s be honest. The last ten years of television’s life has brought it to saturation point. The soaps, the game shows, reality shows…have all had their innings. The television viewing demography had reached a state of stagnancy.A large section of the population had begun to disengage from television. I think Aamir and Satyamev Jayate have redefined the television-viewing experience at the right time…So yes, both Aamir and I are keen on carrying the show forward.”