Saturday, June 23, 2012

Truth; Be Damned

"Female foeticide is such a big social issue in India that India's Oprah is a guy."
[courtesy Kintan Brahmbatt, a FB friend]
Are we bored with our lives? Do we need to turn on the television to tell us where we're headed, whether North or South? And lastly, which is the biggest problem that we face in our everyday lives; ignorance, lies or inaction?

I appreciate Aamir's "honest" efforts to highlight and eradicate the perils faced by the "common man". A show that reaches out to the masses through various channels on a Sunday morning; Perfect timing for the "common man" to finish his brunch, check his facebook account (comment/like/share) and tune in to watch "Truth alone prevails." I have watched a couple of episodes, and my wife has filled me with the details of the rest. Honestly, I do enjoy the songs at the end but nothing more to it. I have never watched the Oprah Winfrey Show either, but I hold that lady and her show in high esteem (I can hear the murmurs of American television being more prominent than our desi ones). Only because her life has seen the facets of darkness that would put fiction to shame.

Aamir Khan is a great actor, and we applaud his ability to "be different" and create movies that reach out to the masses; a dyslexic child (Taare Zameen Par), the idiosyncrasy of our orthodox education framework (3 Idiots), and the voice of youth against corruption (Rang De Basanti). Perhaps, our admiration has reached to the limit where we shout, pump our fists and have an adrenaline rush seeing Aamir's bash the bad guys. I wonder if we ever discussed Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan as much as we discuss AK's efforts on screen. The former didn't have a TRP rating, only a 21-gun salute and he was forgotten (apart from the occasional updates on fb).

There is no other country in the world that enjoys movies and the life of their superstars as much as India does (probably Americans as well). And at times, we tend to look at the reel life rather than real life for motivation. Our personal life stories are drawn on the lines of a KKHH or DDLJ. So when our superstars step down to the common man's mantle, it's their screen image that's portrayed in our minds; How Sanjay Dutt became the epitome of Gandhian principles after a couple of Lage raho Munnabhai movies is food for thought.

I do understand that I'm going overboard with my criticism, but a look at the financial structuring of this program seemed to back me. The sponsorship deal of this series is "only" 24.99 crore (Dhobi Ghat was made at a measly budget of 10 cr) and a 10-second advertising slot costs 10 lakh. The show's producers include Aamir and Kiran. And Aamir (supposedly) charges Rs. 3 crore for each episode (wiki). I understand that it requires funding for a such a high-scale television program, but isn't it supposed to be a service for the public? Whose coffers are getting filled?

I didn't watch the episode pertaining to medical malpractices but I could feel the hurt within a few medical practitioners whom I know. For a life saved, they get a "thank you" and for one lost, hospitals are demolished and doctors, assaulted. Didn't we outsource the life-death scenario to God? So why sacrifice the poor doctors? Doctors are only professionals like Engineers. The hours spent in saving lives contributes to the service they offer, not the living they make out of it. And about selling generic medicines as brands, isn't everything related to making money? Don't our nation's politicians flag-bearers do the same?

After the first episode, I felt elated. I imagined this to be the change that our society deserved. But the surrealistic feeling came to an early demise on Monday morning when I read the papers. And it worsened over the week. Because nothing changed. The feeling was similar to the one after I watched a movie, eventually high hopes and lost causes.

"Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides."

Go ahead, Aamir. As you termed it, "this is only a baby step" to making changes. We will wait till the day you take upon the really up-scale bad guys. No one should be spared, be it high-profile politicians, industrialists, sportsmen or media. And then we'll stand up and salute the actor who likes doing things differently. And yeah, Mrs. Ambani can as well let out her $1 billion house to the victims of all these atrocities. Practice what you preach, life is beyond IPL and films.
"Lets play truth or dare
Or just dare because
Nobody tells the truth anymore"
- One Tree Hill

P.S: Critics would comment that this article is an act of hypocrisy. I'm neither paid 3cr for publishing this blog nor bothered about increasing blog traffic. 


  1. seems you hv done the groundwork really well before this article. ahem..great one mate...