The first episode of Satyamev Jayate had me in tears. But then, I cry easily and at the drop of a hat. Yes, I’m very emotional. So I waited until I saw three episodes before I wrote this post. The second episode also tugged at the heart-strings while the third showed a lot of positive changes. They struck a chord not because they affected me personally in any way but they made me think as a woman (female foeticide and dowry) and as a mother (child abuse). I’ve always been fortunate enough to make the choices I’ve made and live the life I want and being a woman has never come in the way. And yes, I’m brave enough to stand up for my rights!

There were many reactions, some knee-jerk and others, as contrived as the accusation that ‘Aamir was performing on screen’ one! Well, the show’s format is simple and strikes where it has to. We know it’s happening around us and we don’t want to acknowledge it but we don’t realise that not acknowledging will not make things go away. Life’s not simple as that! Well, if Aamir, the celebrity cried on screen and made us cry along, he also made us stand up and think. Satyamev Jayate also portrays reality in both its macabre and as well as its heartening forms. Whether it will see the stirring of a national consciousness, only time will tell. But the message is clear – if we work together and towards a problem, things will happen and we can certainly be the change we wish to see in this world.

It’s so easy for me to wax eloquent or for you to criticise. And it’s so easy to also shrug it off and say ‘to each his own’! But it’s definitely heartening to see so many people making a difference in their own little ways. My friend posted a link on Facebook of two Tehelka journalists who are terribly sick and in hospital after they ventured into Abujmarh, a Maoist territory, walking 40 km on foot into remote and hostile terrain. Someone wondered whether there is a difference between bravery and foolhardiness.  Both these journalists are in their 20s. Well, if you are sensible enough, you can come to your own sensible conclusion.

A colleague recently told me about her friend who volunteers with Slum Soccer in India, an organisation that uses football as a tool for social improvement and empowerment. And why does he do that? Because that’s what he wants to do, it’s his choice to see a change.

My friend’s father who is 75 years old visits the municipal hospital close to his home in India almost every day just to talk to the patients there. He listens to their problems and is a soothing and calming presence in their lives. Why does he do that? Because for him, it signifies seva or selfless service.

I’m so proud to know so many people, friends, colleagues both former and current who selflessly work for a positive change, however small it may be. And yes, without making even a whimper about it. Yes, even stopping to offer a lift to a labourer in the burning 50 degree heat constitutes a ‘change’. In attitudes, perceptions and empathy.

And those who don’t want to do anything or do not have the inclination and claim that they do not have the time, well, the choice is again yours. But do not deride those who are doing good, pick faults or pass judgement. You never know when you will be at the ‘receiving end’ of their goodness. Yes, life’s also strange, that way!

After watching Satyamev Jayate, my first impulse was to write to Aamir that I ‘wanted to be a part of his show’! But I didn’t, of course! I am doing whatever I can (that I definitely will not talk about!) in my own way and only keep wishing I could do more!

I have grandiose plans of retiring at 40 to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to accomplish it or not, but you can be sure it’s going to be the emotional kind!


20 thoughts on “Of Satyamev Jayate and the change we wish to see… if we want to

  1. “… even stopping to offer a lift to a labourer in the burning 50 degree heat constitutes a ‘change’. In attitudes, perceptions and empathy.” Brilliantly put!!! Fantastic post, Rekha. 🙂

    1. Thanks Sush! The more I talk to young people, the more I realise that they are happy being the little change they wish to see. And that, is really, really heartening.

  2. Reha, why are they so many gaps before you put up these beautifully written thoughtful
    posts. Since you type at a speed of a super sonic jet you shouldn’t have a problem and i can vouch that thoughts flow very very freely. Aamir’s Satyamev Jayate well great show but… you know 🙂

  3. Wonderfully written, should I say, as usual?? It would be like stating the obvious – a mango is so sweet!! Aamir has always been a method actor – see the films that he does – I still cry when I see Akele Hum Akele Tum, I watch all his old re-runs; did he not inspire “the candle parade” at India Gate – which is now so common – through Rang De Basanti? He touched on corruption in defense contracts & the “Flying Coffins”. We are all too eager to embrace Oprah or Dr Phil or any such show that comes out of the west, but why do we fail to acknowledge what Aamir is trying to do?? He has done umpteen public service campaigns at no charge – the Atithi Devo Bhava” campaign for example. The issues that he has brought up so far has been far too long brushed under the carpet & cannot be ignored any long as it has started affecting society too often. Years ago, in the 70’s or early 80’s Ronnie Screwvala of UTV used to do a show on Doordarshan called “Young World”. I was impressed and wanted to emulate a person called Bunker Roy who left Delhi to settle in a place in Rajasthan called Tilonia & brought about a change there. I still distinctly remember the episode, his name & the village, that was the impression. I am sure Aamir will leave several such impressions on the young impressionable hearts who will be the path breakers of change in society. Too much from me Behna, but you keep going & this post of yours is truly from your heart!!

    1. Thank you bhaiya. Yes, remember Udaan on the life of Kiran Bedi. That struck a chord and feeling that still remains… to stand up for rights, whenever needed!

  4. Everytime and everyday, whether @ home or workplace or elsewhere, one question keeps on lingering in my mind and internally probing, “What b8r things can I do today 2 make this world – a much b8r place to live in (for umpteen generations to come)”? Perhaps, the output of these thoughts across various platforms – is what makes the world a nice place 2 stay in. Aamir, according to me, who is most-certainly using his celebrity and no-nonsense status, is trying his level best 2 point out several flaws and loopholes, by which the system is disturbed, misused and abused. During Ramadhan time, there r several competitions conducted across Oman. Gift hampers like rice, food vouchers etc. r showered on the winners. Quite consistently, I crack answers and end up winning such gifts. No sooner I collect them, I immly drive down 2 the poor ppl’s campuses and give them the much needed rice, which is a mandatory requirement for the ppl . Indeed whatever small or big v do or give, everything is being audited up there by HIM. Wonderful write on ur part Rekha. Keep posting

      1. I felt very much sad/painful, when I read a post of your colleague this afternoon, when he posted a msg on a social networking site.

        However, a spl. mention 2 u 4 having shared his number with me, by which I cud get an opportunity to meet this samaritan at the doorsteps of your office.

        Whatever I cud contribute to the best of my abilities, I did. I was just remembering the poem “Abou Ben Adhem”, which we studied in school. Yes. u said it right. Therez no gr8r joy than the joy of giving and derive tremendous satisfaction by practicing what we learn. GOD bless

  5. Nicely written. I did watch the first two episodes and was moved like the rest of my countrymen. But at times the tear ducts were squeezed too easily.

  6. Forget about early retirement Rekha. You can use your pen as sword. We have to accept everything as the ‘karmic play’. However a mere thought in us as a social servent will surely bring out the inclination for doing service to the humanity. Let the pleasure you are deriving out of ‘joy of givings’ may make you more courageous, emotionally well-built and a journalist who cares the society.

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