Monday, May 07, 2012

Satyamev Jayate

Satyamev Jayate - Truth  Alone Triumphs
This was the new show going to be aired on a lazy summer Sunday morning. The show had an air of mystery about it. Touted as a reality show, with a big name anchor, being simulcast also on DD-National. Promos gave the feel of a travel show. But overall the content was a rather well-kept mystery. All in all enough to have drawn one's attention to the show.
So Sunday morning, there was me and my wife plonked in front of the TV. A few minutes into the show and the picture became clear. This was more of a talk show with focus on the social issues facing India (a good idea in itself) with "female foeticide" being the issue discussed in this episode. A few more minutes down the line, it became too depressing to watch for us. And we switched channels, watched some meaningless stuff and went on with the Sunday activities.
But the story doesn't end here. Sometime later in the evening, while doing more channel surfing, we caught up with the repeat telecast on Star Pravah (the marathi channel). There was a different segment going on. We watched it, talked about it and then moved on to other things.
Makes us sound like people who think it is the others problems. But herein lies the impact of this show. We found ourselves talking on the subject of "female foeticide" quite a few times during the day. Discussed the film "Matrubhoomi" which had also covered this harsh reality about a village without women. Satyamev Jayate and female foeticide were the key discussion points on facebook and twitter all day. So yes, the impact has been there.
Now that the issue is out in the open, and people are talking about it, what is the next step? After all, we do like to outrage over a lot of things. And a declining gender ratio wasn't any new topic. There was a text poll conducted to ask Rajasthan Government to set up a fast-track court to tackle "female foeticide". I texted "Y" to the number (5782711). But I am cynical about how the thing works out. I don't think there is anyone out there, who would vote a "No". Many will vote a "Yes", and most won't care. But the question remains, can a SMS campaign make a government setup a fast-track court?
And as for the individual effort, I texted the "Y". Thought about the subject, talked about it, and am absolutely sure, I wouldn't be interested in knowing the gender of the future kid. But is that all that one can think about at an indivdual level.
The show certainly raised questions. And uncomfortable ones at that. And public awareness on an unconfortable issue was also raised. The desire to have a boy child and the murder of the girl child. But what about the solution. I don't know the solution but it certainly won't be through an SMS campaign or internet outrage.

P.S. A twisted thought - Female foeticide will most certainly reduce the population in a few years with less and less females. Maybe an indirect population control method.