Take One

Goodwill Hunting

Last Sunday, India woke up to the launch of the much-anticipated Satyamev Jayate.

And what a launch it was! Never in the history of Indian television broadcasting has a single programme – major sporting events like the cricket or football World Cups or the Olympics included – been simulcast on so many channels: Star Plus, Star World,Star Utsav, Star Pravah, Star Jalsha, Asianet and Star Vijay within the Star TV Network as also outside broadcasters, Doordarshan National and Eenadu TV.

While the final TRPs for the launch episode will only be released in the coming week, by all accounts, the programme has been very well received. In fact, on the day of the launch, the top 7 trending topics on the popular social networking site, Twitter, revolved around the programme, which is again quite unparalleled.

Ratings, hype and buzz aside, the subject matter the first episode dealt with –female foeticide – is an issue of huge importance, a life-and-death matter quite literally. The programme hit all the right buttons and was backed by extensive research to bring home the immense scale and horror of this monstrosity, culminating in a very strong call to action.

But let’s face it, Satyamev Jayate is ultimately just a talk show, much like the many that abound on various GECs and news channels, and undoubtedly many more will hit the airwaves in time to come. However, what sets the programme apart, what makes possible the multi-channel simulcast, the marketing blitz, the advertiser interest and the social media chatter is without an iota of doubt, the star power and persona of one man, Aamir Khan.

Khan is justifiably billed as not only one of the foremost stars of our times but also as someone who immerses himself totally in whatever he does. Satyamev Jayate, which is incidentally produced by his banner, is no exception. What is most note worthy and commendable about Khan’s television debut is that he has had the courage and conviction to not play safe and instead back a socially important venture that could so easily have been brushed aside as ‘too boring’.

And thereby lies the perfect example of a virtuous cycle. The life line of the programme is the star power and goodwill of its anchor and producer, Aamir Khan, and that fan base and adulation is only widened and deepened by his taking up of issues of great national and social importance.

Speaking of goodwill and reaching out, the week that went by also saw the coming together of two of our most successful film-makers, Karan Johar and Rohit Shetty,with the latter coming on board to direct a film for the former’s banner, Dharma Productions. Besides each of them having an awesome body of work (in Johar’s case, as a producer too), both are hugely liked and respected within the fraternity. So what happens when two nice giants combine? We can hardly wait to find out!

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