© Harish Jharia
We have been observing film stars and other celebrities anchoring TV shows, mainly reality shows. From reality shows… what I understand is those shows where the common viewers also participate. Firstly they strive to fetch a place among the participants and secondly compete in the show to win prizes.
These are purely commercial shows and the public images of the film stars are utilized by the TV channels for hitting the highest TRP and earn more and more revenue out of commercial advertisements, popularly known as sponsorships.
We cannot tag ‘Satyamev Jayate’ with the term reality show or commercial show. I would rather call it a social program, of course not a documentary, in which a huge team of social workers along with Amir Khan ventures out in Indian cities, villages, slums, lanes, bi-lanes and streets in search of truth. Truth, which is deliberately concealed and kept under-wraps by us all, just due to social prejudices and civic compulsions prevailing in our families, societies and countrywide.
The title "Satyameva Jayate" (सत्यमेव जयते) is a Sanskrit expression that means ‘Truth alone triumphs’ or ‘Truth Alone Prevails’. This slogan is inscribed at the bottom of the national emblem of Indian republic and depicts the basic philosophy of Indian heritage and the character of its people.
"Satyameva Jayate" started showing on Star Plus and Door Darshan TV channels along with many other regional channels in Hindi and in the respective regional languages. The telecast schedule of "Satyameva Jayate" is weekly on every Sunday, at 11 am. Premered on 6 May 2012, there have been 2 episode of "Satyameva Jayate" shown on Sunday mornings.
The first episode was based on the deep rooted social stigma of ‘female foeticide’, ‘कन्या भ्रूण ह्त्या’ (abortion of female foetus) and was titled as ‘Daughters are precious’. The subject of the second episode was ‘Sexual Abuse of Children’, ‘बच्चों का यौन शोषण’ titled as ‘Break the Silence’.
Episode 1: Daughters are precious
Female fotiside is the most heinous crime that is committed on a large percentage of pregnant women in many countries in the Indian subcontinent where emigrants of British India have settled. This cruel and inhuman tradition is being practiced for more than a century among these people. It is believed that there are many reasons due to which baby girls are killed in their mother’s womb.
Following are a few of the main reasons:
- The first reason is that we Indians believe that only sons use to carry the legacy of their parents because of the mail dominated hierarchy. Girls are not counted in the family tree because daughters are not considered as the part of family inheritance as they join the legacy of another family where they are married.
- Gotra that is recognized as the name of the paternal lineage continues in the case of sons. Whereas, the Gotra of girls changes at the time of their marriage. The paternal Gotra of a girl is discarded at the time of her marriage and she is allotted the Gotra of her husband at the time of her marriage.
- Due to the above beliefs if you are a ‘Kachchhwahaa’ ‘कछवाहा’ Gotra, your sons and grandsons will carry the legacy of ‘Kachchhwahaa’ ‘कछवाहा’ Gotra. But, if you have only a daughter she will no longer be a ‘Kachchhwahaa’ ‘कछवाहा’ Gotra after har marriage. She will rather be baptized with the Gotra of her husband say ‘Nangiya’ ‘नांगिया’ at the time of her marriage.
- The second reason is the marathon exercise Indian parents have to go through, for the 'arranged-marriage' of their daughters. Indian parents have the tradition of searching for a suitable match for their sons and daughters in their own caste.
- The match is required to be from a Gotra other than that of their own.
- If you have a son you are expected to receive dowry from the parents of the bride. The dowry would include land property, house property, gold, jewelry, car, furniture, consumer durables and cash that may go to the extent of a few millions of Indian Rupees.
- On the other hand if you have a daughter, you will have to spend millions of Indian Rupees on all these dowry items even if you go bankrupt.
In short, I would like to tell the climax of Venkat’s story that the multimillionaire, who was regarded as the wealthiest person in that area, was eventually reduced to a lower middle class poor man within a span of four years. This downfall descended successively with the marriages of each of his daughters, year after year. Venkat’s entire wealth, assets and money exhausted completely with the conclusion of the marriage of his youngest daughter. Moreover, I got the severe most shock when I saw Venkat shifting to one of his own houses as its tenant.
Such situation is prevailing in all the parts of India and that is the reason why people are scared of having daughters. The social stigma has turned-out to be a gender biased crime while opting between sons and daughters. Today, in more than 2 Indian states the ratio between the population of unmarried men and women continues to be 1000 : 750 (approx).
Episode 2: Break the Silence
The second episode of "Satyameva Jayate” was about sexual abuse of children in India. Child abuse is an integral part of joint family system where people of three to four generations use to live together.
In this episode of "Satyameva Jayate” the problem of child abuse has been discussed in details. It has been brought to the knowledge of the viewers that the victims are the children of both the genders. Similarly, the abusers also belong to both the genders. They may be of any age young or old and might commit the crime encroaching across delicate relations including blood relations.
This subject is so very delicate and sensitive that I would better opt not to discuss on this site. I would rather advise visitors to watch the "Satyameva Jayate” episodes on their official web site.
Here is the link to "Satyameva Jayate”: