Satyamev Jayate Season 2

Aamir Khan lodges police complaint over defamatory article on Satyamev Jayate

I am a very emotional person and do get tears in my eyes. The channel has never asked me to cry - Aamir Khan
India’s most loved socio-political chat show Satyamev Jayate, is all set to roll out its second season from 2 March and helming it this time too is India’s biggest blockbuster actor, Aamir Khan. caught up the superstar actor and quizzed him about the various facets of the show and the changes that Satyamev Jayate brought in him, personally.

Aamir, what has been your biggest learning from the previous season?
I learnt two big things. One is that wherever people have worked in a collective manner and have not thought individually and selfishly, we have seen prosperity and progress. By working as a group and community, we can do well socially and even economically. The other big learning is that many of our problems finally boil down to the patriarchal thinking of our society which again is the root cause of other problems like domestic violence, dowry, and honour killings. So the two big learnings are empowering women on one hand and working as a group on the other.

How different is season 2 from season 1?
Format wise, we have broken Satyameva Jayate in to three different installments this time out of which the first installment will be aired in March. The reason being each of the topics that are being discussed are so heavy and important that we want to give our audience enough time to absorb it so that it stays with them for a greater period. So instead of showing all the topics and finishing the season at one go, we will be coming out with four topics and then three months later, we will be coming up with another four and then another four. So we are starting off with March and then in the middle of the year we will choose a month for our second installment of four episodes and then the last one towards the end of the year.

Principally has anything been changed this season?
Well, principally we haven’t changed. Just like season 1, this time too, we will help understand an issue well and share it with the people of India. And it’s our endeavour to share the issue not just on an intellectual level but on an emotional level as well. So in essence that is what we will be doing this time as well. For instance, when we are talking about domestic violence, we not just educate you on the law but also share figures from all over India which will help you know what is happening on the social level as well. But yes, one big change this time would be the sharper action points which we have included wherein if on one particular issue we learn that something can be done to improve it, we ask you about your thoughts and whether you would like to support it. And if you would like to support that issue, you can do so by giving a missed call on our toll free number. We have called it the ‘Vote for change’ campaign. So we would get to know what people think. And then finally we will keep the same in front of the government.

How are these topics chosen? Do you also keep political and social pressure in mind while choosing them?
There has never been a single instance where we have left out or chosen a topic because of any pressure, political or otherwise. Our choice of topics is not determined by the amount of pressure that would be put on us because of a particular topic. That’s not why we pick or avoid topics. Our choice of topics is derived from a process where the core team which includes myself, sits together and brainstorms on various topics and issues. We also get suggestions through internet and also letters. So all of that is put on the table and deliberated upon. That is the process is that we follow.

Last time, certain section of the audience felt that you cried a bit too much. How will you be addressing that?
See, actually I present the show in the manner that I am. Yes, a section of the people felt that I cried too much. But that is how I am. I am a very emotional person and I do get tears in my eyes when I hear a sad story about someone. I just cannot pretend that I am not connected. Even last time, I broke down several times but that was not shown because you don’t want to see 15 minutes of me crying on the show. When I am talking live, where there are two cameras trained on me and two at my guest, at that point of time how I react is captured in real time by the cameras and that can’t be tampered with. So anchoring and presentation wise, I will remain the same this time too.

Has the channel ever asked you to get emotional for greater TRPs?
(Cuts in) Channel has never told me to cry. When I started doing television and was approached by Star, I was a bit skeptical thinking that they may want me to make the show more commercial and would ask me to do things that we normally hear. But not even once did they tell me to do anything that was against the grain of the show or any suggestion like I have to cry or something.

Okay point taken. Tell us, how has your life changed after Satyamev Jayate?
My outlook towards life has changed completely after Satyamev Jayate. My legal knowledge on various things improved. I got to know more and more about different communities and different kinds of people of our country. Every topic surprised me because it taught me something new, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. Emotionally and spiritually, it changed me because I understood how people are dealing with different problems in their life despite not being blessed with money or political muscle power.
They have a lot of internal strength and dignity despite having suffered great tragedy. That changed me as a person. The biggest thing I have learnt is the power of forgiveness.

Any mistakes from the previous season that you would not like to repeat this time?
We don’t think we made any mistakes. Mistake is a strong word. I thought we could better a few things like including more people to interact on the issues. And that is exactly the reason why we have come with a dynamic website now. So if you go on the website, you will notice that it is much more user friendly this time. A website keeps the issue alive even after the telecast is over. That is the very important thing. We expect people to be more interactive through the website this time around.

What was the thought behind releasing it at a time when general elections are looming large on the horizon? Don’t you think that the topic discussed on the show would become fodder for politicians to sensationalize issues for their own gain?

(Thinks) In this atmosphere of election, it is the aim of every political party to sensationalise things but let me tell you, our intention at Satyamev Jayate is not sensationalise. Let me recite something. “Hungama khada karana hamara irada nahi, hamari chahat hain ki soorat badalni chaiye. Mere seene main nahi, tere seene main sahi. Hain zaroori yeh aag jalti rehni chaiye. I think that it is important for every Indian to be connected to social and political issues. This is a democracy and eternal vigilance is the right of democracy for it to be healthy. If you don’t do that you are letting go off your rights. So I believe, not just actors but all Indian should be engaged and that is one of the intentions of Satyamev Jayate.

Lastly, can we see Aamir Khan making a movie out of any of these social or political issues?
It may happen that I may find an issue that I would like to make a film about but that is not my thought right now. Whenever I find an issue that needs to be talked about, then I use it in my show itself. I don’t wait to make a film on it. If organically something comes up and someone writes it and I like the script then I will do it. But my process of selecting a film script remains unchanged and that is creative excitement when I hear the script. If that is not there, then I can’t do the film.
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