This Season of Satyamev Jayate came to an end yesterday. The topics chosen were marvelous and inspiring. While we may be aware of most of these, what is important is that this program brought about awareness, shared real-life stories of courage, despair and hope and brought these topics back to online as well as drawing-room conversations. The power of the celebrity is being harnessed in the right manner to ensure that people sit up and take note. While we as bloggers write about patriarchy, depression, road safety, gay rights and other issues off and on, it takes the power of Aamir Khan with his excellent research team to teach us something new and make us think and discuss these topics.
Yesterday’s topic of “manhood” was capably handled. Many facets were explored including the definition of manhood or machismo. It was pointed out that over 95% of violent crimes happen at the hands of men. The reasons for the same were explored as well including societal conditioning and upbringing. While patriarchy has kept many of our women curtailed and oppressed, it has done untold damage to our men as well. Not only are they being denied of developing healthy personal relationships, but their own personality is stifled and mutilated as they are pushed to conform to society’s stereotypes. Once again, the focus was brought back as it rightly should to how we parent our sons. Parents can never be less aware of the impact they have on their offspring just by being who they are. At least, every time we spout the famous line “Don’t cry like a girl” we will now hopefully pause and reflect. Do take a look at this video about gender conditioning:
As a country with diversity in not only religion, culture and languages but in mindsets, we have a long way to go before we can truly start cherishing our girls. The deep prejudices that scar our thoughts and minds will take a lot of introspection and awareness to go. Hence, programs and discourses such as these are extremely essential. In addition, the power of Aamir’s celebrity reduces the dissent and increases the willingness to listen. Getting Amitabh Bachchan to convey the message of sensitivity and respect for women was a lovely touch. Also getting Bollywood actresses to speak about their experiences was nice.
That Aamir himself regretted doing work that objectified women was a step in the right direction. It showed that change always begins from within. Do remember to call the number 18008334006 if you wish to petition the Hindi film industry to stop its degrading portrayal of women. This was something which was rubbing me the wrong way since a while. I am glad that someone from the industry has raised this valid issue on behalf of all of us. I say, bring on more such shows. Let us talk and understand.
As was pointed out in the show and something that is my personal opinion as well – Men and women are collaborators. We are not two groups fighting for the same piece of the pie. In fact, we can lovingly share the pie beautifully. Every woman has a right to choose how she wishes to live her life. She has a right to be loved and respected. And the hope lives on that with our combined effort that day is not too far! Do go to the website, SatyamevJayate.in to watch the full episodes in case you missed any. Also read this wonderful post on Why Feminism is Good for Men