When Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan graced the small screen with ‘Satyamev Jayate’, one would have least expected the impact the show would have on the aam janta
and the bureaucrats.
The show is a hit for all obvious reasons. However, what is grieving indeed is the fact that the nation needed Aamir Khan to awaken its sunken self. Was India running short of ideas to correct the infected system? Maybe yes.
It looks as if Rajasthan Chief Minister Mr Ashok Gehlot needed Aamir Khan’s assistance in realizing the urgency to set up a fast track court to settle impending cases of female foeticide in the state.
“I am moved by Aamir`s programme and his gesture. I will definitely take up the issue and speak to the chief justice of Rajasthan to find a way,” Gehlot said while addressing media at a press conference. But wasn’t Mr Gehlot aware of this crime that his state was committing for years? Couldn’t he have formulated a way to deal with the malice much earlier? Perhaps not.
But while Mr Ghelot was kind enough to respond to Aamir’s appeal, Minister of State for Health, Rajkumar Sharma had a contrasting feedback to give on Aamir and his show.
He said, “The government took up the issue much before Aamir Khan`s programme. It is not because of him that the government is working against female foeticide.”
One can clearly see the lack of coordination in the state government; where one was acknowledging concerning issues, the other was trying to cover it up.
Nonetheless, there were more resolutions that were being worked out. It may have been in the wake of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ or a mere coincidence , the Lok Sabha passed the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Bill on 22nd May, precisely 10 days after the episode on child sex abuse was telecast.
Moving ahead, what’s interesting is that Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Kumar of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who heads the parliamentary standing committee on commerce, had invited Aamir to share the knowledge they gained while researching the episode on malpractices in the medical fraternity.
What was the committee doing prior to the telecast of the episode on medical malpractices? Why didn’t anyone discuss ways to uproot corruption from the healthcare system earlier?
The Indian Medical Association made Aamir a villain for allegedly defaming its fraternity and the medical profession. But the IMA had little to say when Medico Friend Circle (MFC) and the Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES) slammed the body for trying to silence “messenger” Aamir.
“We appreciate that you want to uphold the dignity of the medical profession. However, we feel that denying or minimizing the importance of issues raised on this show and demanding an apology from Aamir Khan is definitely not the most appropriate way of upholding the dignity of doctors,” said Dr Anant Phadke from MFC while talking to a daily.
So it clearly emerges that there is a huge discrepancy in the system, which might take years to get rectified.
However, one can see the changes being implemented with the Maharashtra Government announcing that generic medicines would be made available across all Government hospitals. In addition, the State Government has also planned to open medical stores across the state where generic medicines will be stocked in adequate amounts, and will be readily available for people.
Thanking the state government, Aamir tweeted, “Great news guys! Maharashtra govt. announces Generic medicines to be made available! Thank u CM sir Mr Chavan & Health Min Mr Suresh Shetty(sic).”
It feels good that the phenomenon called ‘Satyamev Jayate’ is directly or indirectly stirring souls but one question still remains unanswered - does India really need Aamir Khan to awaken social, moral, civic and national conscience?
First Published: 6/24/2012 9:07:54 AM