If the Indian Express is to be believed, former Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni lost her portfolio in the latest Cabinet reshuffle due to her backing of Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate.
According to the Express, rumour mills are abuzz that when Khan wanted Doordarshan to pick up his show, there were many in the Centre who were opposed to it. The programme had already been commissioned by a private broadcaster and many opposed Khan’s request on the grounds that all he wanted was wider coverage and greater TRPs for his show.
But Soni, we hope in all her good senses, thought the show was a great platform to raise awareness and serve public purpose. The show was finally aired both on the private channel and Doordarshan and also broadcast on All India Radio.
Khan ultimately went on to slightly slam the government in many of his episodes like the one on foodgrain. Not only that, he made his presence felt at Ramlila Maidan when he shared the stage with Anna Hazare in his anti-graft movement against the government.
Forgiveness is not a virtue in Indian politics. Especially not for the Congress-led UPA-II now that it is batting away allegations against its ministers on a daily basis. Any move that goes against the party spells doom, or so it seems.
The Express that published the item today, itself did not name any sources. But whose victory is it really? This little known fact of Soni’s loss of a Cabinet berth shows on what ruthless grounds Indian politics is built.
For one, the media was on either side of the fence when in came to Satyamev Jayate. There were some unfavourable reports, but no one can deny that in days when all we see on Prime Time TV are TRP-generating, masala-laden reality shows, competitions and saas-bahu serials the show was a gentle reminder that there are issues ailing our society that need our attention because they plague the common man.
The former minister may have got the boot after that one ‘unwise’ decision, where she did not use her political common sense, but it seems to be a decision that outlives her loss to a victory of many across different social strata who were allowed to engage with something more than mere masala entertainment.
Those suffering from the issues that Aamir Khan covered in his show, now know that they are not alone. That there are others who have also suffered under the hands of corrupt babus, monstrous in-laws and perpetrators of other crimes and that there is a small system of people somewhere in this country helping to alleviate such sufferers from their misery.
For all that has been Soni’s loss has also been the common man’s gain with what Khan brought to the spotlight in his own way.
So Soni, we are sorry for you. Politics is indeed a dirty game, but this one is certainly a victory for that person whose only connection to the world beyond is Doordarshan and AIR. Although that person may not read this we thank you on his behalf for Satyamev Jayate.