Bollywood heartthrob Aamir Khan is known for his chiseled good looks and starring roles, but there is much more depth to this amazing man that what you see on the celluloid screen, DVDs, and read in magazines.
He comes from a country that diminished the rights of women in many ways, but Aamir is the rare breed of male, Indian male that is, who actually cares and wants to change the social climate and ancient attitudes of his fellow countrymen.
He was listed in Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential People’ of 2013 at number 48, and labeled a ‘pioneer’. That should give you some indication of what he is capable of.
Now, he is doing something brave and significant for Indian women, who for many decades have been secretly forced to endure domestic violence by the hands of their male family members, and forced to undergo abortions simply because they were bearing a female instead of a boy.
Aamir wants to blow the lid on this taboo subject and give female victims a voice via a groundbreaking television show called “Truth Alone Prevails”.
The show is the first in India to openly tackle the dark side of their society where female foeticide, honor killings and violence against women is prevalent.
He spoke to the BBC about his new show, saying “One out of every two women in our society is a victim of domestic abuse… You read the papers and see a lot of injustice happening, some reports are disturbing. A lot of us feel we wish we could do something. TV is a powerful medium – it is in every home – so it has the potential to bring about dynamic social change.”
The show is a simple format, in which Khan interviews ordinary women who tell their horrific stories in an effort to bring awareness and lift the shame that has been forced upon them simply because of their gender. One women who was interviewed admitted she had 6 abortions in 8 years because her in-laws wanted a boy. Another woman was beaten and disfigured, by her husband biting the flesh on her face, because she was pregnant with a girl, not a boy. How disgusting and inhumane!
Khan goes on to explain that this is not just a problem with poor families, but even more prevalent in rich societies throughout the sub-continent.
“‘Obviously there is something wrong with the way we look at the girl child. We found often the root cause was the empowerment of women so whether it’s female foeticide, domestic abuse or a dowry problem, a lot of the problem finally came own to this patriarchal thinking that we are following.”
Hypnotized, we take it without complaint. That’s Aamir’s magic at work. Satyamev Jayate was not intended to provide solutions but to ask hard questions, the kind society is often reluctant to address. By showing the courage to ask those questions, Aamir has started a movement that will help change the world in which Indians live.
Below is a snippet of Aamir’s interview with Daisy Donovan from the BBC showcasing his passion for telling the truth and fighting for justice for all these women in India. We love you Aamir Khan!