STAR India Demonstrates the Role of Media in Driving Social Change
On Sunday, October 5th, STAR India's groundbreaking social awareness series Satyamev Jayate returned for its third season. With their discussions of road safety, the LGBT community, and the positive impacts of sports, the new episodes have continued to deliver on SMJ's commitment to address India's most pressing social concerns, and by introducing a new live show, STAR is working more than ever to make sure its audience can have their voices heard.
In the time since its debut in May 2012, Satyamev Jayate has become a driving force for social change in India. The series features Bollywood star Aamir Khan in conversation with experts, activists, and victims on the country's most urgent social issues, from female feticide and child sex abuse to alcoholism and political corruption. Yet, despite its sensitive subject matter, SMJ has become one of India's most watched programs. STAR estimates that more than 500 million Indians saw the show in its first season, and the groundswell of grassroots movements that have come about as a result have had tangible effects on Indian culture.
The series has led to several new and revised laws at both national and local levels, and after just one month in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Khan to discuss the issues covered on the show. The series has clearly become a centerpiece of the national conversation, and above all, it has encouraged people all over the country to share their stories and become more engaged in their communities.
"We began Satyamev Jayate to build awareness around urgent social issues," said Uday Shankar, CEO of STAR India. "But it's now gone way beyond that and has emerged as the best showcase of the role media can and should play in driving change in the country. I am particularly proud that Satyamev Jayate has also become the most powerful platform to inspire individuals and groups and acknowledge the extraordinary contribution that seemingly ordinary people are making to our country. For us at STAR India, it has given purpose to why we exist."