Anil Thakraney: Aamir, hope this isn’t social tourism

11 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


I can assure you a whole lot of news channel anchors must be burning with jealousy.

Evening after evening they raise various social issues, and nobody notices and no one cares. And of course, nothing changes. Along comes Aamir Khan, and with just one TV show, that too aired on an entertainment channel, and he’s already compelled some ministers to wake up and smell the coffee on the slaying of the girl child. What must also be making these worthies a bit embarrassed (at least I hope so!) is that Aamir scores far higher on parameters of good journalism. He’s anchoring the show the way it should be anchored on the news channels.


Well, now that I have patted the superstar on the back, let’s see if he can/will make a real, long term impact. Okay, so the Rajasthan CM met him for tea and agreed to set up a fast track court (a nice photo-op), but is that the real solution? In my previous blogpost I had mentioned that Aamir must keep the follow-ups on. And not disappear, which he often does. Remember theNarmadaand the Lokpal campaigns where he dropped by, for what I call, ‘social tourism’? Well, hope he’s not playing a tourist with Satyamev Jayate.


The concern is this: Come a new Sunday and the show will discuss a brand new social issue. Don’t know what it is going to be this weekend, maybe it’s domestic violence or child abuse or dowry deaths. The tears and all the drama will be back, and the new issue will become the flavour of the week in the media. Female foeticide will be all forgotten, and it will be back to routine life for everyone. Aamir MUST ensure his good work doesn’t go for waste. He must keep himself involved, even as his other projects go on. If a global star like George Clooney can sail the two boats of commerce and social activism effortlessly, so can Aamir. If the issues remain at the level of a Sunday TV show, I am afraid nothing will change on the ground. The janta’s ancient beliefs and customs are too deep-rooted to be wished away by a chat show discussion.


Do it, Aamir. You have the star power, the fan following, the charisma, the intelligence and the clout to make a real difference. Don’t blow this opportunity away.


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PS: Public awareness campaigns need not be boring. Here’s a foundation set up to spread awareness about HIV. And they have developed funky merchandise items to keep people informed and entertained at the same time. Good work.



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2 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Aamir, hope this isn’t social tourism”

  1. Jollyali2 says:

    Sorry sir for the mistake in typing my e.mail address.
    It’s and not

  2. Abbasali . J. Ahmedi says:

    Dear Mr Anil Thakraney,
    When such shows are aired I think they give you food and life to show your being, your existence; otherwise tell me where will you have a subject to comment on and show your presence.
    Even if Mr Amir Khan disappears after some times, dont you think that somewhere we the citizens of our Bharat maa will have the conscience to carry te torch lit by him in our hearts further by supporting him. Or do you think that India consists of only cattle who need a leader all through their lives to guide them? Why blame Mr. Amir Khan when we have lost our conscience. At least he is helping us to wake up from our slumber.
    may I ask you as what have you ever done in your life other than critisizing such volunteers ??????
    Please do not take this note as harsh but just try to understand me.
    I will not apologize if I’ve been harsh here, but will surely request your goodself to favour , rather than challenge such samaritans.

    My humble regards…Abbasali .J. Ahmedi .