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Coming at a time when the country is in poll mode, the second season of Satyamev Jayate raises the bar for itself and Star India. Will it be able to keep the flag flying high?
In 2012 Star Plus, India's top Hindi general entertainment channel, staged a coup of sorts when it launched Satyamev Jayate, a talk show focusing on social issues with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as the host. That show soon became the talk of the town, with the first episode watched by nearly 6 crore Indians, that is, two out of every three Indians who watch television had seen the show. Aired at 11 am every Sunday, Satyamev Jayate was also simulcast on Doordarshan and other channels and regional channels of the Star network. The show garnered 4 TVR (television viewership ratings) in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM) for cable and satellite (C&S) audiences in the four years-plus age group, and a 4.9 TVR for all Hindi speaking markets including C&S and terrestrial homes for the first episode aired on May 6 which looked at female foeticide. These are aggregated ratings of all simulcast channels in HSM markets. The equivalent ratings at an all-India level was 3.4 (CS4+ all India) and 4.1 (all 4+, all India).
In addition to being the most watched show on television, it also caught the attention of social media users with SatyamevJayate the top trending topic in India on Twitter on the launch day. Eight out of the top ten trending topics in India on May 6, 2012 were about Satyamev Jayate/female foeticide. Altogether, there were 968,86,902 Twitter impressions for female foeticide.
In a bid to recreate that magic, Star network this month brought back the talk show. And it's no coincidence that the show comes back at a time when the country is gearing up for the general election to be held in April-May. With passions riding high and everyone out to prove their political credentials and their concern for the country, the new season with the aptly named theme ‘Jinhe desh ki fikr hai’ (those who are concerned about India) aims to evoke a sense of national pride and garner commitment from every Indian.
Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, agrees that the network had been keen to do something before the election. “We didn’t want to distract the discourse during polls. We hope that this show will continue to play