29 October, 2020

A Case Of Bazaar Piety

Aamir, an entrepreneur, has reconciled the market with activism

Illustration by Sorit
A Case Of Bazaar Piety
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Nothing underlines the power of celebrity as much as the outpouring of public reaction to Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan’s new television show. The issue of sex selection and female infanticide is hardly a new or undocumented one, and stories similar to the heart-rending ones we saw last week have been brought to us before, even on television. And yet, it seemed as if all of urban India awoke to this problem with a startled yelp one Sunday morning, thanks to a TV programme. The kind of attention that the issue received, entirely on account of a star’s backing, seemed to eclipse the years of hard work by activists, journalists and writers, and in a manner that borders on the cruel.

And yet, it would be a mistake to attribute the public response, both good and bad, solely to the presence of a celebrity. For one, if Aamir were to be replaced by another celebrity, the effect would not have been the same. There might be others who might be able to pull it off, but the choice would be determined not by the scale of their...

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