Aamir Khan visits IIT Bombay; talks about politics, corruption and Satyamev Jayate

Monday, 24 March 2014 - 10:03am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
IIT Bombay organised a special screening follwed by a discussion round with Aamir Khan and Svati Chakravarty at its campus in Powai on Sunday, 23rd March

Here's an exclusive report on the Q and A session: 

Q: Should there be a monitoring organisation to keep a check on the Gram sabhas and Moholla sabhas?

Aamir Khan: The important thing in the Gram sabhas and the Moholla sabhas is that each individual living in the area should take interest in them and attend those meetings. We should take the responsibility on ourselves. Though, Moholla sabhas do not happen in the cities, if they do take place, we should make it a point to attend them.

Q. People say that every youngster should do something for the country. What is that ‘something’?

Aamir Khan: You should be a part of the democratic system. The youngsters should be aware, conscious and inquisitive about what is happening around them. You should ask questions and be involved in decision-making.

Svati Chakravarty: The most essential thing is to dream about your nation. Everyone has a dream for themselves, for their careers. Similarly everyone should have a dream for India, however small it is. And then we must devise a game-plan to realize that dream. We must take efforts to make the dream come true.

Q. Who is responsible for the disillusionment in the political scenario- society or the administration?

Aamir Khan: All of us are part of democracy and so all of us are responsible for the disillusionment. If there is a wrong candidate, why do we vote for him? Why don’t we exercise the weapons of democracy that we have in our hands? There will be change at a big level only if each one of us takes the responsibility on our shoulders.

SC: We must take interest in the affairs of the country. We should break the vicious circle or else it will go on continuing endlessly.

Q: Everyone has their own interpretations of corruption. What exactly is corruption?

Aamir Khan: Corruption is having a bad thinking (kharab soch). Corruption exists at all levels, in every field. Being greedy is corruption. Our social fabric has become corrupt. We have become too insensitive. We idealize the corrupt people. 

Q: What are the changes that have been implemented due to Satyamev Jayate? Why don’t you project the before-after effects of the show?

Aamir Khan: (Laughs) This is an important question. We started this show because we wanted to do our bit. This is our tiny, earnest attempt to make change to society. There have been amazing results after season 1. We will be revealing it in a separate episode of this show itself. However I would like to mention this one thing. After our episode on female infanticide, there were as good as 6 fast-track courts started. In Maharashtra and Rajasthan, there were close to 25% improvements seen.

Q: Will you join politics?

Aamir Khan: No. I believe the entertainment industry is the only thing meant for me. I am happy doing what I am doing here. I enjoy this life. I do not think I would make a good politician, its just not my cup of tea.

Q: What do we do to curb corruption at the roots?

Aamir Khan: That is a difficult question. It starts with us. If we change the world changes. Right education and literacy are major paths to this goal. Only a educated mind will be able to judge corruption and this is very essential.

Q: We can test the educational qualification or emotional quotient of a candidate. But is there any way to test their moral index?

Aamir Khan: I wish there was a way. But all we can do is to find out more about the candidate- his history, background, etc. We should keep in mind that there is no magic wand, no shortcut. WE have to take the long way. We have to think in a collective manner and not for oneself.

SC: Nothing comes without a price. As it was said in the show, Eternal vigilance is the price for democracy. We all should take the pains to monitor what is going on around us.

Q: Is the RTI really effective? How can we ensure that we don’t get false replies to our queries?

Aamir Khan: They provide the proofs along with their answers. And till now, we have got all good experiences with RTI.

SC: Lakhs of RTIs have been filed by people across the country. And all of them have got successful responses.

Q:  Do the missed calls, SMSes and information on your website reach the authorities? Have you ever faced pressure to malign content?

Aamir Khan: Yes they do. We try our level best to reach out to destitute people, grievers and pass on their messages to the concerned authorities and institutions. Reliance foundation, who are our philanthropic partners, also believe in our ideals. We did face pressures from individual organizations, however we didn't face anything of that sort from the government and administration as of now.

More about the event:

Abhyuday, a social festival of IIT Powai, organised live screening of Satyamev Jayate episode on ‘Wealth of the nation’ and an interactive session with Aamir Khan and the co-director of the show, Svati Chakravarty, on March 23 at the convocation hall of IIT Mumbai. The event saw a footfall of about 2000 people- IITians, students of K.V. School, IIT Bombay, their parents and the faculty of IIT. 

Abhyuday is in its first installment and it already boasts of prominent speakers, exhibitions and NGO partnerships. The self funded festival was held on March 1 and 2, 2014 in the IIT Bombay campus. It had prominent NGOs like Childline, Udaan, Asha, Teach for India etc being a part of this fest. It held various competitions where in the contenders came up with unique community solutions for various societal problems. There were presentations and discussions held for the IITians too. 

The topic of discussion was based on the show. It spoke of the taxation issues India face, the RTI act and various social audits that were prevalent in the country. Inspired and moved by the episode that was screened, the young crowd fired their questions at the guests, and they answered all their queries with utmost precision and effectiveness.

Aamir Khan made sure he answered each and every question. He was prompt and specific in his answers. The event ended with the students of Abhyuday presenting a small video in tribute of the man who made India speak of truth again- Satyamev Jayate.


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