India is a country that loves to celebrate food. And in the Satyamev Jayate promos when Aamir Khan hinted at food, he was actually hinting at the poison that we consume in our daily lives
A lot of speculation surrounded the eighth episode of Satyamev Jayate. In the promos, when Aamir Khan had uttered the word ‘food’, many thought this episode might be related to the problem of obesity. Yes, there’s no denying that it’s an issue today. But the eighth episode wasn’t about obesity. Aamir in today’s episode brought forward the dangerous side of food that we so lovingly prepare for our loved ones.
Aamir very rightly began by asking the ladies present that what food, they thought, was safe and healthy for their family. A majority of the women replied by saying that it’s the fresh, green leafy vegetables that they personally monitored and cooked. Alas! The problem turned out to be much deeper than just selecting fresh fruits and vegetables; and a tricky one too – pesticides!
And just so that viewers could gauge the gravity of the situation, Aamir brought forward cases that actually made people squirm in their seats, like he always does when the show begins. This time it was Dr Mohan who discussed the case of Kasargod, a village in Kerala that witnessed heavy overuse of pesticides because the area was used by the government to grow spices and cashew nuts. For 25 years, the region was air-sprayed by 22 lakh litres of endosalphan, a harmful pesticide that took its toll on the health of the villagers and the neighbouring fauna. Then Dr Srigopal Kabra brought forward the case of Jaipur where babies were being born with partially developed brains due to the absence of folic acid, destroyed by pesticides, in mothers.
Getting deeper into the case Aamir introduced us to farmers who were well aware of the harmful effects of these chemicals, yet they used it for the commercial produce ‘coz of their limitations. What’s more, Nilesh Desai, a farmer from Valsad even confessed that he grew separate mangoes for his family members, ones devoid of this harmful chemical. Truly, the situation was satirical.
Another interesting fact that came forward was the so called ‘cancer train’ that plied from Bhatinda to Bikaner carrying cancer patients for treatment. All this makes one wonder about the issue that has reached such large proportions, and yet failed to garner the attention required. The multinationals who manufacture the pesticides are to be blamed, perhaps.
Like in every episode of Satyamev Jayate, in this one too Aamir brought forward ‘the other’ point of view, one that was voiced by Dr Shroff, a scientist. “The effect of pesticides is exaggerated,” said Dr Shroff who also stated that DDT is completely harmless. Aamir pointed at what could be a possible and practical solution – steering a state towards an organic status, like Sikkim. The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling said that by 2015, Sikkim would become an organic state.
And in the end, Aamir asked viewers all over the country to send in their views on whether they think that all states should follow the example of Sikkim or no.
Satyamev Jayate’s eighth episode followed the format of the show to the T. The points brought forward displayed the irony of the whole situation and how tied we are when it comes to the most basic necessity required for healthy living. Yes, it touched our hearts. But the emotional quotient this time was lower as compared to Satyamev Jayate‘s other episodes. Probably because this time it wasn’t a serious social issue. Even so, will this episode bring forward a change in the unabashed use of pesticide in the country? Or will it trigger another series of unending discussions? We’ll know soon. And guess we can all anticipate what will be the flavour of discussion in this coming week. And kudos for that, Aamir!