Satyamev Jayate, a reality show anchored by Khan that dealt with the issue of female foeticide in its first episode, saw huge support from viewers on social networking websites within hours of its broadcast on Sunday morning.
The show, aired on television channels run by Star India Pvt. Ltd, including Star Plus and Star World and other regional channels in the Star bouquet, was among the top five trends in India on microblogging website Twitter.
Satyamev Jayate was also the top search in India on Google Trends.
“I am really touched and emotionally moved with the response,” Khan said. “I am glad people have liked it.”
Satyamev Jayate’s website received 42,000 likes on Facebook by around 9pm. On Twitter, at least 3,800 tweets were posted on the subject.
The debut episode of Satyamev Jayate was made available for viewing on its website soon after the telecast. “Our website crashed twice,” Khan’s spokesperson said.
Star India plans to upload the episodes on YouTube, a video website run by Google Inc.
Viewers lavishly praised the show, which also marked Khan’s television debut, on Facebook, the leading social networking website.
“Great show…and hope lots of other issues of importance would be covered,” said Rajan Sekhir. Another viewer, Ali Akbar Barodawala, said, “Great show and hosted it beautifully Aamir bhai. God bless and we are all with you supporting the cause.”
Satyamev Jayate aims to address India’s socioeconomic issues in 13 episodes, which will be aired every Sunday at 11am. The first episode dealt with the issue of female foeticide. The one-and-a-half-hour episode also featured a song, O Ri Chiraiya, performed by Swanand Kirkire and Ram Sampath.
The song, too, was well received by viewers. “A song that brings tears to the eyes,” Shweta Patil posted on Facebook.
Viewers outside India also praised the show. One such viewer, Ankit, tweeted, “I loved it and so did my entire family with whom I revived the lost Sunday morning tradition of watching TV. Thank you for that Satyamev Jayate.”
“A show which brings tears in our eyes and force us to think upon such a major issue,” another viewer, Raghib Khan, tweeted. “Hats off to Aamir and Satyamev Jayate team.”
Corporate India, social activists, and film and cricket celebrities also joined the praise bandwagon.
Anti-corruption campaigner Kiran Bedi tweeted, “Aamir’s Satyamev Jayate on Star Plus turned an idiot box into collective inspirational seeding, across professional cultural or age differences.”
Neeraj Roy, managing director and chief executive of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, tweeted, “Stop being cynical and start acting. Watching Satyamev Jayate. Brilliant effort. Well done Aamir Khan and Satya. We can make a difference.”
Khan and his team have left no stone unturned in making sure viewers participate through phone messages. Satyamev Jayate’s tweet said, “Thanks. SMS Y to 5782711 if the Rajasthan govt should set up a fast track court to tackle female foeticide.”
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted, “If Aamir Khan provides the action promised, Satyamev Jayate will truly succeed. For that action, we too have to be involved. SMS for a start.”
Shabana Azmi tweeted, “Aamir Khan’s show can bring a revolution. Thoroughly researched, covers all aspects, touches emotional chord n forces us to re-examine ourselves.”
Bollywood actor Preity Zinta tweeted, “Watching Aamir Khan on Satyamev Jayate discussing female feticide. I love this effort from him and thank him as a woman.” Film-maker and actor Farhan Akhtar tweeted, “Satyamev Jayate. A show with a heart.”
Khan is earning Rs. 3 crore to anchor each episode, a record in Indian television, Mint had reported on 21 April.
The broadcaster Star India is betting big on the show. It hopes to earn Rs. 10 lakh per 10 seconds of commercials aired during the show. According to Kevin Vaz, president, advertising sales, Star India, each episode of the show has just 30 seconds of inventory still available for advertisers.
Bharti Airtel Ltd is the presenting sponsor of the show and has paid around Rs. 18 crore, while water purifier brand Aquaguard, another sponsor, has paid some Rs. 16 crore, according to media buyers and channel executives.
The six associate sponsors—Axis Bank Ltd, Coca-Cola India, Skoda Auto India, Berger Paints India Ltd, Dixcy Textiles Pvt. Ltd, and Johnson and Johnson Ltd—have paid between Rs. 6 crore and Rs. 7 crore each.