An open letter to Aamir Khan from a Kannadiga

VASANT SHETTY pens a letter to Aamir Khan on the undemocratic ban on the dubbed version of his Sunday morning TV show  Satyamev Jayate programme from being shown on Kannada television channels.

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To
Aamir Khan
5 Marina Apartments
Pali hill, Bandra West
Mumbai 400050

Dear Aamir Khan,

Congratulations on your successful TV debut with Satyamev Jayate and a huge round of applause for touching upon a topic as sensitive and heart rendering as female foeticide in the very first episode.

You even went a step further by meeting the Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and requesting him for a fast track court to bring the killer doctors to justice at the earliest.

To me, you seem to be a man committed to bring social change in India and I truly appreciate your efforts.

You may have 12 different issues to highlight in the weeks to come, but today I am writing this letter to you to highlight the highly undemocratic ban on dubbing content to Kannada that is affecting millions of Kannadigas living in Karnataka and elsewhere.

Let me explain this.

As you know, there is an unconstitutional and undemocratic ban imposed on dubbing content to Kannada by a few trade organisations in the name of protecting culture. Due to this ban, the dubbed version of the first episode of your programme was not telecast on Suvarna TV.

Earlier, thousands of people like me wrote to you on Twitter and Facebook requesting you to get this ban on dubbing your Satyamev Jayate to Kannada removed. As a result of that, you wrote a letter to Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) requesting them to let your programme in Kannada on Suvarna TV but we have not heard about the response of KFCC to your letter.

Suvarna TV uploaded the Kannada webcast of the first episode of your programme on Youtube three days ago.

The video received 30,000 views in just three days busting all myths around lack of demand for dubbed content in Kannada and even sealing the mouth of all those naysayers in Kannada film / TV industry who ridiculed demand for dubbed content in Kannada as fringe.

But yesterday, even this video on Youtube was taken off by Suvarna TV.

From the circumstances, Kannadigas feel that this might have been done because of the pressure put by the same anti-dubbing associations, who were scared after seeing the popularity of the video. With that, even Internet is under seige in Karnataka, where a few private people decide what people should watch and in which language.

A lot of people who believe in democracy, the Constitution, and the freedom to choose are again writing to you to know how on earth a content creating social awareness be banned even on Internet just because it was dubbed from Hindi to Kannada?

Aamir, if you truly believe in transforming a society, bringing a social change, it’s time for you to talk and act.

Please raise your voice supporting the legitimate demand of Kannadigas demanding knowledge and entertainment in their mother tongue.

Please stand  up and say that in this free country, every individual has freedom to watch any cinema, any TV program in any language of their choice and no vested interest should dictate terms to voiceless citizens in the name of guarding culture.

For four decades Kannadigas have been deprived of knowledge and entertainment in their language of choice due to this illegal ban on dubbing and now will Satyamev Jayate change that?

After all, truth alone should prevail.

Thank you
A Kannadiga

Also read: Talibanisation of Kannada cinema, television