New Delhi: Alcoholism has become an accepted norm in the upper middle class society of urban India. Be it a social gathering or be it a family function, the society doesn't consider alcohol as something which can bother their normal behaviour. However, Aamir Khan's TV show 'Satyamev Jayate' has a different take on the issue of alcoholism.
In one of the relatively lighter episodes, 'Satyamev Jayate' demonstrated the problem of excess drinking. Though the episode had abundance of funny moments still it presented its arguments in a profound manner.
The show started with Vijay Simha's confessions. His story was a glaring example of what alcohol can do to a normal being's life. Despite being a fearless and respectable journalist, Vijay Simha reduced his dignity to such a level where his life was no different than a useless nomad. He begged, cheated and threatened people to receive money in return, until a friend sent him to a rehabilitation centre. Last 14 years have transformed Simha into a judicious person who wants to forgive and wishes to be forgiven.
Laxman also talked about his tryst with alcoholism. He had to shed Rs 40 lakh before finding a right support system to get rid of the evil of alcoholism. Psychiatrist Ashish Deshpande gave some insightful information about the mental condition of an alcoholic. He termed it as a disease. Noted lyricist and screen writer Javed Akhtar called himself a fool who took pride in drinking during his youth.
Having all said and done, ninth edition of 'Satyamev Jayate' brought forth some paradoxes of our daily lives in the most natural way possible. Aamir asked the assembled group of youngsters whether they drink or not in the beginning of the show, and their responses were mostly positive. It seemed they normally don't take alcoholism as a genuine problem till an innocent Karan Anand gets killed. Otherwise also, the universities and other cultural melting pots have become very open towards social drinking as well as 'harmless' drinking. This is in stark difference with what the Indian society used to think some years back. Though mostly in lower middle class, drinking in any form used to be condemned. In fact, in some parts of rural India, drinking habit of the prospect groom could lead to the abolition of marriage plans.
The situation is not the same now. Matters related to changing mindsets and revenue generation have prompted more people to take alcohol as a tool to relax, but does there exist anything called acceptable drinking. Moral policing is not intended but don't you think that drinking, howsoever little it is, can lead to the degradation of a man's dignity. Haven't we seen it happening around us?
If Dr Vivek Benegal's stats are to be believed then we are seriously 'dangerous' drinkers. As per Dr Benegal, Indians are consuming way more alcohol than the people of other countries. Alcoholism may not look harmful at the first glance but nobody can be sure about when can it change your mood to do something silly and irreversible.
Ram Sampath's song 'Aie zindagi tu hi bata' in the end may not get true for everyone. It's the time to say no to alcohol.