By Sharanya Gopinathan
Dangal has been super successful at the box office, so now Aamir Khan is apparently the leading authority on all things that have to do with women and their progress.
So is Star Plus, which is seriously working on its own version of progress, especially when it isn’t exactly the first channel you’d think of when you say the words “progressive thought”. But over the last few years, Star Plus has been trying to revamp their image (or earn brownie points for acting like they care about women, I dunno, you decide). They frequently put out we’re-progressive-now type adverts (rishta vahein, soch nayein) in addition to giving several of their running serials what they imagine to be “modern” makeovers through dress, thoughts and plots.
Their latest offering is a #SochNayi advertisement featuring Aamir Khan, whom we think needs to learn to pass the damn mic now. The ad shows Aamir Khan as Gurdeep Singh, a slow-talking sweet shop owner, speaking to a customer who thinks that the shop’s newfound success (sweets are apparently selling ‘shooo te shaa’ — is that a common phrase?) is because of Singh’s sons’ business acumen. Aamir Khan points out that they are his daughters, not his sons, and the board outside reads Gurdeep Singh & Daughters. Waaaow, so deep.
The two smiling sisters appear for about a total of seven seconds in the entire advertisement. The rest is monopolised by Aamir Khan and customer uncle, which is kind of the problem with stunts like this. Not only are we kindly being shown the way forward by a man who works in an industry that has sexism oozing out of its ears, but the issue being discussed also gets monopolised by that person’s star power. People aren’t talking about Gurdeep Singh’s two (nameless) daughters, or even about women in general, they’re excited about the new Aamir Khan advert on Star Plus. Which is fine I guess, but it certainly isn’t #SochNayi.