STAR India and TED collaborate for groundbreaking Hindi TV talk show ‘TED Talks India: Nayi Soch’ to drive social change

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STAR India is continuing its drive for social change in India through the power of its programming with today’s announcement of “TED Talks India: Nayi Soch” (“New Thinking”), a Hindi TV talk show created in partnership with TED, the nonprofit devoted sharing powerful talks by leading thinkers and doers with the world. The new show will be hosted by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and feature speakers sharing big ideas in TED’s signature format.

About ‘TED Talks India: Nayi Soch’

“TED Talks India: Nayi Soch,” which will be broadcast on STAR India’s No. 1 Hindi general entertainment channel, STAR Plus, marks the first time TED will collaborate with a major network and star to produce a TV series featuring original TED Talks in a language other than English.

“At STAR, we have always believed in pushing the boundaries with new ideas, creativity and fresh thinking,” said Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO of STAR India. “Nobody reflects this belief more than TED and we are thrilled to collaborate with them in bringing the power of ideas to our audiences with ‘TED Talks India: Nayi Soch.’ In an age of high volatility, the role of ideas to fuel positive change cannot be overstated. We are delighted to have Shah Rukh Khan share our vision and lend his charisma to this exciting endeavor.”

“The sheer size of Star TV’s audience, with more than 650 million viewers, makes this a significant milestone in TED’s ongoing effort to bring big ideas to curious minds,” said Juliet Blake, head of TV at TED. “Global television is opening up a new frontier for TED.”

STAR India’s focus on social concerns

Since its founding in 1991, STAR has played a major role in driving social change in India. Under Uday’s leadership, the company has become India’s leading media business by using its programming to spark national discussions on a range of social and political issues.

On May 6, 2012, the media company reached what Uday calls the culmination of its journey when it launched “Satyamev Jayate” (“SMJ”; translated as “Truth Alone Prevails”), a Sunday morning program focusing on pressing social concerns. The show, which has focused on issues ranging from feticide to sexual assault to gay rights, was a risky endeavor during a tumultuous time for the country’s media. Nevertheless, it soon became a rallying point giving citizens opportunities to voice their opinions and take practical action to make a positive difference in India.

“I was very clear that this was a show that had to be done, that needed to be done,” Uday said. “The country needed it. The media community needed it.”

In its first season, “SMJ” raised $3.7 million to support NGOs working to address the issues discussed on the show and reached more than 517 million Indians, or 3 out of every 4 Indians who watch TV or own a mobile phone – an unprecedented figure.

In October, STAR India recruited three of India’s biggest cricket stars for a series of “Nayi Soch” TV promos combatting stereotypes and pushing the agenda for the country’s half-billion women. The promos showed the cricket players replacing their last names on the backs of their jerseys with their respective mothers’ names to convey the impact of their mothers on their identities. Later that month, the Indian cricket team wore their mothers’ names on their jerseys during a match against New Zealand.

More details about “TED Talks India: Nayi Soch” will be shared at the annual TED conference in Vancouver later this year.